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09th Jul 2024

Teenagers think American Pie is too ‘sexist’ and ‘offensive’ 25 years after its release

Charlie Herbert

It turns 25 today!

Teenagers have been sharing their thoughts on American Pie after watching the iconic 90s movie for the first time.

The genre of 90s teen comedies is a much-loved one, with films such as American Pie, Clueless and Dude, Where’s My Car? still enjoyed by many to this day, reminding them of simpler high school times before adult life kicked in.

But on repeat viewing – and through a modern-day lens – it’s safe to say they probably wouldn’t get made nowadays.

And today’s teenagers seem to back up this view.

When Vice showed a group of ‘woke teens’ American Pie for the first time, they labelled it “deeply problematic” and said it was “bordering on incel attitudes.”

The 1999 teen comedy is perhaps the height of raunchy coming-of-age (pardon the pun) American movies. For those of you who have never seen it, it tells the story of five high school seniors who make a pact to lose their virginity by graduation.

What follows is a predictably awkward and disastrous series of encounters and one particularly famous encounter with a pie.

The film was a huge hit and made $235m at the box office off a budget of just $11m.

But when shown to a group of 16 to 19-year-olds today, the reaction couldn’t have been much different.

One reviewer, 16-year-old Taylor, said the movie was “completely ridiculous”, and that she believes “men treat women with a lot more respect and equality now”.

Another, 17-year-old Hannah, said the scene where the male characters film a foreign exchange student getting changed in her room is “deeply problematic.” She criticised the film for not “even questioning the morality of doing this,” adding that there is “no way a teen film made now would allow it.”

Meanwhile, Olivia, 18, said that the way the male characters “think they deserve sex” was “bordering on incel attitudes.”

She said a teenage boy watching the film would “basically feel entitled to behave however you wanted to towards women.”

It’s not just these teens who had issues with the movie.

Author and columnist Sophia Benoit said the scene involving the student being filmed without their knowledge was “genuinely gross to watch.”

And even one of the stars of the film Shannon Elizabeth admitted the film would “be a problem” if it was made today.

Speaking on Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum earlier this year, she said: “If this had come out after the #MeToo movement, there would definitely be a problem.”

Referencing the scene where she is being streamed while undressing, she added: “I think that it would have gone down differently.”

Related links:

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Seth Rogen thinks no one has made a good high school movie since ‘Superbad’

Seann William Scott banked just $8,000 for role in American Pie