Shannon Elizabeth, being a fellow Texan, should be well familiar with the down-home adage of "dancing with who brung ya." Now, if she'd also strip nekkid and take a long gander in that imported mirror-mirror on the ceiling, she'd be reminded of who, er, what brung her to the party otherwise known as fame. True, she's ENORMOUSLY talented, but that's thanks to Dow Corning and a two-for-one coupon at Doc Tatas. Not the Actor's Studio, or even that creep enamored with Bernhard Pivot. Sure it's her body, her career, but she shouldn't expect us NOT to groan when she starts in about not wanting to be "known as a T&A girl" after we've watched her engage in selfgratification at the multiplex and hump robots while squirting herself with whipped cream in skin magazines. That's how Cate Blanchett earned quality roles, right? Wanna be a respected, clothed actress? Fantastic! Just stop accepting sexpot paychecks for Scary Movie, Tomcats, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and a certain flick she promoted at the MTV Movie Awards in a TRANSPARENT TOP -- American Pie 2 (2001, 110 minutes, Unrated). That's more than she bares here, of course, seeing how basic cable and FILM are entirely different.
The movie: We rejoin the gang as they return home positively gloomy about having outgrown high school life after their freshmen years at college. Jim (Jason Biggs) remains lead goofus and obsessed with his insufficient sack time with anything warmer than his right hand. This issue becomes all consuming when geek-hungry exchange-babe Nadia (Elizabeth) phones in a long distance booty call, promising to diddle him senseless when she arrives at the summer's end. But Jimbo is certain his launch vehicle won't clear the pad without proper conditioning, so he resolves to spend the next weeks in preparation for his big chance at redemption, that and to have "the best summer ever" at a bitchin' lake house with buddies Finch, Oz, Kevin and rabid horndog Stifler (Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Chris Klein and Seann William Scott). For many viewers it'll seem like a summer that'll NEVER end with miss-and-miss antics like playing gay chicken in exchange for a lame lesbian peep show, getting whizzed on, or having a very public masturbatory mishap involving Super Glue. Most of the real teehees involve Finch's infatuation with Stiffler's Mom (Jennifer Coolidge) and his newfound devotion to Eastern spirituality. Also, Jimbo's misadventures take him to band camp in search of sexual savant Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) who now TEACHES flute rather than, well, you know. They may have forgotten to put in all the gratuitous sex and nekkidness, but at least the hijinks end with one LAST party -- wink, wink -- before the gang goes their separate ways. CineSchlockers might wonder why Tara Reid even bothered with this one, as she's far better as the toe-challenged porno vixen in The Big Lebowski where she brazenly uttered the immortal line, "I'll suck your c@#$ for a thousand dollars ... Brandt can't watch, though, or he has to pay a hundred." Roles like that just don't come along every day.
Notables: Four breasts. Awkward diddling. One monkey. Attempted phone sex. Volleyball footage. Purple pleasure device. Gratuitous urination (world champion for distance and duration). Lesbian tongue rasslin'. Blurry porno footage.
Quotables: Fewer than the extras section would have us believe. Finch provides Stiffler with a simple warning, "You touch me! I bite!" Jim's dad is always helpful, "Don't forget your penis cream!" Band camper Michelle emotes, "HOLY POTATOES!!!"
Time codes: Freeze-frame pervert's delight (4:52). Stiffler's lauded "I got pee'd on" gross-out scene (16:50). Jim seeks guidance from the flute diddler (27:22). First and only breastage (47:27). Ms. Elizabeth in a bikini (1:20:35).
Audio/Video: First-rate widescreen (1.85:1) transfer without reasonable fault. A separate fullframe release is also available for the narrow minded. Both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio for those who like to feel as though they're square in the middle of the jocularity.
Extras: The diseased minds over at Troma Entertainment once kicked around the notion of producing a spectacular special edition with intentionally excessive bonus materials for the worst possible flick they could find within their considerably low-brow vaults. Looks like the majors are beating them to it by loading up box office underachievers with gobs of alleged goodies in an effort to snowball the home video market. Perhaps a prime example would be this sucker, as the riotous five-minute gag reel is FAR funnier than the actual 110-minute extended yuks cut. We've also got FOUR commentaries by the director, writer, cast and a confused stoner who really digs Don McLean (CineSchlockers will likely prefer the solitary Finch-esque musings of Eddie Thomas over the giddy squawking of Mena Suvari). "Baking American Pie 2" featurette (24 mins). Clips from the gang's original casting reels -- mislabeled as being for AP2 (6 mins). Very forgettable deleted scenes (10 mins). Cast-goofing-off reel (5 mins). 3 Doors Down "Be Like That" music video. Fan-favorite scenes from both films. Soundtrack highlights. "Classic" quotes. Cast info. Theatrical trailer with zany Biggs intro. At least one easily discovered Easter egg. DVD-ROM doodads. Animated menus with audio. Printed insert with production notes.
Final thought: Enough laughs to garner a cautionary nod of approval for extreme fans of the original. Those who insist on NUDITY in their sex comedies should look elsewhere. Recommended.
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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.