American Reunion takes us back to East Falls High and reunites the American Pie team for one final fling. The high-schoolers have grown up, have jobs, wives, responsibilities; but still want the opportunity for one more weekend of high-school fun.
As you can imagine from an American Pie movie the standard here is gross out humour, sexual references and childish comedy. A lot of modern gross-out comedy started with American Pie and what is nice here is that the Reunion does not feel the need to out do the trend but to remind how subtlety is often the key to the best gross-out. Bringing on board the directors of the Harold and Kumar series to direct here brings a fresh set of eyes, but also experience of the genre.
The gang all return, Jim and Michelle now have a baby, Oz is a sportscaster on a cable channel, Finch has been travelling the world and returns with fanciful tales, Kevin is happily married and Stiffler is in an intern position for a megalomaniac boss. Each is thrown an obstacle to deal with be it in the shape of old flames (Tara Reid’s Vicky returns to confuse Kevin and Mena Suvari’s Heather for Oz), the loss of their social power (Stiffler teaches the new boys how it’s done) or new problems thrown in to the mix.
Jim is thrown into his usual series of social faux-pas and misunderstanding by the neighbour he used to babysit, now 18 she is not the little girl Jim once knew. Meanwhile, Jim’s dad is on top form as he gets over the death of Jim’s mom and starts getting back into the dating game. It is obvious why Eugene Levy has been used in every American Pie movie (TV or otherwise) the character and the dynamic Levy can build with any character is always a treat, his scenes with Jennifer Coolidge steal the show.
There is an interesting observation as the cast return, it becomes clear very quickly why Jason Biggs, Sean William Scott and Eugene Levy have sustained careers outside of the franchise while Eddie Kaye, Chris Klein and Thomas Ian Nicholas have appeared mainly on television. As a group of youngsters their abilities were all similar, but here with ten plus years under their belts the latter three are left wanting in terms of skill and performance.
In terms of the female members of the cast the performances are much more even. Tara Reid stands out as the one who brings here character back most closely to the original (the producers even manage to get her in the same outfit at one point), Alyson Hannigan seems to have lost some of the fun of Michelle, even in the scenes where she isn’t struggling with the newborn addition to the clan. Mena Suvari shows here that she is still a capable actress and this may launch her back into the consciousness of some casting directors.
In terms of new talent Katrina Bowden performs well as Oz’s new girlfriend and Dania Ramirez brings an interesting take on the love interest for Finch, achieving the most believable relationship of the film.
American Reunion is about getting the gang back together and what makes this film stand out as a reunion is the fact that everyone from the first movie makes an appearance; The MILF guys, Jessica, The Sherminator all make appearances. Other cameos throughout bring back the warm fuzzy feelings of the original. The problem with this is that it also reminds you how funny the first film was and how this falls short of reaching those heights.
Like all reunions this is a chance to remember how good the good times were the problem here is unlike a school reunion, you can relive the glory days, on DVD. It’s a fun party, but it’s never going to be like the good old days.
- The American Reunion Cast on an Onscreen Dance Off and Who They’d Vote “Most Changed” (popsugar.com)
- Tara Reid Looks Glamorous At ‘American Reunion’ Premiere (inquisitr.com)
- Mena Suvari, Chris Klein: ‘American Reunion cast chemistry is natural’ (digitalspy.co.uk)
- Video: American Reunion Cast on the Heart of Their New Movie (popsugar.com)
- ‘American Reunion’ Theatrical Trailer (slashfilm.com)