"This one time, at band camp..."
July 8, 2013 8:56 PM   Subscribe

American Pie should do a crossover with Police Academy.

It would reboot both classics of American cinema.
posted by sien at 9:30 PM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

I saw American Pie opening weekend in the primetime slot. The whole theater was reacting, laughing, and having a great time. I remain rather fond of it to this day.

That does not mean American Reunion was a good choice for a date movie. We agreed on it beforehand, we both expected it to be kind of terrible, but it still totally killed the momentum. She never did call me back.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:57 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

CHRIS WEITZ: We didn’t think we were going to get the job, which actually freed us up to say what we thought we could bring to it. We wanted to make it more palatable to girls. We started from the position that no one had ever done a sex comedy that wasn’t chauvinistic. In American Pie, the girls are in control of, and enjoying, having sex. They’re not just tools for the boys.
I'd never really given American Pie a lot of thought, but it always has struck me as a lot less offensive than a lot of other "teen sex comedies". Not that that's an especially high bar or anything, but if you're drawing a straight line from Porky's to American Pie at least it points in the right direction.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:11 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

That has always been my strong impression of American Pie, that for all that it was marketed as pie-fuckery, it was about how sex is okay, girls like it too, because the female characters are human beings (whether they're pretty or awkward or old) as much as the guys are. I haven't seen it since maybe a year after it came out, but I remember being very struck by how different it was in that respect from most guy-has-to-lose-his-virginity movies.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:36 PM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

An oral history too far......

We've jumped the shark, people
posted by C.A.S. at 12:36 AM on July 9, 2013

I saw American Pie as a teenage boy, so am somewhat biased, but I think American Pie is... quite good. I mean its sort of awful in many ways, but there is some sweetness there, and some good intentions behind it. I'm not convinced it quite works at making women equal to men in it, but it makes a little bit of an effort
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:24 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Christ, what an interface.
posted by knile at 1:32 AM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]

American Pie accomplished what no other teen sex romp has before or since: given the audience characters that they could care about and relate to. Compare that with the disposable walking hardons portrayed in Porky's.
posted by dr_dank at 4:02 AM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

[Natasha Lyonne:] “Man, did I have terrific tits back then,” she says. “If I had only known what a piece I was, I would’ve done a lot more nudity.”

posted by Rock Steady at 6:17 AM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

I am convinced the only reason American Pie became a decade-long franchise rather than just a one-off gross-out comedy is the staying power of the term MILF, which it popularized. Not that it didn't deserve a franchise, but it didn't need one, and I think the successive films have only tarnished the legacy of the original.

That said, the original probably has had more lasting influence on comedy -- and on the culture at large -- than any other movie of the last twenty years. That its gags seem almost quaint in retrospect is entirely its own fault.

(P.S. The author of this article, John Ortved, wrote an oral history of The Simpsons that's well worth checking out. But you can skip right over all his unnecessary interjections.)
posted by Sys Rq at 6:29 AM on July 9, 2013

there is some sweetness there

That's what surprised me the first time I saw the first film. I was expecting something much more lowbrow, and was pleasantly surprised by how...unaffected the characters were. There's a lot of nuance and heart in evidence.

The second film approximated this quite well, but the third was a great disappointment.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:15 AM on July 9, 2013

PAUL WEITZ (DIRECTOR OF AMERICAN PIE): I said I’d directed a lot of theater because I knew they weren’t going to be able to actually check up on that.
So that's how you make a start in Hollywood.
posted by ckape at 11:12 AM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

ckape, I recently read someone talking about lying their ass off with bogus claims of regional theater to bolster a thin acting resume. And apparently even the last person to play the Lone Ranger made a dubious claim about a TV movie that got into the papers -- but if so IMdB doesn't yet know about it.

So I don't know how much it's a trope in the stories people tell, or how much it's just true ...

An oral history of the American Pie movies

posted by dhartung at 5:59 PM on July 9, 2013

EDDIE KAYE THOMAS: There are things in my life that I can control and things in my life that I cannot control. Until the day I die, I think there will be a certain group of people who will always see me as Finch. But in terms of that seriously affecting my work, I think it’s up to me.

No, sir, I will always think of you as "Fat Pat" from the "Muffin Buffalo" episode of Wonderfalls.

ALYSON HANNIGAN: I don’t think I’ll ever live that line down. But I wouldn’t want to.

posted by jenfullmoon at 7:22 PM on July 9, 2013

Honestly, it seems like putting a flute in your pussy would hurt, right? All those valves!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:44 AM on July 10, 2013

I am convinced the only reason American Pie became a decade-long franchise rather than just a one-off gross-out comedy is the staying power of the term MILF

I'm sure that "MILF" helped, but I think the big driver of the sequels is that the first movie created a bunch of, if not truly compelling, at least definitely memorable characters. That relieves the sequel-makers from the burden of having to do any real character development on their own: you can pretty much just take the same cast (or as much of it as you can afford), and play Mad Libs with a formula like "{character} gets {verb}ed while {sex act}" over and over.

ALYSON HANNIGAN: I don’t think I’ll ever live that line down. But I wouldn’t want to.

I'd hope not, if only because her single line is basically the punchline of the entire movie.

Sure, there are loads of dick jokes and one-liners, but taken as a whole the plot and all its gags are essentially a very long setup for Hannigan's line and subsequent big reveal as a girl who (gasp) actually has a sex drive and knows what to do with it. The raunch serves as setup, positioning the movie as yet another dudes-losing-their-virginity comedy a la Porky's, so that Hannigan's character can invert the expected result (dude finds / convinces a girl to do it with him) in the third reel.

Unfortunately that's a bit of a one-trick pony, which is why the sequels are doomed by comparison. Once you've blown up the genre conventions, and in particular when you've become the cliche for the teen-sex-comedy genre, there's not much there besides dick jokes and whatever nudity you can sneak past the MPAA. (Not that there's anything wrong with either, but they're not especially innovative.)

So it'll be interesting when the franchise finally runs out of steam and somebody decides to do to American Pie what it did to Porky's, and subvert the cliches that it has now pretty firmly established. Exactly how you'd do that I'm not sure of, though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:54 PM on July 10, 2013

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