Synopsis: Ready to run wild with hundreds of naked coeds in one of the craziest college traditions ever? Then you’ll love the all-new, hilarious slice of American Pie: The Naked Mile! When Erik Stifler realizes that he’s the only Stifler family member who might graduate high school a virgin, he decides to live up to his legacy. After some well meaning advice from Jim’s dad, Erik’s ready to take his chances at the annual and infamous Naked Mile race, where his devoted buds and some uninhibited sorority girls will create the most outrageous weekend ever. Filled with smokin’ hot girls and the insane Stifler antics you know and love, this slice of American Pie delivers shocking and heartwarming fun all the way to the finish line!
The Naked Mile 7.0
eyelights: Eugene Levy. its comedic surprises. its treatment of little people. the naked stuff.
eyesores: its genre conventions. its vacuousness.
“Stifflers do not fake being sick to sit a home and pull dick. Stifflers cut class to get ass!”
‘The Naked Mile’ is another in the post-‘American Pie‘ straight-to-video film sponsored by the series’ producers; the original series had made serious bank, which motivated them to milk it to death. So, like its predecessor, ‘Band Camp‘, this “American Pie presents” picture is basically a stand-alone movie with a few connections wedged in to sate the fans.
This one follows Eric Stifler, the cousin of the Stiffmeister, as he tries to lose his virginity. The black sheep of the family, he’s an average guy with no real mojo; even his dad seems disappointed that his son isn’t out partying and getting laid. And his friends have so little faith in him that they don’t even call him a Stifler, as he hasn’t earned it.
So Eric tries to talk his girlfriend, Tracy, whom he’s been dating for two years, into “finally” having sex. When that doesn’t work out, she decides to give him a free pass for a weekend, so that he can get it out of his system. As luck would have it, one of his cousins is having a huge frat party over the weekend – and he and his friends are invited.
Eric is going to get laid!
Frankly, the dismal ‘Band Camp’ had set the bar really low; it’s the second-worst movie I’ve seen this year. My expectations were so poor, in fact, that I hesitated before watching this movie; I was preparing myself for another grueling 90 minutes. Except that this one was nearly 15 minutes longer – geezus, this was going to be a real drag to get through!
But it was a pleasant surprise: I had fun.
Look, ‘The Naked Mile’ is not a great film by any stretch. It has such a simple premise that its not exactly a meaty script: it’s basically a bunch of guys and girls partying, trying to get laid. Been there, done that. But, for that type of film, it was alright. At least it didn’t have as many terrible performances and horrible gags as its predecessor.
Granted, it seems vaguely familiar, what with Eric being a shadow of Jim, with the predictable and ridiculous opening that has him embarrassing himself in front of his parents, and Jim’s dad showing up to provide advice to both Tracy and Eric at various points. But even the ‘American Pie‘ movies weren’t that great at putting these pieces together.
At least here it holds up some.
And there were a few gags that were amusing, like the aforementioned opening salvo (which has him jizzing all over his family), or his failed attempt at sex with Tracy (which has him leaving a surprise for her dad in the dryer), or his cousin’s ploy to get his friends laid (which finds them playing silly games with their erections in front of a whole bar).
It’s hardly clever stuff, but it’s in the spirit of the franchise.
One thing I found smart, though, was the way that they handled little people: Stifler’s fraternity’s greatest rivals are a bunch of little people with serious attitude, who can play football better than them, get the girls, and even have hot midget babes of their own. The picture basically treated them as equals, which is something I didn’t expect.
Though it’s true that the gags were constantly that these little people could outdo their taller brethren, it was done with dignity and it even turned the tables by having Eric’s cousin, a total ladykiller, take a liking to his rival’s diminutive hottie – and vice versa. Basically, ‘The Naked Mile’ didn’t make fun of their difference, it elevated them.
So I liked that.
I also enjoyed Eugene Levy. Though I found his role incredibly awkward in the first three originals, it works out in these smaller appearances. Yeah, the picture is pandering to fans by bringing him back. Yeah, it’s contrived. But, given that he’s a dork, it makes sense that he ended up at Band Camp, that he meets Tracy at yoga and Eric on a campus bench.
And, it tuns out that he’s not as much of a dork as we’d been led to believe.
Mr. Levenstein is by far the most interesting character in the picture, anyway, so he’s a nice addition. All the others are fairly bland, interchangeable in many ways – just a bunch of party animals doing their thing. Whoopteedoo. Even the Stiflers aren’t anything like their role model, Steve, in that they have neither the mannerisms or the charisma.
And what is the “naked mile”, you wonder? It was once a campus run that took place at the University of Michigan – until 2004, when participants were arrested and threatened. The runners are naked or nearly naked and go from a designated starting point to a finish line while onlookers cheer them on – and ogle them. Because, let’s face it: naked young flesh.
Lots of it.
In fact, this picture has more nudity than any of the other films in the series – perhaps even more than all of them combined. A lot of it is incidental, in that it’s in the environment or background but, man, there’s a lot of naked people in this film. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of these young people were doing this for the notoriety or the thrills.
Heh… looks great on a resume.
(Ah, kids today…)
Anyway, ultimately, ‘The Naked Mile’ was a moderately enjoyable movie. It’s no grand cinema, it’s not the funniest movie you’ll ever see, but if you want to watch a bunch of college-age students partying, this is as good as it gets. Though it’s a low-budget film filled with C-listers, in a genre that’s pretty low, it actually rises to the top tier.
Which is still pretty low in the grand scheme of things.
But it was successful enough that, when it was released on DVD in 2006, it apparently made serious bank. And thus a follow-up was produced under the “American Pie presents” banner: ‘Beta House’. Now, I don’t expect too much from that little gem (it won’t be ‘Animal House‘, that’s for sure!), but it could be a perfectly okay way to kill 90 minutes.
Anyway, it can’t possibly be nearly as bad as ‘Band Camp’.
Date of viewing: December 4, 2016