10 May 2012 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The plight of modern-day masculinity is easily solved, according to pretty much every recent Hollywood comedy: don't grow up. Who – or what – is to blame?

Growing up sucks. Being young sucks too. Especially if you're a white American male. You need only look at the four heroes of American Pie: Reunion. Back in 1999, they were teenagers burdened by hormonal urges, peer-group humiliation and a lack of obliging sexual partners. Fast forward 13 years, and they've merely inherited a new set of burdens: careers, babies, young rivals and a lack of obliging sexual partners. These dudes got it so wrong.

To get it right, they should have watched just about every other Hollywood comedy of the past decade. There they'd have found the solution to the plight of American masculinity: don't grow up. Just stretch out that period between adolescence and parenthood to the extent it becomes a prolonged state of infantile bliss. »

- Steve Rose

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