A-List: Raunchy Comedies
By Kim Hollis
May 26, 2011
The 40-Year-Old Virgin is, obviously, vulgar and crudely funny, but like most of the films on this list, the easily identifiable characters are what make the film work. We really care about Andy's awkward problem - and it's kind of nice that there's not really anything "wrong" with him other than a slight social awkwardness and tendency to collect super nerdy things. The humor comes from the situations that it's easy to imagine he'd find himself in - from speed dating to blind dates to painful, painful hair waxing. Carell is a delight in the role of Andy, as I strongly prefer him in these semi-sweet roles rather than the boisterously annoying and uncomfortable Michael Scott. If you feel the same, I strongly recommend Little Miss Sunshine and Dan in Real Life as well.
Here's a film that I had on the list, then took off the list, then put back on the list again. I think we all know why this one is here - think apple pie sex, MILF and band camp if you need a memory jogger. American Pie is sometimes rough around the edges due to the inexperience of its performers, but it's one of those teen flicks that manages to appeal to both dudes *and* chicks. The guys can laugh and knowingly nod at the experience of desperately trying to lose virginity (oh, and they can also ogle Shannon Elizabeth), while the ladies can smile at the youthful romances between Kevin/Vicky (Thomas Ian Nicholas/Tara Reid) and Oz/Heather (Chris Klein/Mena Suvari).
Of course, American Pie wouldn't be American Pie without Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott), the hyper-insensitive, rude jerk who is so annoying it's hard to believe the main characters would want to hang out with him. But everyone knew someone like that in high school, and Scott somehow manages to keep Stifler from being completely insufferable, which is critical when you realize that he's the breakout star of the film.
Above all, American Pie is packed lovable characters and is never mean-spirited the way so many films of the genre prove to be. It's far from perfect, but the ride (heh heh) is always a fun one. I'm sure Stifler's mom would agree.