I felt a strange sense of obligation to go see American Reunion. I distinctly remember watching the first American Pie movie on opening night and that brought back so many memories that in some way I have grown up along with these characters. Overall, I thought it was a good comedy and did a fine job of showing what kind of adults these guys and girls turned out to be.
The main selling point of this movie is that the entire original cast is back together, including some of the bit players. I think that is what makes it work so well in that you don’t have any new major characters or new actors playing old ones. Also, while the characters have grown up a bit, they are still basically the same. It’s too often when you get this far into a series that the characters become caricatures of themselves, but in this movie they stay true to the original. I loved that.
As for the plot, the basic premise is that everyone comes back into town for their high school reunion. It’s for an odd number of years but that’s no big deal. Once the old group is back together again, some old sparks get reignited and you have a series of romantic confrontations that are sometimes serious and sometimes funny, but it all works. The idea is that they all try one last time to act like they did in high school, and they wind up dealing with some funny consequences.
Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Allyson Hannigan) are married with kids and their love life has gotten pretty boring. When a young neighbor girl gets drunk and makes a move for Jim, you can expect a hilarious series of events as he tries to escape the situation with little to no help from his friends. Stiffler (Seann William Scott) is still his same old self, and we love him for it. His mom, too. Chris Klein and Mena Suvari’s characters still have feeling for each other, as do a bearded Thomas Ian Nicholas and Tara Reid. Finch (Eddy Kaye Thomas – what’s with all the middle names in this group?) is up to his usual weirdness. Best of all is Eugene Levy as Jim’s dad – he steals every scene he’s in, just like he did in all the previous movies. Wait a few seconds after the credits start to see a hilarious Alanis Morrissette-esque scene with him and Stiffler’s mom.
This movie was written and directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who previous did all the Harold and Kumar movies. This really concerned me at first, but it turned out that they treated these characters well and at times I thought the movie was even a little too serious. It heaps on the nostalgia and even includes some photos of the actors in the original movie just to show how much they’ve changed. There is plenty of potty humor, including an ice chest that gets used for a toilet, but you should already know to expect that.
In the end, I was quite pleased with American Reunion. It makes a perfect conclusion to the series and hopefully they will stop with this one and quit milking the franchise. To be able to gather the whole cast together for one last send-off is wonderful, and there’s no need to try and do it all over again unless they wait another ten or so years.
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