Synopsis: Get ready for the most hilarious and outrageous freshman year in collegiate history – American Pie is pledging Beta House! Join Dwight Stifler, his cousin Erik, Mr. Levenstein (Eugene Levy), and the infamous Beta House fraternity for the hottest, wildest and freshest piece of Pie ever!
Beta House 6.25
eyelights: its continuation of ‘The Naked Mile’. the sexy bits. God Made Me Funky.
eyesores: its low budget quality. its weak writing. its lackluster gags. its poor construction.
“Oh my God! Mr. Biggles!”
‘Beta House’ is another of the straight-to-video films under the “American Pie presents” banner. Released in 2007, it’s a direct follow-up to ‘The Naked Mile‘, which had been a pleasant surprise (You know, for the genre…). It takes us a year after the events of the previous film, to Eric Stifler’s first year of college, pledging to his cousin’s fraternity, the notorious Beta House.
Naturally, there will be partying and all manners of sexual hijinks.
‘Beta House’ is exactly what I was expecting out of ‘The Naked Mile’: a middle-of-the-road teen sex comedy focused strictly on shocking its audience. The characters having been established already, this one can’t be bothered to develop them any further, giving them the barest of arcs and contenting itself to string together a series of 50 extremely lowbrow initiation tasks to fulfill.
The worst of it is that the picture doesn’t even attempt to sustain what it had created the first time around: Gone is Eric ‘s girlfriend. Gone is Ryan, Eric and Cooze’s friend. Gone is Beta House’s rival fraternity of little people, which has been replaced by Geek House – and which could have been funny if it had taken its inspiration from ‘Revenge of the Nerds’, but it’s merely a platitude.
Then there’s the no-small-matter of Eugene Levy as Jim’s dad, Noah Levenstein, who is now a lawyer, representing the frat’s members when they land in jail for being underaged in a strip joint. WTF. And now, he’s also apparently Beta’s wildest ex-member – so he winds up officiating a farcical “Greek Olympiad” between Beta and Geek House, putting their charters on the line.
Obviously, most of it revolves around sex, and the filmmakers pulled out every single trick from their teen comedy toolbox. And they gave each of the leads their own romantic entanglements: Eric keeps bumping into Ashley in the co-ed bathroom and they start dating, awkwardly; Cooze has a crush on Denise, who is self-conscious about her privates, and Dwight picks up a sex addict at a SAA meeting.
We know how the romantic subplots, the initiation, and the rivalry will turn out, of course.
No big surprises there.
The only thing that I found interesting was the reason for Denise’s shyness, because it brought up something real and I rather liked that Cooze was totally cool with it (though he could have expressed more enthusiasm, in my estimation). But it was nice to see a real-life worry show up and be somewhat addressed in a movie that is all just a raunchy fantasy for horny young males.
Kudos for that.
But, beyond that, ‘Beta House’ is all about drinking, girls in next-to-nothing (or nothing at all!), outrageous sexual scenarios and cheap laughs. There’s really not much to recommend it – though it features a snippet of a performance by God Made Me Funky, a band I quite like, at the final party. That, to me, was super cool. So there may be a reason for me to watch this again.
Otherwise, I’ll stick with the supremely superior ‘Animal House‘.
Well, at least it wasn’t ‘Band Camp‘.
Date of viewing: December 6, 2016