One of the most difficult film genres for me to review would have to be comedies. Because a) much of it relies on someone’s sense of humor b) how many times I laughed c) is there a point to all of it?. Well, the “American Pie” franchise have always been on my “must watch” list ever since the first film which was a sincere portrayal of raging teenage hormones. The second film was more about dwelling on what could have been and finding something different. “American Wedding” was one sequel that I thought did a wonderful job in wrapping up the franchise as a sense of the characters’ maturity. Ok, sure, it was mostly saved by Steven Stifler’s antics but I am not complaining. The franchise was successful enough to have inspired two direct to dvd spin-offs (that I am aware of) that I also saw. You may say that I am a sucker for “Pie”.
Well, directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg and the producers of the franchise seems to want to bring the whole gang back together again. This time it is “American Reunion” and the original gang’s indeed all here. Jim (Jason Biggs), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Oz (Chris Klein) have all moved on and lived different lives. Class of 99 reunion brings them all back into the town where they graduated from high school to catch up. Of course, no “reunion” would be complete without Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) who seems to be the same care free guy that they’ve all known for years (oh, Finch is supposed to be this adventurous traveler if you can also call that care free).
They all have their own different share of trying to make things work in their lives and Jim seems to be drifting a little too far from his wife Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) because of their lack of a sex life. Well, things become a little more complicated for the group before the reunion as other faces from the past like Vicky (Tara Reid), Heather (Mena Suvari), and even a girl named Selena (Dania Ramirez) brings the group to think about certain things. Oh, it also doesn’t help that the girl that Jim used to baby-sit, Kara (Ali Cobrin) is now a major hottie…
To like “American Reunion”, one would have to have an attachment for the characters of the franchise. The franchise is all about growing up--whether by choice or by need. Much of this film’s themes is all about ‘catching up’, moving on, or trying to remember what made things so good in the first place. It would be easy to call “Reunion” a dramedy, but honestly, the first half of the film captures the tempo of the original film thanks mostly to Stifler’s character who once again steals the show. If “American Pie” was a refreshing portrayal of high school life and the first sequel was more on the need to mature and move on, which made them more related to each other. “Wedding” and “Reunion” are more closely related to one another than the first two movies. “Reunion” is all about how the beloved characters have settled into their lives. It is all about our group being different and at times the same when they were in high school.
Now, no “American Pie” movie sequel would be complete without Jim (Jason Biggs) getting into a very uncomfortable, compromising position. Well, this time Jim gets into more than one embarrassing situation. Actually I counted about 4 times that he got into a bad situation, and about twice that he would not be able to cover it up. This was a good approach of the script to kind of establish that some things will never change; it was a good way to keep the film from getting too bogged down with all the adult hang ups about getting married, having kids, pining over the one that got away, the “old school and new school kind of thing” and fantasizing about certain things. There was an area where the film got a little cheesy, I thought that the direction got a little too hung up with its own intended characterization after the first half. But it manages to recover from whatever slow downs it had gotten with Stifler’s playful ways, some bits of raunchy sexual humor (man, Katrina Bowden and Ali Cobrin may be worth the price of admission alone) and well, Jim’s Dad (played by Eugene Levy) is as charming as ever as the so-supportive, incredibly understanding, crazily open and opinionated father.
The film does have several scenes that made me laugh silly--Ok, I have a twisted sense of humor and I like raunchy humor, but even I had to admit that the film loses some momentum on some parts of the film. I felt that it wanted to do so much, and it lost some of its focus. I understood that it was all about bringing the old gang back together (I mean John Cho and the Sherminator made appearances) but there were times that I thought that some supporting characters (namely Kara’s old boyfriend and group) overplayed their roles as it reached the third act. I liked some ways that the script played out and II understood, but I felt that some things were a little forced that it managed to nearly ruin the intended sincerity in the film.
Be that as it may, despite its rough spots, If you loved the characters, you will like this film. “American Reunion” does do a great job taking the whole gang back to where it all began. People may say that it was unnecessary, that the film was almost drowned in clichéd elements but I thought that the film manages to add more depth to our beloved characters with the use of dialogue and outright comedy. It hits the spot, as it brings everything full circle and it even has a few surprises to wrap up what it may have left behind. (I cannot spoil this--Hint: I believe in ‘karma’) You just have to love what Jim and the gang have cooked up even when it was a little uneven. Fans of the series will like “Reunion”….hey, was there a hint of another sequel?
Oh, make sure you stay after the beginning of the end credits, there is a good scene that made me laugh silly. Recommended to Fans of the “Pie” Franchise. [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]
With all the bad review I didn't go into it with great expectations. The film is actually a lot better than people are saying and probably as good as the second film. Jim and Michelle seem to be having marital problems on the eve of their High School reunion. The director then shows what is up with the rest of the gang. Oz is a sports announcer, Kevin is married to a woman who controls him and Stifler is working for a real obnoxious boss as a temp. Jim and Michelle agree to … more
It has often been said that you cannot turn back the hands of time, but thankfully Hollywood is a place where magical things happen. In the case of the gang from American Pie and the creative talents of writer directors Jon Hurwitz Hayden Schlossberg, the gang is back, better than ever, for another slice if pie. Hurwitz and Schlossberg are the creative team behind the ” Harold and Kumar” series and have been entrusted by Universal to carry on the American Pie series which had recently … more
AMERICAN REUNION Written and Directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg Starring Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan and Seann William Scott I never went to my high school reunion. It wasn’t because I was so insanely popular in high school that I didn’t need to belittle myself by making an appearance. Nor was I such an incredible outcast that I would be too afraid to show my face. I was simply sick the night it was happening. One could suggest this was psychosomatic but regardless, … more
By Joan Alperin Schwartz The film 'American Pie' was and is a classic. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, 'American Pie' is about four guys, from East Great Falls Michigan, that are on a quest...to lose their virginity before they graduate high school. I can still remember sitting in the theatre LMAO watching the escapades of these 17 year olds desperately … more
Star Rating: What I appreciate about the American Pie films is that, beneath the raunchiness and juvenile slapstick humor, there rests a kernel of truth. American Reunion continues in that tradition. Although it utilizes the kind of crude sexual humor that I don’t find particularly funny, there is evident a compelling examination of friendship, love, and the general ups and downs of relationships at an adult life stage. In this case, that would be thirteen … more