Review: 'American Pie' spinoff 'Girls Rule' an admirable sex positive comedy
Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Look, nobody taking the time to invest in the direct to video spinoff: “American Pie: Girls Rule” is expecting anything less than decent. There isn’t much here beyond scatlogical sight gags, riffs on what made the original “American Pie” DNA work, and plenty of sex, but I suppose that’s the point. There is something satisfying about the females getting the limelight in a franchise dominated by horny, angsty, men, and director Mike Elliot, along with co-writers Blayne Weaver and David H. Steinberg, managed to deliver their fair share of laughs.
In layman's terms, “Girls Rule” is essentially the opposite sex version of “American Pie,” it follows a squad of thirsty BFF’s: Annie (Madison Pettis), Stephanie Stifler (Lizze Broadway), Michelle (Natasha Behnam) and Kayla (Piper Curda) and their quest to lose their virginities senior year of high school. In true, “American Pie” fashion, it doesn’t come without some crude hijinks that leaves our characters vulnerable. How many instances can someone be in the middle of a private, intimate, moment and a parent/grandparent wanders in unannounced? The situational irony is something this franchise has perfected over the years, and it still, against my better judgement, makes me laugh every time. Even if Elliot and the writers do minimal to tweak the formula: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“Girls Rule” main tactic is to show that girls want to have sex and their pleasure is just as important as men, which is admirable considering most sex comedies harbor women as objects. Not to say men and women aren’t sexualized, this is an “American Pie” film and when Grant (Darren Barnet) enters the picture as the obligatory hot kid who just moved from out of town, the girl squad wastes no time pouncing on him like a cheetahs in the Amazon. This becomes an agonizing subplot as each character tries to beat Grant into submission. Literally.
Most of the “American Pie” spin offs have been less than ideal, nor have they found their place in the pathos of great sequels (sadly, I’ve seen them all) but “Girls Rule” is the first to offer a fresh look on an outdated franchise. It’s dumb, silly, and, at times, painful to endure, but the solid cast - especially Pettis and Broadway - and sex positive message, make the film apporachable, which for a sequel that literally nobody wanted is the best case scenario.
AMERICAN PIE: GIRLS RULE releases on digital Tuesday October 6th followed by a debut on Netflix later in the year.