American Pie comes to us from another era. Before 9/11. Before Judd Apatow found huge success and changed comedy movies. Before we figured out that we didn't really like Jason Biggs all that much after all.
It's a sweet movie, tempering its (for the time) raunchiness with lots of honest understanding about being a white middle class boy in the decade that brought us the End of History. It's the funniest of the series, and it's the best. And most of all it's the movie that put MILF into the national lexicon.
It's also so very, very 90s. The soundtrack is a nightmare of bands that came in the degenerate final days of 'alt-rock.' Nobody has a cell phone. Jim's trying to watch scrambled porn on TV. Shannon Elizabeth is in it. Tara Reid is still composed of flesh.
This week the leads from this film return to screens in American Reunion. Let's try to remember them as they were - full of promise, not already used up and washed out.
By the way, here's something I've always been confused by: why is this movie named after a 1970s Don McLean song that's a nostalgia piece for the 1950s?