The use of music and musical genres that one can assume were popular among young people at the time the film was made or is supposed to take place is a sort of genre marker for teen comedies. In that sense, American Pie (1999) is “just another teen movie”, to quote the title of a film that openly parodies it. However, a more detailed viewing of the film, one which focuses on the ways in which contemporary popular music is integrated into the narrative of the film, reveals significant deviations from the norm which John Hughes is often thought to have established with The Breakfast Club (1985) and Pretty in Pink (1986). The article provides a descriptive outline of some of these deviations. Taking into account features of popular culture in the late 1990s, it attempts to interpret these practices.

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