Sneak Peek – American Reunion

First, some quick updates:

  • Despite the fact that I found the pilot of GCB amusing, I haven’t seen an episode since. My Sundays are monopolized by more prestigious and quality programs. I may catch up on it on hulu or I may just let that ship sail.

With that business taken care of, on to the review.

I’m not sure that there was that big of a clamoring for another American Pie movie. The 1999 original already spawned two other sequels (American Pie 2 and American Wedding) as well as various direct to video spinoffs which featured only one actor from the original movie, Eugene Levy. Though I haven’t seen any of the side movies, there was already a sense of diminishing return by the time American Wedding rolled around. These characters aren’t all that complex and I’m not sure we really need to check in on them repeatedly to see how they have evolved. They haven’t.

American Reunion, while not a great movie, is at least a bit of return to form. If you were a fan of the original, you’ll probably enjoy this entry in the franchise. The jokes are crude and sophomoric, but still made me laugh on numerous occasions.  And sometimes that is enough.

The plot is pretty simple: the gang is all back in Michigan for their 13th high school reunion (Why 13? Why not? Don’t overthink it). ­Much like the original film, Jim’s sex life (or lack thereof) is a main focus. Someone is trying to lose their virginity. Jim’s dad is still having uncomfortable conversations. Kevin is still pretty forgettable, but with a beard. Stifler is still Stifler. It’s all vaguely familiar, but in an oddly comforting way. Nostalgia is part of the enjoyment. Remember, that time, back in the original American Pie?

When I say the gang is all back, I really mean all back. Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hannigan and Natasha Lyonne are all along for the ride as well as some minor characters that I didn’t even remember. The girls aren’t really given much to do, however, and their screen time is fairly minimal. This is the boys’ story. Chris Klein, who sat out the last film because of his personal issues (I blame Katie Holmes), is also back and it was honestly really nice to see him again. Honestly, looking around at the cast, it was nice to see many of them again. A lot of these actors haven’t worked in a while – at least not in anything that I’ve seen.

I see a lot of heavy and serious movies – I just watched In Darkness, a 2.5 hour Holocaust movie in Polish with subtitles that was nominated for best foreign film – so sometimes it is just nice to have a fun and silly night at the movies. American Reunion fit the bill. It may not be worth seeing in the theater, but probably is rental worthy. Make sure to watch after the credits for a funny vignette with Stifler’s mom (yup – she’s back too).

You pretty much know what you are getting with American Reunion – this is, after all, a film series made famous for a guy having sex with a pie. If the previous incarnations were your cup of tea, American Reunion is actually one of the better entries in the franchise.

American Reunion opens nationwide on Friday April 6th.

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