Every summer thousands of young men and women return home from their first year as college and discover that the world they left behind has changed. While they may see the familiar faces and places, the new experiences of college and being away cause a person to grow and view things in a different light.
For some the changes are difficult as friends, family, and old flames have moved on, and nothing is as it seems as the responsibilities of becoming an adult cause many changes in people. This time in a young persons life is also amazing as the new people and experiences they encounter shape the person they are to become, as well as the way others view them.
In 1999, filmmakers Adam Herz, J.B. Rodgers, and Paul and Chris Weitz created American Pie and in the process, delighted audiences and created a film that was destined to become a modern comedy classic.
While the film was filled with raunchy humor, such as the now classic pie scene, the film stood out from other teen sex comedies. The main reason for this was the honesty and kindness the film and its characters shared that many viewers related to, as a group of friends realize that as their High School years are ending, life will be changing for them, and how much they value the relationships they have with one another.
American Pie went on to make millions and no sooner had the film opened than talk of a sequel arose around the studio. While the filmmakers were interested in the idea of a sequel, they knew they had made a special film the first time out, and did not want to do a sequel that would not be worthy of the first film, so they decided to take their time, and do a sequel only if they could come up with a concept that was worthy of the original.
It is said that good things come to those who wait, and fans of the first film will be delighted that the patience the creative team showed in developing the next chapter was worth the wait. American Pie 2 picks up one year later as the gang from the first film return home for summer vacation. For many of them, it is the first time they have seen each other since graduation, and while there is excitement there is also an air of uncertainty about the reunion.
Jim, (Jason Biggs) is still getting himself into awkward situations, such as his first attempt at sex since his prom night being interrupted by his father,(Eugene Levy). Jim is paranoid about his performance, and is determined to learn what he needs to be suave. Oz, (Chris Klein) is happy to see the guys but is sad that he will be apart from Heather (Mena Suvari), for a good part of the Summer as she is studying abroad. Finch (Eddie Kay Thomas) is still enchanted with his liaison with Stifflers mom, and complains that none of the women he has had since can compare. Kevin(Thomas Ian Nicholes) is unsure about seeing his ex Vickie( Tara Reid) as he still has feelings for her. No sooner do the boys get back then Stiffler (Sean William Scott), has one of his famous parties for the returning students. Stiffler is still as brash and insensitive as ever and is always after the ladies, despite his disaster at the party in the first film, and a subsequent disaster this time out.
They boys rent a beach house for the summer and take a job as a painting crew determined to have a great summer and throw parties that will be remembered for years to come. Jim has his world thrown for a loop when he gets a call from Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), who has never forgotten him, and is visiting from Czechoslovakia and is coming to see him. Desperate to avoid his embarrassing last encounter with Nadia that was broadcast over the net, Jim seeks out Michelle(Alyson Hannigan) at her band camp to discuss his performance. It is against this setup that the jokes fly fast and furious, yet never get mean spirited. The charm or American Pie 2 is that the audience gets to see the changes the characters have gone through and we see them have to face the reality of growing older and having their worlds and relationships with others change. They have to do some soul searching and discover what is important to them. Such is what makes the films so charming. Yes the jokes are funny, and the new film has more than its share of gross out scenes destined to have audiences in the aisles. However the core values of friendship, loyalty, and trust is a basic part of the film. The chemistry amongst the cast is fantastic and the characters are well defined as they face the challenges of growing up in a funny, yet honest and sincere manner without ever being preachy.
It is refreshing to see that some people in Hollywood still care about character development and plot, and lets hope that in a few Summers from now, we are able to catch up with the gang again. American Pie 2 is a refreshing summer party with good friends, and god times for all, and if you liked the first film, you are sure to enjoy a second slice of the pie.
4 stars out of 5
Gareth Von Kallenbach
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age
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