The young screenwriter responsible for the crass but undeniably charming 1999 teen romp "American Pie," Adam Herz went from production assistant to well-paid scripter when he brought to fruition his idea to revisit the sex comedy genre so popular in his youth for today's audience. Mixing the "can you top this?" gross-out nerviness so popular in "There's Something About Mary" (1998) with an unexpected old-fashioned romanticism, Herz's treatment for "American Pie" was written over his winter ski vacation in January of 1998 and within months was in production. Having hooked up with screenwriting agents Warren Zide and Chris Bender after impressing them with risk-taking sitcom spec scripts, he was encouraged by his representation to take the feature plunge. Goaded to be his most outrageous, Herz turned in a screenplay that was at once shockingly vulgar and heartwarmingly real. An obvious affection for his multifaceted characters (including a group of fully-realized, empowered females rarely seen in the genre) helped sell the Paul and Chris Weitz-directed film as more than just your average hormone fest thanks to a decided lack of mean-spiritedness and an abundance of heart. Impressive returns at the box office proved that audiences were ready for such a film, even when its cast was comprised mainly of unknowns.