American Pie 2 (2001)

In a rare show of rebellion, a few weeks after my 14th birthday I went to the cinema to watch the 15 certificated film American Pie: The Wedding. My upbringing wasn't deliberately sheltered, but holy moly were my eyes opened to a world of teen angst that I had yet to experience.

Naturally, the first two parts in the franchise were on my watch list fairly swiftly afterwards (err, for "completeness") and thus, with my first three tastes of Pie, my childhood innocence was broken.

American Pie 2 follows the four lovesick friends - Jim, Kevin, Finch and Oz - as they come back from their first year of college and decide to head to a beach house to throw a massive party to end the summer. Each has their own love problem - Jim hears old crush Nadia is coming to visit, Kevin lusts after ex-girlfriend Vicky, Finch can't forget that night with Stifler's Mom and Oz's girlfriend Heather is studying abroad. Meanwhile, to help pay the rent on the house, the group invite Stifler along for the ride.

There are a great many teen films that rely heavily on vulgar humour for cheap laughs - and look no further than when the series became American Pie Presents... - and while American Pie 2 has elements of that - especially in Seann William Scott's "Stifler" - it never feels as through it crosses a forbidden boundary.

That's not, by any means, to say the film is completely innocent. By the very definition of a "teen comedy" it is impossible to ignore that the women are objectified. However, it is also true that the women have their own backstories and their own personal problems, but that the story is just focusing on sex and relationships.

While I've clearly grown up in the 21 years since this film was released, as a nostalgia trip revisiting and identifying with the characters and music that I grew up with, American Pie 2 will always have a special place in my heart.

4 stars