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American Reunion

A movie directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg

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Serving Up Another Slice of Life

  • Apr 7, 2012
Rating:
+4
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 years after graduating high school; this is the point in time at which we find Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs), Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Chris “Oz” Ostreicher (Chris Klein), Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott). Now around thirty, they each have their own lives and have had their fair share of success and failure.
 
Jim and his wife, Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), now have a two-year-old son named Evan, which is in large part why they have fallen into a sexual rut. Kevin is now a work-from-home architect and is happily married to a woman named Ellie (Charlene Amoia). After moving to Los Angeles and competing in a celebrity dance show (which he’s now deeply embarrassed by), Oz has become an NFL sports announcer. He lives with his girlfriend, a supermodel and wild party girl named Mia (Katrina Bowden). Stifler, still an obnoxious and vulgar sex maniac, now works as a temp at an investment firm, where he undergoes daily abuse from his boss (Vik Sahay). Finch, after a period in which he went missing, suddenly returns on a motorcycle. He has not yet found the love of his life, but according to what he tells his friends, he has extensively travelled the world.

                                              
                                                
The entire gang comes back together when it’s announced that a thirteen-year high school reunion would take place in their home town. Jim reunites with his father (Eugene Levy), who’s eager to get back into the dating scene following the death of his wife three years earlier. Oz reunites with his former high school sweetheart, Heather (Mena Suvari), who’s now dating a cardiologist named Ron (Jay Harrington). It immediately becomes apparent that Oz has more in common with Heather – and likewise, Ron with Mia. Kevin reunites with his old flame, Vicky (Tara Reid), and it seems that old feelings begin to resurface. Finch finds himself attracted to Michelle’s former band mate, a bartender named Selena (Dania Ramirez), who since her homely high school days has blossomed into a beautiful woman. For obvious reasons, the guys decide not to invite Stifler. But you know how it is with twists of fate; he just happens to see them hanging out at a bar, everyone has a few shots, and the next thing you know, he’s tagging along.
 
Jim, who still has an eye for hot teenage girls, is unwittingly reintroduced to Kara (Ali Corbin), the girl he used to babysit. Now on the verge of turning eighteen, she’s certainly easy on the eyes. Initially, she flirts with him coyly. But on the night of her birthday, she gets drunk out of her mind; this paves the way for a series of comedic misadventures that make Jim look a lot guiltier than he actually is. Kara’s jealous and immature boyfriend, A.J. (Chuck Hittinger), will have a few well-placed antagonistic run-ins with Jim and his friends. It culminates with a party at the home of Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge), where just about everything goes wrong. Surprisingly, it goes well for Jim’s dad, who reluctantly joins in. After getting certifiably drunk, he meets Stifler’s mom and has ... well, let’s just say that he has a lot of fun. The two have a lot in common, not the least of which is having walked in on their children during a sexual encounter.

                                              
                                                
While I generally don’t laugh at something as juvenile as defecating into a cooler filled with beer bottles, or hurriedly slamming down a laptop onto an erection, causing it to bleed, it’s obvious to me that underneath is a story that has something to say about people. There’s a moment, for example, when the guys observe the adolescent antics of the high schoolers partying at a lake; Kevin wonders aloud if they were ever as annoying back when they were in high school, and Finch responds that their generation was more mature. Naturally, Stifler is the exception. Indeed, there was a time when we would look at him and think he wouldn’t grow up. Now that he has entered his thirties, it’s looking more and more like he truly can’t grow up. You know what the difference is.
 
Everything ends pretty much as we expect it to end, which in this case isn’t a criticism so much as a simple observation. Sometimes, it’s nice when a screenplay is formatted like a sitcom, even if it happens to be a really, really raunchy one. For me, the appeal of American Reunion has less to do with vulgar lines and sight gags and more to do with character development and theme. The first three films were fairly narrow in scope, their plots built on foundations as solid yet limited as losing your virginity, finding that special someone, and making a commitment to marriage. This new film is much broader, addressing the very relatable notion of settling down and living the rest of your life. The message, it seems, is that you can get through anything so long as you have friends at your side.

                                                   

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April 20, 2012
It's always a pleasure to explore your very diverse taste in cinema, Chris.
April 21, 2012
That's nice to hear, especially since we don't always agree.
April 22, 2012
It doesn't matter whether we agree or not...disagreements are bound to happen amongst all movie buffs. That's just how it is...
 
April 08, 2012
I liked this one--actually I wanted to love it. Loved the 'karma' thing in the last act LOL! nice review!
April 08, 2012
It's hard for me to love any of these films, as they are a bit raunchier than I would prefer them to be. That said, I usually see something meaningful lurking beneath the sex jokes and slapstick humor.
April 10, 2012
I am waiting on your "Three Stooges" review before I go see it.
April 10, 2012
That should be interesting....
 
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More American Reunion (2012 film) reviews
review by . April 08, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Just One More Piece of the
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 …
review by . September 16, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . April 06, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . April 07, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Why I Hate Reunions
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, …
review by . April 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
'American Reunion' 'Two Jews On Film' Agree...You Can Never Go Home Again (Video)
      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 …
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Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #6
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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