August 17, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Superglue plays a significant comedic role in ”American Pie 2.” That’s all I’ll say about the quick-drying mucilage, except to add that scholars of the 1999 original film will deduce that building model airplanes is not the adhesive’s demonstrated use — and that there’s a sexual joke involved. If the first slice of sweetly raunchy ”Pie” was about high school seniors intent on losing their cherries, this second serving is about how those same, now experienced buddies advance their carnal studies in the summer between their freshman and sophomore years of college. Renting a beach house together, bumbling Jim (Jason Biggs), angling Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), suave Oz (Chris Klein), pretentious Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and uncouth Stifler (Seann William Scott, his close-set eyes perpetually imitating a horndog’s slavering glare) aim to Get Lucky with chicks. So the guys party like it’s…1965, the summer of ”Beach Blanket Bingo.”

That’s the charm of the ”American Pie” concept from Adam Herz and original ”Pie” directors Paul and Chris Weitz, and the deep-crust, sexually conservative heart of the enterprise, too. These amiable young gentlemen and their young female friends (flaunting flesh no saucier than what’s glimpsed in a Maidenform ad) may live in a contemporary material world of cell phones and Tommy Hilfiger wear, but their sexual interests, adventures, and insecurities are as soft-core and coyly out-of-date as any yellowed issue of Playboy magazine. Even though they’re now college dudes, fulfillment for fellas is still predicated on copping a feel and downing a brewski. In fact, so engrossed are they in the pleasures of teen bikini movies past, and so businesslike is director J.B. Rogers (”Say It Isn’t So”) in moving the comedy along at a summer-movie clip (juiced by a forgettable soundtrack of pop tracks), the young men don’t realize that the familiar young women in front of them — including sexy Czech Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), wiseacre Jessica (Natasha Lyonne), independent Heather (Mena Suvari), no-nonsense Vicky (Tara Reid), and band-camp geek Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) — have indeed advanced a year.

All the girls have changed (except, maybe, Stifler’s mom, personified once again by Jennifer Coolidge); all the boys lag behind (except maybe Jim’s dad, hilariously played once again as a clueless boomer by Eugene Levy). All the punchlines are served on dessert plates. All the family values remain intact, held fast with a substance even stronger than superglue: Nostalgia for sexual innocence past.

type
Movie
Genre
mpaa
R
runtime
104 minutes
director
J. B. Rogers
Cast
Shannon Elizabeth,
Thomas Ian Nicholas,
Eddie Kaye Thomas,
Jennifer Coolidge,
Studio
Complete Coverage

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