Movie Mom

Movie Mom


American Pie 2

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R
Profanity:Very strong language with constant and very explicit sexual references
Nudity/Sex:Very explicit sexual situations and references
Alcohol/Drugs:Teen drinking
Violence/Scariness:None
Diversity Issues:All white cast, female characters less bimbo-ish than some
Movie Release Date:2001

Teenagers will want to see this movie because it is raunchy and gross. But like the original, the gross and raunchy moments, though frequent, are less important than the movie’s core sensibility, which is sweetly old-fashioned.

Let me be very clear. It very, very, raunchy and very, very, gross, with references to every kind of humiliation, sexual act, and bodily function. No one will call it wholesome. However, in the end, almost every sexual encounter is in a context of respect and sincere affection.

When we left Jim (Jason Biggs) and his pals at the end of the first movie, they had just achieved their ambition of having sex by graduation. This movie begins a year later, as they are finishing their first year in college and reuniting for what they hope will be a wild summer. They rent a house on the beach, put a keg on the porch, and do everything they can to entice bikini-clad ladies to join them. They talk a lot about how much crazy fun they want to have, but they do very little about it. Oz (Chris Klein) is devoted to his girlfriend (Mena Suvari), who is in Europe for the summer. Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is still dreaming about his night with Stifler’s mother (Jennifer Coolidge), and spends the summer preparing to see her again by learning about tantric sex. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), who could not bring himself to say “I love you” to his girlfriend (Tara Reid) in the first movie, is surprised to find that he is hurt and even a little lost after she has moved on. Jim, who was never able to get together with exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) in the first movie, is overjoyed to hear that she will be coming to visit him at the end of the summer. His top priority is to become more expert in bed, so he visits the “band camp geek” he had sex with on graduation night to get some pointers.

Only Stifler (Seann William Scott) continues to act like an unrestrained id, and even so, the closest he gets to having sex is when two women trick him into kissing Jim by promising to have sex with each other and let him watch. As in the first movie, it ends with one big night in which each of the characters more or less gets what he was looking for.

This is not a particularly good movie, but it is not a particularly bad one, either. I give it credit for treating its female characters like real people comfortable with their own sexuality, practically revolutionary for movies of this genre. I also give it credit for completely avoiding the usual sitcom-style painfully artificial mix-ups and misunderstandings. And there are some very funny moments, especially those featuring Eugene Levy as Jim’s magnificently unhip but understanding and loving father.

Parents should know that the movie features dozens of gross and raunchy moments, with references to anal sex, oral sex, tantric sex, masturbation, homosexuality, and bathroom humor. Characters engage in underage drinking, including trying to get girls drunk so that they will agree to sex. The atmosphere and dialogue may be completely irresponsible, but the behavior is not. As in the first, all major characters are white, which adds to the artificiality of the settings.

Any parent whose teenager sees this movie should see it, too, so that you can have some sense of the messages he or she is getting about making sexual choices, and have the opportunity to comment. You can begin by agreeing that Jim’s dad is dorky, and then talk about how a non-dorky parent (if there is such a thing) might approach these issues.

Families should talk about the way that Jim’s dad is completely supportive, even when Jim humiliates himself by mistaking superglue for lubricant and has to be rushed to the hospital. Jim’s dad does not criticize him for what is clearly a humiliating experience. He just reassures Jim that he loves him and is proud of him. Families might also want to talk about how people cope with the feeling that they do not know what they are doing and must be making terrible mistakes when they first become sexually involved, and the importance of selecting sexual partners with whom they can share truly intimate moments. And they will want to discuss teen drinking and other substance abuse issues as well.

Families who enjoy this movie should see the first one, and should compare them to the 1980’s equivalent (the “Porky’s” series) and the 1960’s equivalent (the “Beach Party” series).



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