Wednesday, July 09, 2014

American Pie, 15 Years Ago Today

On July 9th, 1999, a teen movie came out that changed teen movies, American Pie. It was R rated, and I recall my friends and I expecting it to be R for language and what not. No, it was for nudity. It brought back the sex comedy with a side of raunch and breasts to theaters. There was a definite gap for nudity in films between the 1980s, that seemed to flash breasts non-stop, and then post-American Pie. It was incredibly successful, earning over $235 million on a $11 million budget. Compare this seniors in high school flick with Can't Hardly Wait. Pie had no names while Can't Hardly Wait had Jennifer Love Hewitt as the one name, but one grossed ten times as much as the other, and one is remembered. It is the one with all the sex jokes. By its success, Pie changed movies and broader culture for teenagers.

The least attractive one to the far left had the best career
How far back does 1999 and Pie feel? Not too far? Compare it to say Porky's from 1982, comparable gap 15 vs. 17 years, but that gap feels like light years. American Pie is surprisingly quaint as it is a retread of old themes with a bunch of high school seniors wanting to lose their virginity. Now it feels very quaint because if a senior is still a virgin I expect them to talk to me about Jesus. Was American Pie the first time you heard the word MILF? Women aspire to it today, and there is a huge genre of MILF porn out there. The teenage girls seem prudes in the film with what one would expect today. Shannon Elizabeth, playing a foreign exchange student, is exotic enough to shave downstairs. That is default today. I hear radio ads for waxing places where the average age of their customers' is 43. Hell, Jim has nudie magazines in his bedroom. He is not using his personal computer for porn. "Dad, what world is this? Tell me about the past?" This is 1999... it is just fifteen years ago. Thinking of this last paragraph, the time elapsed feels long now doesn't it?

Pie's sequel discussed things that might have been on the edge a little over a decade ago, anal sex, lesbianism, threesomes, but all are just Wednesday night on Tinder. Progress! I bring up the sequel, because it is a rare good sequel. These films are what they are, but the writing for the second one captured the home from freshman year in college incredibly well. The films spawned plenty of cut and paste imitators, including a parody or two of teen movies. The messages in them are all lame, pre-approved system programming so it is rebelling in a safe form. As a play on their title, there is something gone or nostalgic about the America represented. The movies were made probably in the last moment you could make a teen movie with all white kids. Jim being Jewish is the one exotic (irony being in Hollywood, the actor playing Jim is not Jewish). An American Pie today would be rainbow colored with a rainbow sexuality representative as well. At least we will have the Pie.

Female actresses are like NFL cornerbacks.


peppermint said...

this blogger is probably the son of Moldbug with an IQ of 10,000. There's literally no one else with consistently interesting things to say.

peterike said...

I've never seen "American Pie." I've never seen "Porkies." I don't generally like these sorts of films and I've missed a large number of these teen movies that "everybody" has seen. I haven't seen "The Hangover" either, far as that goes.

Though I did see "Animal House" so I'm not 100% hopeless, just 95%.

Interesting post anyway, as always.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Thanks guys and thanks for commenting.

Peterike - American Pie was huge for my peer group because we graduated from high school and went to college at the same time as the characters. Lots of life stage stuff, and whats weird is how much worse its become for hs/college culture.

nikcrit said...

15 years; this once-hipster chronicler of youth culture is getting old!
i recall having to write something about that flick, though it wasn't a review and i can't recall the exact angle. But i do recall that i wasn't looking forward to whatever it was..

When i see the title 'can't hardly wait,' i think of hte replacements song; not the movie..

nikcrit said...

I'm into the 'wiser' half of my 40s, and i'm barely old enough to remember the era where tne daily newspaper movie ads included drive-in ads, which used to be the home for the kind of later-era theater movies like 'Porkies' and 'American Pie.'
drive-thru titilaters such as 'Girls on Van Nuys Blvd.,' if i got the title straight, and 'Cherry High Delights,' are the images i summon when hearing about later-era teen-titilaters like the ones in your post.
Often, in a bit of American pop culture integration experimentation, you'd see white-'burb teenploitation at the drive-thrus running beside classic earlier 70s blackploitation stunners like 'Mandingo' and 'Blacula,' which were before my time to be first-run memories.

Actually, "Mandingo" was a bit more weighty than deserving of 'blackploitation' status; still trashy but in its own inimitable way, that one would be deserving of cinema-themed blog post of its own! lol!!

eah said...

The movies were made probably in the last moment you could make a teen movie with all white kids.

How sad is that? Very, because it's true. Or better, you could make an all white teen movie, but you'd have to be prepared to hear and take a lot of shit about it -- in CA, the movie-making capital, it's probably true that white kids are no longer even the largest group.

Never saw any of the movies you mention. Like another commenter, I'm more of the 'Animal House' and 'American Graffiti' generation.

PA said...

How sad is that? Very, because it's true.

Whites are ceding certain areas of the public sphere and quietly claiming other areas. Public schools is ceded to NAMs and private/homeschool is where Whites go. Mainstream pop, same thing; young Whites go vintage or Indie. Walmart out, local organic in.

Same with mainstream movies. They are now targeted to the global average IQ. Whites go elsewhere.

BTW, Mena Suvari looks insanely hot in that pic.

PA said...

"Animal House" was distilled Frankfurt School. On down to the red/white/and blue parade bleachers crashing down at the movie's climactic scene.

I had a fantastic comment on GLPiggy explaining this.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Pa - animal House was ethnics/jews mock wasp institutions, have fun as the cool misfits and every wasp is an asshole and wasp women are stiff prudes.

Check Suvari now. She aged well but hasnt done anything. Lots of beach pics with her looking good. Weird how her cqreer never took off with Pie and American Beauty.