The direct-to-video genre has one goal: show women with their shirts off. Really, that’s it, or at least that’s it when it comes to an American Pie Direct-to-Video remake/sequel films. The only returning cast member is Eugene Levy, and it seems he sleepwalks through these movies, happy to insulate his retirement funds, in what must be a day or two role. And in American Pie Presents: The Book of Love, you’ve got three friends (Kevin Horton, Bug Hall and Brandon Hardesty) and a character named Stifler (John Patrick Jordan) who go through the pains of falling love and having sex for the first time. My review of American Pie Presents: The Book of Love after the jump.
So there are the three dudes: the nearly-there guy, the one who’s ready to get with his female best friend, and the fat guy. Nathan (Kevin Horton) has a girlfriend, but she’s pledged herself to abstinence (even after having sex a couple of times), Rob (Bug Hall) is the one who’s the ostensible lead. He’s got a brother who keeps finding him in compromising sexual positions, a mom (Rosanne Arquette) who wants to be caring but always finds a way to make him uncomfortable, and a huge crush on the nice girl who he keeps blowing it with. Then there’s the fat guy Lube (Brandon Hardesty), who’s got a crush on a cheerleader, and everyone tells him he has no chance. Stifler shows up to get raped by a moose. Seriously, raped by a moose.
They find the book of love (it’s the book which instructs young men in their town on the ways of sexual pleasures from the first film), but accidentally destroy it, so they get in contact with Eugene Levy’s character, and track down all the men who helped write it. What’s interesting is that the film suggests the men provide contradictory information, and some of it sort of sleazy. That’s not to say some sleaze might not be appreciated, but it opens the door to the possibility that the book is a crutch, etc to which the boys will overcome by being themselves. But they don’t really go down that road, and that’s fair enough. Talking to the authors allows for a strange collection of cameos, including C. Thomas Howell, Christopher Knight, and Bret Michaels.
With a film like this, it’s really all about the nudity quotient, and for what it is, there appears to be a number of naked ladies who appear at decent enough intervals. Though the jokes are either forced or barely amusing, the cast seems to try – mostly – and the Canadian feel of it all (and it feels very shot in Canada) emphasizes that this is a modest effort. I can’t hate on a film like this for the very fact that it is the fourth direct to video sequel to the American Pie films. If you didn’t know what you were getting when you walked in the door, then who’s really to blame? Seriously, raped by a moose.
Universal presents the film on Blu-ray (no less) in anamorphic widescreen and DTS-HD 5.1 surround. This was shot for home video consumption so there’s no loss of quality. The disc contains both the R and unrated versions of the film, though the differences amount to two minutes of screen time. There are a collection of deleted scenes (11 min.), a gag reel (4 min.), ten “From the Set” pieces (19 min.) that offer variations on the dialogue, an “On the Set” behind the scenes piece (8 min.), and a “Just the Tips: The Love Manual” (6 min.) which offers dating tips from the cast. There’s an “American Pie Trivia” contest that the cast participates in (9 min.), and “American Pie-cons” (7 min.) which talks about the cameo players like Curtis Armstrong, Dustin Diamond, Tim Matheson, among others.