In 1999, comedic actor Jason Biggs made a name for himself having intercourse with pastry. American Pie paved the way for a new era of raunchy sex comedies and now, nearly two decades later, Biggs is still making the same type of movie. Typecast and hungry for cash, the (seemingly) one-note actor is back in yet another piece of mindless ribald fare. Amateur Night is Biggs’ latest and while it is a relatively uninspired romp, it will probably make you chuckle here and there while definitely evoking some deja vu. Ever since American Pie, movies like Amateur Night have made their way to late night cable and most likely to your Netflix queue.
The teen dramedy reigned supreme in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Films like Bring it On, American Pie and pretty much anything on the WB television channel were perfect representations of what young audiences craved. However, in recent years the teen dramedy has matured and undergone a bit of a transformation. Now, independent filmmakers are tackling the genre and adding significant amounts of grit to stories about young people. Perhaps the internet boom is partly responsible for this but this once thriving genre is now pretty much nonexistent. The new film At the Top of the Pyramid, while flawed and clichéd, does offer a few nostalgic nods to the time in which bubblegum pop films were all the rage.
In recent years, the teen sex comedy has become close to extinct. Quality writing and memorable performances in this genre have decreased and the much of the cinematic output been restricted to direct-to-DVD garbage and late night cable/Netflix fodder. Not Cool sadly follows in this vein and attempts to recreate some of the comedic magic and allure of American Pie and even Superbad but it is a lackluster attempt at best. Sure, there are a few decent jokes scattered throughout and the story is a tried and true formula of romantic complication but it is a film that tries way too hard with very little payoff.