American Reunion

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 been relegated to four direct-to-DVD releases.

The new film reunites the entire cast from the original three films and centers around the gang’s 13 year high school reunion. Life has definitely taken them all in some unexpected directions. Jim (Jason Biggs) is married to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), and are now parents to a little boy and enjoying a comfortable, if a tad uneventful, suburban lifestyle.

Oz (Chris Klein), is a successful Los Angeles sportscaster as well as a recent contestant on a popular national dance show. He spends his time mixing with celebrities and indulging a girlfriend who loves to party just a bit too much. Meanwhile, Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), is happily married but needs an escape from a domestic routine that includes watching reality shows with his wife.

Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) fancies himself a nomadic spirit who wanders the globe from one esoteric adventure to another, still looking for his true love while Stiffler (Seann William Scott), works at a prestigious firm and remains the guy who never misses an opportunity to wisecrack or sexually harass any female who crosses his path.

As reunion-type movies go, there are the expected moments of awkwardness and hilarity. And of course, it wouldn’t be an American Pie movie without moments of ridiculously crude antics, mainly from Stifler. What separates the film from the bevy of raunchy comedies that flooded the market after the success of the initial film, is that there is some maturity amongst the mayhem.

In between the outrageous antics, the various characters are forced to take deep examinations of their lives since graduation and in some cases grow up for the first time in their lives. Oz must comes to grips with his feelings for his former girlfriend Heather (Mena Suvari), as does Kevin when his former flame Vicky (Tara Reid), returns to town for the reunion. Jim and Michelle have to find a way to bring some sexual spark back into their lives while Finch needs to accept the mundane reality of his. And Stifler. Well, let’s just say he needs to find his true calling.

What really sold the film for me was not just the great chemistry between the cast but the way the script deftly moved the raunchy comedy along while combining character development and depth that is not normally found in films of this type. As I watched, I found that I had really missed this crew of unlikely friends, and really enjoyed catching up with them even when they were not extricating themselves from one over-the-top situation after another.

While the film did drag a bit slightly there was always an outrageous moment right around the corner that had the theater errupting in laughter or shrieking in disbelief. This film is rated R for good reason. The cast worked really great together and it was especially nice to see Klein back in the mix, as he had been noticeably absent from the last film in no small part due to his offscreen issues.

Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler’s mom) have some absolutely hysterical moments in film especially when Mr. Levenstein, widowed now for three years, decides to cut loose at a party and we get to see has wild side. I would also encourage viewers to make sure to stay through the credits as there is more comedy from this pair that must not be missed.

The supporting characters from the previous films were all given their moments to shine even if it is just in a small cameo. Shannon Elizabeth, Natasha Lyonne, John Cho, and of course, the Sherminator were all given a chance to bring back some memories, making this film is welcome and enjoyably nostalgic trip. It proves that there’s still some life and good times left in the series, and if the creative talents can keep quality to this level I, for one, would certainly welcome another slice of pie in the future.

3.5 stars out of 5

One Comment

  1. I for one am looking forward to this. I’m a big fan of the original, and a semi-fan of the sequels.

    April 8, 2012

Comments are closed.