‘American Pie Presents: Girls’ Rules – It’s About Time
It took nine American Pie movies to get one from the girls’ point of view. Better late than never? American Pie Presents: Girls’ Rules gives teenaged girls a raunchy comedy, the first since The House Bunny maybe. Neighbors 2 sort of was, but the sorority still had to share their film with the grown-ups and the fraternity. Blockers also split between the girls and the parents.
Girls’ Rules is really American Pie: The Next Generation. This cast is so great, they should get lots and lots of sequels too.
‘Girls’ Rules’ make a better pact than ‘American Pie’
To be fair to the 1999 original American Pie, a group of high school seniors making a pact to lose their virginity validated the universal truth that high school guys have always tried to get laid. 21 years later, we are hopefully more evolved, and the American Pie franchise has evolved with the times.
Annie (Mattison Pettis)’s boyfriend Jason (Zayne Emory) is going to college at Michigan State. Kayla (Piper Curda) keeps snooping on her boyfriend Tim (Cameron Engels)’ phone so he breaks up with her. Michelle (Natasha Behnam) has been pleasuring herself with JFK fantasies and Stephanie Stifler (Lizze Broadway) is bold enough to blackmail her groping principal and get him fired.
It’s senior year at East Great Falls so the four girls make a pact to have sex by Homecoming. However, they make three rules: 1) to find love, 2) to support each other and 3) to hold each other accountable when they’re sabotaging themselves. That’s a much healthier version of the virginity pact. Of course, best laid plans don’t factor in human emotions so they are tested.
Each girl meets new guy Grant (Darren Barnet) independently, and don’t know at first that all four of them have set sights on the same guy. These are familiar teen movie situations but at every confrontation, a character makes a healthier more progressive choice. Not just women, Grant too.
Stephanie Stifler is the best Stifler
Stephanie Stifler may be the best Stifler. Steve Stifler will always be the original, and we’ve met Matt and Erik in sequels. Stephanie hosts all the cool East Great Falls parties and plays lacrosse like her namesake. She has wonderful physical energy and fawns over hot guys, but she also has emotion. Stephanie’s emotions are more organic than they tried to give Steve Stifler in American Wedding.
Best of all, Stephanie stands up to misogynists. Brett McCormick (Lucas Adams) makes up stories about her sex life. Stephanie tells him off and warns him about non consensual groping. Stephanie may be brash, but she’s not wrong.
Pie’s got nothing on ‘Girls’ Rules’ sex comedy
Girls’ Rules is still a sex comedy. Pies do make an appearance but they are not the victims of outrageous comedy. The embarrassing sex scene set pieces are a bit less humiliating for women than they were to the game Jason Biggs in four movies. These sex farces revolve around women successfully fulfilling their needs, or practicing safe sex, yet they are still comic mishaps.
The American Pie movies were great, and have aged better than ’80s sex comedies like Revenge of the Nerds. But how remarkable that after years of talk about slut shaming and possessive guys, in 2020 a straight to video American Pie sequel finally changed course. That’s legitimate progress, and Girls’ Rules shows you can have just as much fun without disrespecting people.