Who Wrote the Book of Love
10 Years and more sequels than you expect and we come full circle with "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love" or "American Pie 7" as it is also known. "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love" is another of these straight to DVD "American Pie Presents" movies which although are definitely inferior to the original "American Pie" have up to now been mildly entertaining, especially "American Pie Presents Beta House". But sadly having gone full circle and placing the story back in East Great Falls High School with 3 new teenagers desperate to lose their virginity "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love" is a step backwards, mildly amusing in places but lacking originality.
After an accident which causes the library to flood at "East Great Falls" Rob (Bug Hall), a desperate hapless teenager discovers the infamous bible, the book of love full of sex tips. Along with his two equally desperate friends, Nathan (Kevin M. Horton) and Lube (Brandon Hardesty), they try to use the knowledge to fulfil their desires and get laid. But in the accident the book was damaged and the tips are incomplete and so their quest to lose their virginity doesn't run smoothly as they try and track down the originator of the bible to try and rebuild it.
It's hard to know where to start when it comes to "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love" because it has a lot of problems but the storyline is probably the biggest of them. It really wasn't a good idea to take us back to East Great Falls High School and introduce us to a new bunch of teenagers wanting to pop their cherries because it's too comparable to the original. In fact a lot of the movie feels like a rehash of the original from story elements right through to gags and set pieces. For at least the first half of "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love" it feels like an inadequate clone which is highlighted by the opening sequence which sees a young man being caught on video by his younger brother humping a peanut butter sandwich whilst the dog joins in. It's not just that scene which feels like it has been too influenced by the original as we get parties and body fluid gags following that, all of which are far too familiar and unoriginal.
Even the discovery of the infamous book of love, used by Kevin in the original movie, doesn't help to take "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love" in any really new direction with tired predictable set piece scenes following closely on from each other. It's not until we get to the last 20 minutes and Eugene Levy as Mr. Levenstein appears that the movie actually manages to start feeling a little bit fresh and funny.
Adding to the issues is that all the humour, most understandably based around sex and nudity, has a feeling off being too forced. Scenes where girls get naked are thrown at us in a form of dream sequences and have that feeling of being chucked in because it is what expected rather than actually adding to the storyline. But it's again the fact that a lot of the jokes draw on too much from the original, which is again highlighted in a scene where a new foreign exchange student claims to be Nadia's, yes Nadia from the original, younger sister and to prove it gets naked.
Adding to the issues on the humour front is Scott Stifler, played by John Patrick Jordan, who lacks that naturalness and caustic put downs of the original Stifler. It feels unnatural, forced and often unfunny especially when the gags end up too far fetched.
But the issues don't stop there and adding to the problems are the 3 main characters. Thankfully they are not just carbon copies of the original gang, although their situations are pretty similar. But it's the fact that they are just not likeable, their desperate attempts to have sex lack the charm and humour which endear them to us instead making them feel shallow. Maybe this was the intention but in doing so it alienates the audience and makes us feel like we are just watching 3 idiots, rather than having compassion for them. It all seems crass, crasser than you would expect from characters in an "American Pie" movie. But strangely the performances from the 3 main actors are not bad and it's more to do with the writing and dialogue that the characters suffer.
It also doesn't help that the cast are pretty much a bunch of unknowns and even Louisa Lytton who British audiences will recognize from "Eastenders" is seriously out of place with her over the top British Accent. In fact I wonder why they cast Louisa Lytton in the movie as being a Brit doesn't seem to have any importance despite giving Lytton that god awful over the top accent. The only really memorable performance comes from Eugene Levy and as he is only in it briefly towards the end, the rest of the movie suffers.
What this all boils down to is that "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love" is a disappointment and the idea of taking the story back to East Great Falls High School with a new group of students desperate for sex makes it feel too close to the original. It's a shame as the previous 2 movies "American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile" and "American Pie Presents: Beta House" had moved the series in a slightly different direction. But this time it all feels a little too unoriginal and forced with jokes ending up being pale imitations of what has gone before.