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American Pie

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Eugene Levy, Jason Biggs, ...

”I am so sick and tired of all this bulls— pressure!” exclaims a frazzled Jim (Jason Biggs) near the climax — cue Beavis-esque ”huh-huh”s — of American Pie. He’s one of four high school seniors who’ve made a pact to lose their virginity by prom night, and now, standing in his tux on the dance floor with his supremely geeky date (Alyson Hannigan) out of earshot, he finally loses his cool. ”I mean, I’ve never even had sex and already I can’t stand it! ”I hate sex!” And I’m not gonna stand around here busting my balls over something that, quite frankly, isn’t that damn important.”

A surprising sentiment for a raucous teen sex comedy? Maybe so, but more surprising still is this: The number of minutes that Jim is on screen between the moment he abandons all carnal hope and the moment he unexpectedly finds himself doing his very best impersonation of a mechanical bull is roughly… three. In fact, all four of the film’s protagonists get lucky at what appears to be exactly the same time — a collective triumph that makes the self-righteous, coitus-be-damned tone of Jim’s speech seem in retrospect just a wee bit disingenuous.

That a movie as innocuous and utterly resonance-free as ”American Pie” could be deemed ”controversial” or ”outrageous” on the basis of Farrelly-style toilet humor (which, in the unrated version available on both VHS and DVD, is even more graphic; complete with full-on pastry humping) is a bit depressing, frankly. Let’s hope that its many imitators — and they’re coming, believe me — display some more bite.