Every generation has a movie that acts as a mirror that reflects that generation’s culture and identity. Sometimes, it’s not even just one movie but a series of movies. For guys like me, who were teenagers in the 90s, for better or for worse, our movie was American Pie. From the clothes, the dialogue, even the soundtrack was definitive of that period of time. The first American Pie movie came out in 1998, and was initially about four friends who make a pact to lose their virginities before they graduated high school. In their quest to live up to that pact, hilarity ensues. After several installments, I look fondly at those movies that, granted, were not exactly the zenith of filmmaking and not even the height of wit, but in its own way, it tells a story that people my age can definitely relate to. Here are a few reasons why, on a personal level, the “American Pie” series holds a very special place in my heart, and DVD shelf.
When the first American Pie came out, as mentioned, the characters were about to graduate high school. So was I. Me and my friends were the same age as the characters in the movie, and the characters themselves remind me of specific friends (more on that later). With every additional installment of the movie, I always felt that the characters were growing with me, going through the same stuff I was going through. American Pie had the characters deal with finally letting go of their childhood. American Pie 2 saw the characters reunite after a year in college, having to live with the fact that their “glory days” are over. American Pie 3 saw the first wedding among their circle of friends. Then there’s American Reunion, the fourth official movie in the series, and it was shown a decade after the first one, with every character now an adult, attending their high school reunion. The release dates of those movies coincided with what me and my friends, and what many people my age were going through, dealing with change, marriage, adulthood, not living up to your full potential, learning how complicated love and relationships truly are, all of that, we were going through it the same way Jim and his friends were.
They are us.
As I alluded to early, the characters represented my friends so well. There’s the perennial loser Jim, with the clueless dad and bad luck with women and sex. Oz, the good looking athlete with a surprisingly kind heart. Kevin, the one with the big ideas and plans. Finch, the eccentric intellectual. And Stifler, the worst possible person in the world but happens to be your friend. Even the supporting characters were relatable to me. The nerd girl, the hottest chick in school, the loyal girlfriend, the feminist, the two guys in school that are always together (the MILF duo), the geek that no one likes (“The Shermanator”), ask anyone from my generation and they know a specific person that fits those characteristics.
While the American Pie series comes from a different time, a time that was less politically correct, it was still the time that me and the most important people in my life belonged. So, I’m going to go watch American Reunion again, and think about happy I am to have found the best possible friends a guy can have growing up.
Watch American Reunion (also known as American Pie 4: Reunion or American Pie: Reunion) this coming June 09, 2017, 8:00 PM!
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