The Five: Strangest Uses for a Pie in the Movies
Prior to 1999, the apple pie was best associated with baseball and the flag as symbols of Americana. It stood for innocence, childhood, and a guilty way to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Then Jason Biggs…well, let's just say "grew intimate" with a freshly baked dessert, and our image of the apple pie forever changed.
But Biggs' fruity fornication isn't the only strange thing we’ve seen a character do with a dessert over the years. In fact, it was only a few months ago when Oscar winner Octavia Spencer served up an "original" slice of her homemade "chocolate" pie to the vile Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) in Tate Taylor's The Help. But we’ll start our list there in a moment.
So, with American Reunion bringing back the entire Pie gang (save for the pie, itself), we've cooked up the Five Strangest Uses for a Pie in the Movies. As always, let us know what we missed, and then serve yourself some seconds when Reunion reaches theaters on Friday.
SPOILER ALERT! While this list was not compiled in bad taste, some of the descriptions do give away key plot points in the movies discussed, and might be considered a little gross. Those with a strong stomach for cinematic pie tricks, however, are encouraged to dig right in.
1. The Help
Minny (Spencer) called it the "Terrible Awful" when relaying the story to Skeeter (Emma Stone), and once we hear it, we understand why. Sick of swallowing Hilly's …uh, garbage, Minny decides to bake a pie out of her own, umm, well, we'd rather not say...Yet she waits until Hilly has devoured two slices (!!) before she reveals the secret ingredient. You’ll never look at chocolate pudding the same way.
2. Sweeney Todd
What's a serial killer to do when the bodies of his various victims start stacking up? Throat-slashing Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, partners with the devilish Mrs. Lovett (portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter in Tim Burton’s most recent version) to bury the dead in her delicious meat pies. God, That’s Good!
3. Stand By Me
All Gordie (Wil Wheaton) wanted to do was entertain his friends with a gross-out campfire tale. But Rob Reiner's Stand By Me solidified its status as an instant classic when Lardass, the hero of Gordie’s fictional yarn, halted a blueberry-pie-eating contest by spilling his guts all over his fellow contestants…triggering a wave of projectile pie vomit that probably turned most audience members off of desserts for a few weeks.
4. Blazing Saddles
If movie characters aren't eating pies on screen, they’re throwing them. The old pie-in-the-face gag dates back to silent films. And while the spectacular pie fight in the 1965 comedy The Great Race ranks as one of the longest, largest pie fights ever filmed, I prefer the end of Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, which finds cowboys, studio employees and Adolph Hitler taking cream blasts to the face in the name of comedy.
Jenna (Keri Russell) doesn't necessarily do anything strange with her pies, but she does give them odd names based on what's going on in her life (like the "Bad Baby Pie," after she learns of an unwanted pregnancy). Still, I really wanted to pick a film that captured the blissful joy of baking a pie from scratch, and the love director Adrienne Shelly pours into her indie dramedy was as sweet as the dollop of whipped cream we all love on our slices of goodness. Now I really do want a piece of pie.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.