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October 07 2009

Alyson Hannigan's "American Pie" Audition Tape. Flash from the past. Language definitely NSFW.

She is so adorable.
I checked out the Onion link on that page, too. Clearly the
FCC has excellent, if perhaps slightly obsessive, good taste.
Dear Lord she's cute.
So very cute. My second celebrity crush. I don't talk about the first one. Argh, OK, third. I don't talk about the first or second ones. OK, the second one's not so bad. But she's no Alyson Hannigan.
Yeah, well I'll lodge the minority opinion that (A) this is a movie I will never have the slightest desire to see, in spite of Ms. Hannigan, and (B) it still makes me sad that really fine actresses will evidently do or say just about anything to get work.
filops: I would say that you're falling into the common trap of judging something you haven't even seen. I'm no fan of gross-out comedy, or the exploitation of young women, but I still enjoyed American Pie. It's just a good, funny film.
I have no problem with that scene, the whole film was building up to it and the payoff was great.
It's all down to context. In the middle of Pretty Woman there is a swear word and I actually found that offensive. It just had no place in that scene or the film.
But in Planes Trains And Automobiles there is a scene with Steve Martin at the car rental desk where he uses the same word a dozen times and it's hysterical. The difference between the two is the context and American Pie IMHO falls into the "good" way to use swear words.
There's a reason that "This one time, at band camp..." became a popular phrase for a while. That was possibly the funniest line in the whole movie (along with another line from Alyson not long after that).

Unfortunately, it's way out of context here, and loses much of its humor value, which mostly came out of the characterization of that character up until that point.

I don't think Alyson was desperate for work at the time -- she'd already been on Buffy for two years at the time it came out. Also, I believe she was offered another role in the movie first, but requested this part after reading the script.
Yeah, it's funny because it's so incongruous but that won't come across if we only see that one scene. And as teen comedies go "American Pie" had a good heart IMO, at least it was about (slightly) more than getting pissed/laid/into hi-larious situations (though it was definitely about that too).
I agree JMaloney, it seems that was one of the best lines in the movie. If I were casting the part, that is exactly the same lines that I would have had her read. (And I dont think she changed her approach that much from the final scene in the film too.)

It would be funny to get to see all of the audition takes from the different auditioning actors. I think it would be hilarious to see their different interpretations.
spoofforbrains: so, do I have to watch an entire movie before I decide whether I want to watch an entire movie?
zz9: I see your point but there's more than language involved (even tho that's a personal hang-up for me) it's also plot, characterization, and over-all values. I bought Date Mvoie solely for Alyson & because it was on the $5 rack, and truly felt bad after watching it. I'm no more interested in a gross-out teen-oriented sex comedy than I am in slasher flicks or gangster movies.

filops: PRetty much agree. I'm big on acquiring movies & TV-movies by the Buffalums (I bought Waitress, Seabiscuit, The Italian Job solely for Nathan, Danny, and Seth) and I hate that Aly (unlike Amber, Smidge, ELiza, Mercedes, Charisma, Julie, and Juliet) hasn't made anything in the category of things I'm willing to get. My Stepmother Is An ALien exlcuded, and that just for Aly.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2009-10-07 17:56 ]
geez, i'm surprised at the american pie hate here.
Why? It's a very hateable movie. Many here hold the opinion (rightly or wrongly; opinions and feelings aren't right or wrong, they just ARE) that such movies are exactly opposite of why we like Joss' work. Yes, Alyson brings a lot to any role, but I wouldn't expect everyone here to love this appearance any more than I would expect everyone here to like her "Touched by an Angel" guest appearance.
I only watched the first half of American Pie, but I hated it. It just didn't find it to be funny or entertaining. However, I did quite like American Pie 2. Is that odd?

More on topic: this clip is adorable.
maybe teen comedies aren't everybody's favorite thing, but for it's genre, it's held up pretty well, especially after the awful stuff that came after.

i'm going to look up that touched by an angel for a laugh.

ok, i just found some screencaptures. maybe i'll skip that haha
Is it just me, or does Aly seem very Willowesque on this audition tape? It's very hard for me to look at this and not see the Willster. And then it's funny to think of Willow saying something like that. Aly is just too cute! :)
spoofforbrains: so, do I have to watch an entire movie before I decide whether I want to watch an entire movie?


Nope. But you probably should before lamenting how an actress is slumming to get work.
I find Roger Ebert, as always, has much to say on movies such as this. In Ebert's words, this is a movie with a heart, that is not just a teen sex film or a gross-out movie, but that it earns its laughs and makes you care about the characters. He says: "The film is in the tradition of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "National Lampoon's Animal House," and all the more recent teen sex comedies. It is not inspired, but it's cheerful and hard-working and sometimes funny, and--here's the important thing--it's not mean. Its characters are sort of sweet and lovable. As I swim through the summer tide of vulgarity, I find that's what I'm looking for: Movies that at least feel affection for their characters."

