I'll be first to admit that I hate teen comedies in general and typically frown upon most of them - I didn't even like "There's Something About Mary" too much, although I'm not sure it's really a "teen" film.
I own all three "American Pie" films on DVD because they are one of the few teen series whose characters seem real and you actually feel empathy for. They're not awkward characterizations of real people without emotions - the movie takes time setting up their personalities, quirks, etc., and then places them in embarrassing situations. For example, the movie "Swingers." That telephone call Favreau makes is a painful experience for the viewer. Would it have been so painful if we hadn't gotten to know him throughout the movie? "American Pie" is kinda like that. It works well because of the characters. It's crude, yes. It's crass, very. It's sexist, maybe. But that's how guys are. It doesn't exploit these elements as many teen sex comedies do - some are moderately entertaining (like the Johnny Depp film "Private Resort") but unbelievable and basically just lots of skin. "American Pie" is better, one of the best of its genre.
Everyone seems to hate the first sequel, which was released in 2001, a couple years after the original. Jim (Biggs) returns from college and hangs out for the summer at a beach house with his best pals. But with Stiffler (Seann William Scott) there, it's not too easy because they soon end up in more embarrassing situations.
This movie is very similar to the original and normally I have a problem with this. Basically all the scenes are "updates" on scenes that existed in the original. E.g. the lesbian strip over the walkie-talkies, the incident with the glue, the whole thing with Stiffler's mom and Finch.
Nevertheless it is effective, entertaining and funny. The characters are given more room to develop and believe it or not, I think I like this better than the first film. (The third is probably my favorite, if only for the focus on Stiffler and the introduction of Fred Willard, one of the great character actors of our time.) "American Pie 2" is somewhat recycled and some people may find it one of those "pointless" sequels, but I liked it, and this is coming from a guy who typically loathes these films - so considering I'm giving this seven stars, that says quite a lot. Either I'm out of my mind or there's something about these films that's just more accessible and likable than others in their genre.
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