A sex comedy with a heart? Say goodbye to pure harmless raunch -- American Pie, despite its gleefully gross sense of humour and obsession with all that is libidinous, actually also hides a real sensitivity behind all the naughty jokes and embarrassing situations.
Much like Fast Times at Ridgemont High but to an even greater extent, American Pie makes you laugh by daring to put its characters in the most ear-reddening of situations. Jason Biggs deserves a hand for diving into those situations with pizazz while also keeping the character likeable, somebody you can relate to. Porky's certainly didn't have that. An instantly appealing cast (Chris Klein, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Eugene Levy) with a couple of great comic gems in their midst (the pitch-perfect Natasha Lyonne, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hanigan) keep things interesting throughout, and the script -- despite its three-week-old-apple-pie premise -- manages to achieve a freshness and wacky sense of humour.
Some characters are underdeveloped -- especially choirgirl Heather (Suvari), Stifler (Seann William Scott) and Nadia (Elizabeth) -- but with so much going on all the time, and such an appealing cast of characters across the board, that can be forgiven.
American Pie manages to evoke pathos along with laughter, and therein lies its greatest strength. When Vicky (Reid) says, "I realized nothing's perfect", the filmmakers sympathize with her. As it does with all the other high schoolers in the movie.
View it with an eye on the people behind the caricatures and you'll be rewarded beyond the movie's dirtier jokes.