American Pie 2
The 1999 sleeper hit American Pie wasn't particularly groundbreaking or original, but its infectious celebration of firsts (first loves, first friendships, and, to paraphrase the movie's dubious tag line, first pieces) and appealing teenage cast possessed an honesty and humor that was irresistible. Such unexpected charm rarely survives into a sequel, but the second helping of this cinematic dessert, while not quite as much fun as the first, isn't terribly disappointing either. The basic outline hasn't changed: Embarking on a summer at the beach, Jim (Jason Biggs) is still obsessed with his lack of experience in the sack; Stifler (Seann William Scott) is still an asshole; and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is still obsessed with Stifler's mom (Jennifer Coolidge). Some significant characters from the first film (Tara Reid's Vicky, Chris Klein's Oz, Mena Suvari's Heather, Thomas Ian Nicholas' Kevin) are relegated to nothing roles here, but several memorable bit players pick up the slack (most notably Alyson Hannigan, reprising her role as flute-wielding band geek Michelle). Marred only slightly by the expectations engendered by its predecessor, American Pie 2 is one of the few summer films that make you thankful for more than the air-conditioning in the theater.