The Sounds Of Checks Cashing: New American Pie Film Is On The Way.
Well, it finally happened. Film in the United States has officially hit rock bottom. We’re in the depths of a cultural nadir so deep, I don’t know if anything can save us. It was a horrendous summer of movies, highlighted by the creative team behind the Hangover Part II queuing up the Word Document from the first film and replacing all references to “baby” with “monkey” and moving the setting from Las Vegas to Thailand. The fact that the original Hangover was actually a fairly original, entertaining film made the whole moneygrabbing process all the more depressing.
The rest of the summer gave us mediocre superhero films (Captain America, Thor, X-Men First Class), another nostalgia-crushing trip through the Transformers universe, a live-action Smurfs movie whose single-joke premise was to use the word “smurf” as a fill-in for every word in the English language (Screenwriter: I really smurfed up this script. Should we rewrite this and try to make it, you know, better? Producer: No, that’ll do), and the deplorable creation that was The Change-Up. Were it not for a decent comedy (Bridesmaids) and a film about a group of apes taking over San Fransico, the summer would have been completely devoid of even serviceable films.
Then, we had what’s widely considered one of the worst “award seasons” in recent memory, culminating with The Artist winning Best Picture. I’ll admit that I didn’t see this film, so I can’t really comment on its “artistic” merits (see what I did there?). Some of the other prestige pieces—The Descendants, Drive, War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close—were all pretty underwhelming, which kind of sucks because I feel like this year really need a great film to come along. If anyone actually watched the Oscars this year, the blatant theme was about how awesome it is to go to the movies. It’s a good sentiment, and I understand why every person who got up on stage mentioned something about “the magic of the movies.” However, even for people who consider themselves serious film fans, it’s hard to really get excited about this stuff.
It’s even harder to be excited about film when it’s pretty obvious that the idea well in Hollywood has run dry. All of which brings us to the point of this rant: the trailer for American Pie: The Reunion. Take a few seconds to look at this:
If you’ve managed to steer clear of the American Pie series, congratulations. The first one came out way back in 1999, and was a huge hit. I was 12 at the time, but naturally this movie was huge among the kids in my grade, so like the sheep that I was, I watched it. Multiple times. I thought it was dumb, but I did my best to pretend to laugh at the film’s idiotic characters, awkward sex-scenes, etc. They’ve since put out 2 more theatrical films and about 35 direct-to-DVD releases.
At this point, the people involved with American Pie clearly have no interest in anything like “making a decent movie” “integrity” or “putting out a high-quality product.” Which is really what bothers me about the whole thing. None of the actors involved in the original film have gone on to do anything of note (with the possible exception of Sean William Scott). Writers David Stenberg and Adam Herz, have only written American Pie and its multiple sequels. So it’s only natural that these people turn to the one piece of pop culture they have had success in and attempt to replicate that success by making the exact same movie over again.
What’s really frustrating to me is that people will go see this movie. One of the things I’ve come to accept in recent years is that, when it comes to movies (and music, and television), people are idiots. They would much rather shell out $10.50 to see American Pie 13 than go see something original. It’s depressing.
I wish there was some way to prosecute the people behind this abomination in court. Perhaps someone could sue them for consumer fraud. What we need is a commission in Hollywood whose sole purpose is to read over scripts and screen them for similarities to other movies within that franchise. If the script proves too similar, it doesn’t get made. Good idea, huh?