Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review of American Pie- the Re-union

American Pie: - Re-union …….Review.

There are two cult classic coming-of-age movies which every kid who grew up in the turn of the millennium (otherwise known as the pre-internet porn era) would remember – Hot Bubblegums, a sexual comedy with no frontal nudity (As it was labeled on the DVD cover) and the American Pie movies, sexual comedy with occasional nudity (depending on the source of your DVD copy). Hot Bubblegums, a vintage film, was usually the first introduction to the pleasures of boy bonding as everyone in a friends circle used to seriously discuss the escapades of the characters in the movie, on their various mis-adventures on the way to get a glimpse of the full frontal.

And then American Pie arrived on these shores. It was Our movie. Everyone we knew resembled one or more of the characters in the film. They had tried or knew someone who had tried one of the various gags depicted in the movie with varying degrees of success. It was considered the official reference guide to masturbation on all college campuses throughout India. Even guys with years of experience in the art and jaded with practice, learnt something or the other from the movie.

Especially the most famous lines in movie history, as spoken by Oz to the group “you wanna know how third base feels? Oh!! It feels like warm apple pie” and Oz wriggles his fingers. And Jim, as everyone knows, goes home to find his parents out of the house, a warm apple pie cooling on the kitchen table and anti-climatically gets caught by his dad with his pants down and apple pie became a code word for something else for an entire generation.  

My first introduction to the American Pie series was in college when someone, a long, long night ago, in a galaxy far, far away (late night/hostel room/booze/hotel California discussion) started talking about Murphy’s law- how despite your best planning and time management possible- you always ended up getting interrupted during any peaceful masturbation session by totally unlooked for disturbances/relatives.

And then the first scene in American Pie came up in the topic about how Jim gets caught by his Dad and mom when he is using his socks to jerk off and his mother takes it away to wash. Everyone in the room had his favorite horror story of getting caught by someone or other and someone volunteered that he had a DVD of American pie and we all ended up watching it together sympathizing with every scene and especially the vow they take in the end to get rid of their virginity before they leave for college, a  worthy ambition (for young males) if ever there is one…the movie, despite its Americanisms totally became the aspirational ideal for young Indians of my generation, even though we could never even dream of living like that on Indian shores. But enough of a historical background let’s get down to the review.

I happened to catch a DVD copy of the latest in the American pie movie series – the re-union…..Its sobering to remember that the American pie movies have now entered their 10th year. Fans of the original American pie series can remember that the series drifted away from its original characters with subsequent parts and lost all trace of its original flavor becoming mere caricatures of itself. Thankfully that mistake is not repeated here. All the original characters who rocked in the first part are back- Oz, Kevin, Jim and his dad, Stiffler and his Mom, Sherman (Sherminator?), Vicki, Michelle and the unforgettable Paul Finch. Even the two geeks who were the first to introduce new words to the English language after Shakespeare, the two who shouted “MILF, MILF” are back- older, wiser and somehow sadder.

That’s the beauty of this movie it takes the characters forward ten years and shows us the perils of growing up. How the kick-ass wild kids of yesterday are burdened with the cares of adulthood and scream for one last fling of those long-gone good times. Stiffler, the most love-hate character of the original is now working in a corporate firm, as decent as any Wall Street banker. Oz, the big jock on campus ends up becoming a sportscaster with a glamour girlfriend who cheats on him openly and the usually well turned out Finch is now just an unsuccessful petty thief. And in a reversal of fortune, its now Kevin who shies away from having sex with Vicki, because he is married now and doesn’t want to cheat on his absent wife. Its bitter-sweet to see how far the gang has fallen since those heady days of high hopes. But the film is not all gloom and sentiment; it has its moments of sheer madness.

As the film starts, all the characters get together at their hometown for their 10 year re-uinon after school. And they decide to recapture their best years. There is plenty of mindless gags and mayhem, for sample, Stiffler crapping in a rival gangs picnic basket, Stiffler getting stiffed by a woman who asks him to bring her off but fails to reciprocate and Jim as in the original getting his rocks off with a sock, while watching Porn on the net, only to be surprised by his son and throwing off the sock in shock, it lands on the kids head- upside down.

There is also plenty of voyeur gags, wife swapping and public humiliation of various characters- some of it Gross. But hey, this movie is strictly for the aficionados, the fan boys. You either like it or hate it. There is even a complete reversal of the MILF episode from the earlier series – this time its Stiffler’s turn to take revenge on Finch, by getting it on with Finch’s mom.

All in all a pretty enjoyable movie if you are a nostalgic fan. But I daresay, kids of today, who have not seen the original version’s might not “get” what the movie is all about….So as the motto of the movie goes “drop your boxers, boys and get ready to f***”

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