This is a better movie than you might think. Aly is a hoot and honestly steals the show every scene she is in- and you come to care for her (and care even more in AP2). it's smart in many ways.
"Willow! Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?"
The Dark Shape: how about if I watch the entire clip on which I base my statement, and other related clips? Am I allowed to state an opinion then?

Are there people actually making the argument that this movie is a timeless showcase for Hannigan's talents?

Myself, I think she's a really great actress. I'd like to see her in a really great movie.

Nothing I have ever heard, seen, sensed, touched, heard a rumor of, smelled nor tasted has given me the remotest impression that American Pie is such a movie. It is (as I think I mentioned) a movie I can't imagine ever wanting to see.

You think otherwise? Have at it.
Well, I'd put it this way: American Pie is a teen sex comedy the same way Buffy is a vampire show. In both cases, I think there's a deeper level that is easily dismissed by people not really familiar with the work in question. I don't know if I'd consider AP a "great" movie, but it's definitely very very good, and one worth watching (multiple times). I can't say the same about the sequels, but definitely the original movie.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I definitely think you'll find a lot of people who disagree.
You think otherwise? Have at it.

Yep I think otherwise - I actually think you can imagine it filops, I believe in you ;-).

It's not Shakespeare but it's not the worst film ever made either IMO, it tells a proper story with some characters that are fleshed out, rounded people and it captures something true about growing up and friendship. Mileage varies of course.

(i've zero interest in trying to persuade someone to see it if they don't want to - it's not like they need the business ;) - but it seems fair to point out that if you've only watched the scenes i.e. the ones used to sell it as a teen gross out sex comedy then you haven't seen an accurate or complete representation of the movie)
Not offended, but sometimes, when Alyson acts like a 5 year old I get super annoyed. There, I said it.

*ducks the stones and/or fruit*

I believe that the movie probably has redeeming qualities. I just never had an interest.
"Are there people actually making the argument that this movie is a timeless showcase for Hannigan's talents?"

I'd make that argument. It was a showcase role in the same way as Sean Penn's role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. A supertalented actor in a role in which the character is recognized by the culture more than the actor is recognized by the culture. And then when one catches the movie years later and realizes that the actor was Sean or Aly, it is a shock because one realizes that the reason both characters became so huge was because there was an uber-talented actor behind them.
P.S. Aly needs to do as many films as Sean Penn has in order to make this true. And I am sure she will!
I think its arguably the last great teen movie(s). John Hughes rocked the house in the '80s and I think the American Pie movies, to me, anyway, seem like a more modern continuation of them. Perhaps a more bizarre, less realistic Hughes movie.
The Dark Shape: how about if I watch the entire clip on which I base my statement, and other related clips? Am I allowed to state an opinion then?


On the film itself? No, not really.

You're jumping between saying it's a bad film - which it isn't - and that it's not for you. If you're arguing it's not up to snuff, I can easily refute that. If you just think it's a bad career choice because it's not to your taste, then everything you've said is basically irrelevant anyway.

Either you're upset with a film you've never seen, or you take issue with it not being something you'd see. Either way, neither has anything to do with Alyson's career.
Here is a truth for you, filops: more people knowof Alyson Hannigan from this film (and its sequels) than ever knew of her from Buffy. I may not like that, because I consider Willow the greatest character in the history of TV, but it's truth. And so what? It helped Aly in her career, which now has her playing in her 4th season of a popular comedy. She is a good actor no matter what she is in.
Yes, of course. No doubt one day we'll all speak of the timeless masterpiece performances by great actresses.

Ingrid Bergman in "Gaslight"....
Meryl Streep in "Sophie's Choice"....
Katherine Hepburn in "On Golden Pond"...

...and....
Well, honestly I'd never seen the film. So I just finished watching it for the first time 5 minutes ago.

Gotta agree, it was absolutely great for what it was. Great pacing, cheesy at times but effective writing, and the cast was just fine. There were a few things that made me go "eww..." but since that was the point, getting mad is kind of like going to a horror movie and getting mad about blood.

I mean, it's a high school coming of age pic without the PG filter. It's funny, sweet, raunchy, and uncomfortable. I take it back, it IS High School.

I'm not saying people with complaints are entirely off base... I guess it just seems a very extreme reaction to this movie.
American Pie is a classic and hits all the right notes. It’s meant to be raunchy and a little crude at times but it succeeds incredibly well. There hasn’t been a single teen movie made since (including the sequels) that managed to live up to it, but there’s certainly been so many that have tried.

