American Pie 2

It’s been one year since the last film and our virgin-no-longer quartet have just finished their first year of college. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), who’s still pining for Victoria (Tara Reid) even though they broke up after the prom, figures it would be damn cool to get back with his high school chums and rent a beach house together for the summer. So off they go, working as house painters by day, partying and trying to get some booty at night. Well, except for Oz (Chris Klein), who is still ga-ga in love with Heather (Mena Suvari), even though she’s gone to Europe for the summer, im (Jason Biggs) is still hung up on Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), the foreign exchange student who got away, and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) isn’t really hunting for young hot poontang either, as he still craves experienced women like Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge).

Speaking of Stifler (Seann William Scott), he might be the only one whose all about scoring this time around. Which brings us to one of the movie’s problems. All sequels must cope with the fact that they’re inherently not as fresh as the original, but in this case, there’s the issue that “American Pie” was all about losing your cherry and, well, boinking a pie. Now in “2”, everyone has done the deed, and there’s no pie to be abused, so the title doesn’t make much sense. And while I was happy to reunite with these characters, nearly half the cast is pretty pointless in the sequel. My favorite guy in “Pie” was Oz, who was so cute to watch as he serenaded Heather, but now that he’s won her over, there’s nothing left for him to do but stand around and do reaction shots as his buddies do silly sex stuff. It’s even worse with the character of Kevin, whom I already found to be the weakest link in the original. He’s even duller here, doing nothing but hang out with deer-in-headlights blank Tara Reid. What a painfully boring subplot…

Fortunately, the rest of the film is much better. It’s still a hoot to watch Jimbo get in embarrassing situations, and the advice he receives from his dad (Eugene Levy) is always priceless. I also really dig Finch; he’s got class. While a Jim might be jerking off to porn with a tube of, er, “lubricant” (you’ll see), Finch is actually mastering tantric sex, which enables one to stretch an orgasm to days! I also dig his interplay with nemesis Stifler, who’s a total jerk, but a farking hilarious one! Man, that guy doesn’t stop, he’s out to bone everything that moves, whatever the cost. In what might be the movie’s funniest scene, Finch, Jim and him stumble upon two babelicious lesbians who’ll put on a show for them, but only if they do so with each other first! Is Stifler ready to make out with a dude to see some hot lesbo action?

“American Pie 2” was written by Adam Hertz, who also penned the original, but the Weitz brothers didn’t come back to direct this time. J.B. Rogers is handling the sequel, and there’s not much to say about his work. He’s got a fairly long history as an assistant director, on the Farrelly brothers’ movies and the first “Pie” movie notably, and though he has no discernable style or anything, I guess he does a good enough job. Clear, bright shots, lots of current alt rock hits on the soundtrack (Alien Ant Farm, The Offspring, Weezer, etc.)… What really matters is that the film, while far from flawless, is consistently entertaining and delivers some big laughs and gratuitous nudity. Furthermore, like the original, it rises above most dumb comedies because of the affection the filmmakers clearly have for their characters. Humiliated as he might be through the film, Jason Biggs is given a predictable but touching romantic arc with Alyson Hannigan’s Michelle, the band geek who deflowered him in the first film and who now coaches him for his upcoming second go at it with Nadia. Can you guess whether he’ll end up with the beauty queen or with the cute sidekick? It’s sweet moments like this, maybe even more than the belly laughs, that makes this film better than the usual money-driven sequels.