Easily the best slice of pie since number 2. It has its faults but a lot funnier than expected.
PLOT AND STORY
The easiest way to describe this movie is a cross between a remake and a reboot of the original. Four high school seniors make a pact to all have sex by prom, sound familiar? That’s because it’s exactly the same premise to the original it’s just had a few minor details altered.
I am not normally a fan of remakes but I’m not classing this as a remake because technically it isn’t. Much like Star Wars Force Awakens was basically the same movie as Star Wars A New Hope it wasn’t actually a remake but a brand new movie which retains the original as cannon and plays homage to it throughout. Girls Rules follows the same path by using a proven formula to construct the movie for a modern audience. The biggest change being the fact that it’s a story about four girls rather than four guys.
The plot isn’t a deep and meaningful story about a group of young girls growing into women. This is a classic early 2000’s style popcorn comedy about high school kids trying to get laid and fall in love. It doesn’t have the class of Booksmart or the witt of The Edge of Seventeen but surprisingly it does have all the charm of the original American Pie series.
You can tell the screenplay was written by men because I find it very hard to believe high school girls talk or act like this and it’s here the movie may lose its female audience. That being said Blayne Weaver and David H. Steinberg knows how to write a funny story and must have a fandom for the original movies as it’s layered with tons of references and homages.
Yes the plot is predictable, yes some of the situations and dialogue are unrealistic but, and this is a big but, I think this is the funniest movie I have seen in 2020. It’s easily the funniest and most entertaining Pie movie since the second and certainly deserving of a sequel.
PRODUCTION AND DIRECTION
Let’s cut straight to it, comedy and especially low brow comedy movies are never going to make headlines with its cinematography or direction. What this movie does have is bags charm and style with a great soundtrack.
Modern alt rock and pop music layer the story much like the original movie. Blink 182 and Sum 41 have been replaced with people like Tatiana De Maria, SJae and Kali J. There is a very special song in the build up to prom night which is a direct reference to the original and built up a genuine feeling of nostalgia to Jim, Kevin, Finch, Oz and Stiffler getting ready for their big night.
In line with all the other movies in the franchise Girls Rules has picked a young and unknown cast. This time round I must praise the head of casting because this group are not only talented but actually fits their characters personalities really well.
The four characters at the heart of the new film (Annie, Kayla, Michelle and Stephanie) are all newcomers to the franchise.
Annie is played by Madison Pettis (Cory in the House), who is a former Disney Channel star, while Kalya is portrayed by fellow Disney Channel stalwart Piper Curda (I Didn’t Do It).
Meanwhile the role of Michelle is taken on by Natasha Behnam, who has previously appeared on an episode of crazy Ex-Girlfriend, while perhaps the most outwardly notable part – that of Stephanie Stifler – is played by Lizze Broadway (Here and Now).
Playing a Stifler is arguably the hardest role in an American Pie movie because it’s the most recognisable name following Sean William Scott’s breakout performance in the original as Steven Stifler. With the exception of Steve Talley who I think did a decent job in Beta house, no other actor has delivered a performance worthy of being called Stifler, until now. Lizze Broadway is fantastic as Stephanie Stifler. She has the trademark over confidence and arrogance but delivers it with belief and sincerity.
The cast also includes Never Have I Ever star Darren Barnet as Grant, Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s Zachary Gordon as Emmet and 2 Broke Girls star Ed Quinn as Kevin.
The final and most notable cast member was the Principle played by Sara Rue (Rules of Engagement, The Rookie). She takes on the Jim’s Dad role in this movie offering awkward parental advice in troubling times. Rue brings a touch of class to the movie in the same way Eugene Levy did in his 7 previous performances. This in fact being the first American Pie movie Levy has not appeared.
I did not expect to like this movie but as a fan of the franchise I was always going to watch it. After a number of failed spin offs and a very poor Reunion I feared the American Pie name was dead. I was very pleasantly surprised to laugh as much as I did at Girls Rules and can genuinely say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Therefore I plead with people don’t listen to the hate, ignore the poor reviews and give this movie a chance. Remember when it was ok for movies to just be a goofball comedy and didn’t need to make a statement. So just relax, take it slow and let the good times roll.
I watched this via Sky store and received no incentive to review this movie.