It’s a bit irritating when people criticise something they’ve never seen. I’m sure a lot of people do that about this silly show with a dorky name about a high school cheerleader who slays vampires….. You see how misleading something’s appearance can be?

American Pie has a good heart and tries to incorporate a lot of values into the script. Friendship, responsibility and family are big parts of this movie. It’s a coming of age story and has some nice messages underneath it all. It’s the classic teen movie that, IMO, defines its generation and it stands the test of time. I recently saw it on TV just last week funnily enough and it was as funny as it was when I saw it for the first time back in 7th grade. I just thought I’d add that in the UK Channel 4 viewers voted it the 7th greatest comedy of all time and it ranked 22nd on E Weekly’s ‘50 Best High School Movies’ list.

People underestimate what an impact this movie has actually had on in the industry. I mean who hasn’t heard the line “this one time at band camp…” and who isn’t familiar with Jim’s hilarious, clueless but sweet natured dad Mr Levenstein? It’s had a huge impact on pop culture and Alyson should be very proud she helped bring to life such a memorable character.

The sequels weren’t as great but still have heart (as clichéd as it sounds Jim chooses the loveable nerd over the idealised “hot chick,” Stiffler grows a conscience at Jim/Michelle’s wedding and redeems himself) and they still attempt to send out good messages whilst still appealing to their intended market. Unfortunately all the spin off, direct-to-DVD movies lack the heart that made the original franchise so great but the trilogy is pretty underrated. It gives the teens what they want but it also tries to teach them the importance of sex.

These days most of them movies are plain nasty or overly sentimental and mushy. American Pie strikes the right balance and will always be memorable to me. Sorry but I loved it and loved Ally in it.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-10-08 13:01 ]
azzers...since that was the point, getting mad is kind of like going to a horror movie and getting mad about blood

So you think, in that case, the wise thing for such a person to do would be to say "Yeah, I have absolutely no interest in that kind of movie," and just not ever watch it?

If so, I agree with you. That's reasonable.
OK, so there are different opinions about the quality of American Pie. What about Date Movie?

I love Aly to death, but... DAMN! Surely a comedy should have one joke in it.

*dons flamesuit, scurries away to minimum safe distance*


filops: You seem to be making two different arguments here:

1. American Pie is not your kind of movie. That's fine, and perfectly valid reason for not wanting to see it. I don't see anything unreasonable about that.

2. American Pie is somehow a "step down" for someone of Alyson's talents. I think this is entirely wrong, and I think making this kind of judgment without actually watching the movie is unfair. Is it in the same category as "Gaslight", "Sophie's Choice", or "On Golden Pond"? No, but it doesn't try to be and was never intended to be. That doesn't mean it's a bad movie. It succeeds very well at what it does and what it set out to do, and I don't think any of the actors involved have any reason to be embarrassed about being associated with it. Someone above made the comparison to Sean Penn in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", and I think that's a very apt comparison (in fact, that movie actually has three future "Best Actor" Oscar winners).
< shrug > I'm not a moral relativist, so I won't be going there with you, friend Maloney. "It succeeds very well at what it does and what it set out to do" could, I imagine, be said about many snuff-movies, hardcore porn movies, and other degrading filth.

(As is, I hope, obvious to all, that point is about the standards reflected in the statement, not about this particular movie.)

So, to recap:

1. It's granted (if tacitly) that I've "typed" "American Pie" correctly
2. I've said repeatedly I've no interest in seeing such a movie
3. I've said Hannigan's a terrific actress
4. I'd like to see her in a movie befitting (and not degrading) to her talents.

It's a free country. She can degrade herself if she likes, and I can express my wishes that she wouldn't.

If that's not okay with some of my peers (and superiors) here... oh well. I can live with that.
"I'm not a moral relativist, so I won't be going there with you, friend Maloney. "It succeeds very well at what it does and what it set out to do" could, I imagine, be said about many snuff-movies, hardcore porn movies, and other degrading filth."

*sigh* Head, meet desk.

Yes, snuff movies are bad, you'll get no argument from anyone on this site on that point. Hardcore porn is okay, but softcore didn't warrant a mention ? (in truth there is nothing inherently wrong with either and I hope sex, sex comedies, films about sex/sexuality/sexual-awakening continue to be in everyone's faces until a great number of people cease being so uptight about something so commonplace, natural, animal, and ancient). Your tone makes you sound like an old prude (or possibly a young one). Dunno if that's the case, but that's how you come off.

Moral relativism makes sense, this last post of yours does not.

[ edited by Kris on 2009-10-08 20:42 ]
On Golden Pond? Seriously, people?
The Lion in Winter!
As a reminder respond to the points people make without commenting on them personally please.

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