A lot has changed since the first “American Pie” movie came out in 1999. The latest superfluous installment in the series, “American Pie Presents: Girls’ Rules” follows the sexual escapades of teenagers who are the right age to be the children of the generation that buried their penises in pie.
This time, girls run the show. Directed by Mike Elliott, the movie follows Annie (Madison Pettis), a high school senior who is desperate to lose her virginity. Annie is supported in her quest by a gaggle of libidinous and high-achieving girlfriends who have made a pact to only date boys who are worthy of their time. Their search for the perfect partner turns up only one obvious candidate, Grant (Darren Barnet), the handsome and humble son of the school’s new principal.
Most of the film’s plot revolves around the girls’ schemes to snag a snog with Grant, but what’s surprising is how quaint and wholesome the entire arrangement is. Yes, there are expected experiments with dental dams, remote controlled vibrators and even pegging. But these girls are ultimately looking for nice boys to join them for consensual and emotionally rewarding sex.
If the first “American Pie” movie drew energy from the immature thrill of watching adults pretend to be teenagers pretending to be bad, the new movie carries none of the mischievous pleasure. The original “American Pie” was tasteless; this version is flavorless.
What this warmed-over sequel does provide is a naked demonstration of the changes in sexual politics since the 1990s. Humiliation is less of a kink for these kids than in generations past, and consent is a requirement, not a coincidence.