‘American Reunion’ Movie Review
Counting the Direct-to-DVD sequels, the American Pie franchise had endured seven films up to this weekend. With its eighth release, titled American Reunion, we can be thankful to see the original cast back at it. Although the films don’t necessarily take into account how much their audience has aged, the film doesn’t shy away from the characters and the comedy that made them such a hit in the first place. The gang may admit that “things will never be the same,” but I would disagree a bit. It’s not the movie that catapulted the actors to stardom, but it’s still funny enough to see this weekend and appreciate.
Taking place 13 years after graduation, the gang gets back together for the East Great Falls 10-year anniversary. Sure, the math doesn’t quite add up, but we shouldn’t nit-pick too much. It’s a good (enough) excuse to get Jim (Jason Biggs), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Oz (Chris Klein), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and of course, Stiffler (Seann William Scott) back together. Their lives, they quickly realize, have gone in all different directions. Jim is in the post-baby rut with Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). Kevin is a suburban husband and Oz struggles to be a lowly celebrity. Finch has gone off the grid, while Stiffler seems pretty much the same.
As the group reunites back home, they start to realize that they’re not young anymore, while openly criticizing the youth they used to be. It’s still a bit early to call it a mid-life crisis, but the guys do understand their time is slipping away. This trip allows them another opportunity to party like they used to – even if this means they have to deal with the consequences.
Nostalgia, a huge Hollywood theme recently, plays a huge part in the effectiveness of the characters and the comedy. There are obvious references to the past movies, while sprinkling in enough not-so-obvious ones to keep the audience looking. Everybody…and I mean everybody, is back. I personally felt less happy with some than others, but overall I think the cameos worked out nicely.
In the laugh department, American Reunion didn’t push the envelope too much in terms of style. The movie plays out as ridiculously, but subsequently funny, as the previous ones, at least in terms of the primary films. It’s still as dirty as ever, but at the same time, it’s hilarious. Therefore, it shouldn’t be too far-fetched to realize Stiffler (or as he calls himself, the Stiffmeister) is the main man to deliver the laughs.
This may be where the film’s fun ends, though. The characters are put in some tough situations, but we aren’t really left with any stories we don’t know the endings to, especially in the case of Jim and Michelle. In fact, I wasn’t really invested in any of the individual character stories. Instead, I found myself hoping for more funny shenanigans.
Again, I’ll admit these moments did occur.
Yes, maybe these guys are growing up, and maybe we should, too. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t be excited there is another installment. I’d prefer if this capped the series. But, who knows, maybe we’ll get to see who Stiffler finally winds up with? Either way, American Reunion is a funny, though shallow, story. Looking at these guys, can we expect anything too deep? There’s a dirty joke in there somewhere, which fits nicely into this not-so-teen-anymore comedy.