I wish Blink 182 and other punk-lite bands had provided the soundtrack for my teenage years. If the American Pie series is any indication I would have had a lot more awkward and zany sexual escapades. As it was I had Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and there was probably too much flannel, bong-water drinking and general brooding to inspire a hilarious teen sex comedy such as this.
Look at the talent discovered here: Jason Biggs, Sean William Scott, the ChrisKleinBot3000 …okay, on second thought that's maybe not that impressive, but at least most of them are still finding work. I mean, where's the cast of Zapped today? Exactly. I also love how Willow from Buffy subverts her TV geeky meek-y character with a surprise turn at the end (it's easy to forget what a great shocking joke that was when this first came out – I have never heard a cinema audience laugh that hard at anything – and yes Thomas J, that includes Scary Movie ) and she's so gosh darn cute too. Biggs has some great comic timing for a newcomer, and the ChrisKleinBot3000, fresh from the Keanu Reeves acting summer school, is, ahem, well-suited to his jock role, although to be fair he does gets stuck with the unfunny chick friendly sensitive role, parodied to perfection in Not Another Teen Movie , while it's just plain impossible to take Tara Reid seriously when she is playing a virgin.
But it is Eugene Levy who owns this film as ‘Jim's Dad'. The man should change his name to Eugene Levity, as it is his presence that ensures this raunchy teen flick is elevated above all other competitors, old and new. Each of his frank and earnest birds'n'bees talks are cringe comedy at its finest, but just a few of the great gags in a script that is well-thought out gold, grafting the routine teen coming-of-age story onto some genuinely hilarious risqué set-ups.
Interestingly when you think about it, the sequence where they film sexy exchange student Nadia and broadcast her nakedness over the Internet is not only an illegal offence in real life, but technically kiddie porn, is it not? It's also one of funniest parts of the film and possible one of the most memorable scenes in teen comedy history. And let's not forget the revelation of the Asian M.i.l.f. guy, who if nothing else should be fondly recalled as the man who introduced M.i.l.f. into the common vernacular. Young mothers getting harassed everywhere thank you.
While the coming-of-age undercurrent (the serious bits) used to really irk me - as I used to think they were too to heavy-handed and just got in way of the comedy - I appreciate them more on a nostalgic level now that I'm nearly ten years out from high school myself. Not that my school experience was anything like this. Bong water and flannel, remember?