Eugene Levy & American Pie

I haven’t seen an American Pie film since the first one. At the time, it was pretty amusing (certainly had its moments) and most people who saw it had good things to say about Eugene Levy in it.

Now AP is a franchise with lots of films (seven according to IMDB’s Levy trivia page and I’m not sure if it counts the one I just saw a preview for… something about reconstructing a “sex bible”) which I’m guessing are of… less quality than the first. But Levy seems to be in all of these. Out of curiousity and because I’ll never see these film, is Eugene Levy actually acting in these films or is he totally phoning it in? Is his role in these films something where you’d say “Man, that film sucked but Eugene Levy was pretty funny…”?

I ask this realizing that, like Christopher Walken, Eugene Levy largely acts by playing the part of Eugene Levy. This is coming from someone who enjoys Levy’s performances in the Christopher Guest films but I gotta admit to what’s true.

Edit: Apparently it does include “American Pie VII: Book of Love”

To the very limited degree that I follow these (I’ve only seen the first two in their entirety), since his kid grew up and moved away I wonder how they justify his character continuing to interact with a bunch of sexually precocious teenagers?

All I can say about Eugene Levy is working actor.

I only saw the first “American Pie” movie, but am just chiming in to say that I think that Eugene Levy was absolutely excellent in both “Waiting For Guffman” and “Best In Show”.

Those two films were both full of great comic performances, but Eugene Levy was exceptionally funny in his roles, while still making the viewer cringe in sympathy for him…

From what I’ve seen of the later films (I’ve caught bits and pieces on Comedy Central), he’s probably the best thing about them, though that’s not saying a whole lot. For the most part he’s just phoning it in and it’s pretty apparent that the only reason he’s there is to collect a paycheck.

Actually I think a better display of his talent – not playing himself – was in a different Guest film: his performance as Mitch in A Mighty Wind. Mitch was a burned out guy with not-so-hidden anger and a somewhat disturbingly quiet, still manner. Yet he showed deep love for Mickey (Catherine O’Hara). A great acting job.

Crikey. I thought American Pie 2 was just as good as the original, though American Pie 3 was starting to get kinda dumb. Are they really up to American Pie VII?

There’s a Don McLean joke in there somewhere.

In Band Camp he was a camp counselor, in Naked Mile & Beta House he was an alumus, and in Book of Love he’s a carpet salemen and is revealed to be the author of titular book. The last film is crap by the way.

The later movies are formulaic teen sex comedies with the ‘American Pie presents’ tag slapped on. You will not love Book of Love or Beta House the way you loved American Pie. Just like you don’t love National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze like you love Animal House or Vacation.

Yeah, Mitch was fucked up, and those of us Of a Certain Age knew people like him. Mine was, given his descriptions of what was done to him, an MK Ultra (yes, campers, it was real, not some crazy conspiracy theory) cast aside who started too schizo to be in the program.

Eugene Levy is the perfect character actor for these kinds of films; he is the well-meaning, but clueless adult nerd.
I think lots of kids are embarrassed by their parents - especially with regards to dads - and Levy is the epitome of the father who means well, but will make any kid die in embarrassment to be seen in public - especially by his friends - with dad.
That is what makes him so funny, because everyone knows at least one kid who had a dad like that growing up.

Band Camp sucked - Beta House was surprisingly hilarious. The major characters in Beta House were different from the other American Pie movies, more relatable and real-seeming, and better acted. The older Stifler cousin, Dwight, played by a complete unknown, Christian Bale lookalike Steve Talley (I love his “alternate name”: Tristan Alejandro Chodeworthy) was particularly entertaining and he was a more mature, sarcastic, smooth character than what the American Pie movies generally have. I think it was probably written and directed by a different group of people because it seems like a totally separate movie with the American Pie name tacked on.

Absolutely true. I’ve never been a big Levy fan but he really impressed me in that movie.

As for the other American Pie movies… I was going to say he’s probably getting paid well for easy work, but Wikipedia says that after the first movie, he signed a contract to do three more for a total of $10,000. So I guess he just wanted to do it.

FWIW, Levy has co-writer credits on all the Christopher
Guest movies he played in. Super!