It’s been two decades now since American Pie came out, and you can still freely admit that it was insanely funny since there’s no law saying you can’t enjoy it still. But there are plenty of people such as Jake Hall from Indy100 that seem to agree that this couldn’t be made today and rightly so. It’s true, the movie is sexist and carries a few ideas that might seem cringe-worthy and not able to be brought into a world that’s now in the post-MeToo throes, but so many people seem to deny the idea of comedy these days in favor of getting offended that it becomes a massive argument over why some folks think the movie is horrible and others think that it’s a classic that’s indicative of the times. Of course some of the material in the movie wouldn’t be acceptable today, people get offended at the slightest thing that ‘triggers’ some innate vulnerability that somehow picks and chooses its time to appear. If that sounds cynical there’s a good reason for it, we currently live in a PC culture where a lot of people are almost afraid to speak half the time because they’re afraid of being sued for harassment or called a racist, bigot, misogynist, and many other unflattering names no matter if they simply agree with the idea that the movie is funny.
What’s funny about this is that the one scene in the movie, among the many, that people would no doubt have a huge problem with comes when Nadia, played by Shannon Elizabeth, is stripping down to her underwear in Jim’s room and is pleasuring herself while looking at his porn magazines. Unbeknownst to Jim he’s accidentally added the entire school directory to the online viewing opportunity being provided by his webcam, which would be a huge no-no in a post-MeToo world. So yes, it is voyeurism on a huge scale that would be taken as harassment and, in some people’s minds, rape, despite the fact that nothing really happened. The intent would probably be the biggest issue, but as we all remember, Jim was unable to do anything but squirm and ultimately disappoint as he suffered the one thing that a lot of men see as a fate worse than death when they’re with a beautiful woman, premature ejaculation. Simply saying it might cause some readers to look away with reddened cheeks, but back then it was absolutely hilarious. Even more amusing is what Lindsey Kupfur from Page Six wrote concerning Shannon’s take on the movie. She loved it, especially since it helped to elevate her career in a big way. The fact that it made her into a sex symbol didn’t even factor into the negativity that would come later, as she was elated to find herself getting one job after another. And on top of that, her parents were on set and thankfully she didn’t have to do anything more than she did, which a lot of parents might still agree would be hard to deal with.
Quite honestly it seems that we as a nation have forgotten what humor was all about. The rules that didn’t seem as strict back then, even in the 90s, have been ripped up and re-written by those that seem to take offense from the slightest thing that comes along. American Pie was a product of the times, it was sexist and disturbing in a few ways, but the manner in which the material was presented was nothing but funny. Those that blast the movie are somehow looking at it through a lens that’s going to catch every single little perceived flaw, every little tidbit that’s going to offend, and yet it would seem that if any of them let their guard down for even a second they would laugh uproariously at the movie since they wouldn’t be able to help themselves. To be honest it would be best if this movie never gets a reboot since by the time it finally got brought to the big screen it would be stripped of just about everything that made it special and would become a milquetoast version of the movie that was brought to the audience two decades ago.
MeToo was supposed to make things better for women, to give men a wake-up call that they needed in order to change, but it’s being expanded in a way that has quickly grown to encompass movies, TV shows, and anything else that can be criticized when in truth there’s NOTHING that can be done about it. In a way the MeToo movement is now starting to remind us of the past as though to admonish us about trying to bring back the old ways, when in truth there’s no way that any director would even think about making such a movement. Some folks might have you believe that MeToo has made things better, but in truth it’s attempting to strip away the joy we felt when movies like this were made.