American Reunion

The American Pie gang is back.

With (roughly) ten years having passed since the first movies, the cast from the American Pie trilogy has a perfect excuse to return with a fourth installment – the high school reunion. “American Reunion” brings all the old classmates back in to town to reconnect and reminisce for a weekend. Of course they bring new problems with them that they didnt have in high school, seeing as they’re older… Marriage, children, careers, etc. Yet put them all together and they find a way to fall right back into their familiar rhythms and drunken sex antics.

Surprisingly though, “American Reunion” was a really well done comedy, with the added bonus of getting to spend time with old familiar, characters. It all added up to be highly enjoyable…

Just like warm apple pie.

“American Reunion” opens with Jim and Michelle. Still married, they now have a young son. I didn’t say “happily” married, however, because the two have fallen into a bit of a rut as far as their love life is concerned… they’ve lost that loving feeling. It seems like something that married couples would work through, but it happens to be rearing its head just before their high school reunion.

In this case, the high school class in question is the class of ’99.

As much as things have changed, many things still remain the same. Jim still can not get sexually aroused with any degree of privacy or physical safety. Thankfully, his father is still around to provide uncomfortably frank counsel. Steve Stifler is still as obnoxious as ever, perhaps even more so now that the rest of the group has matured. “Oz” Ostreicher has become a bit of a celebrity, with a career in sports broadcasting and an appearance on “Celebrity Dance Off” under his belt. Paul Finch has begun traveling the world, and still occasionally reminsces about Stifler’s mom. And Kevin Myers remains the character who you’re just not sure what his role is in the movie.

Putting them together reignites many of the same behaviors of past movies. There’s drinking and partying, hooking up, MILFs, and plenty of awkward sexual situations. Jim’s next door neighbor has grown up into an attractive young teenager, and she wants to act out on her childhood crush on him. Of course, this is going to complicate the already tenuous situation between Jim and Michelle. Add in the fact that Stifler is driven to throw a wild pre-reunion party so he can hook up with chicks, and you can see how things might get out of hand. The rest of the gang is brought along for the ride, including Jim’s dad, who is recently a widower, and who comes along to “get out of the house”. Of course, he winds up encoutnering Stifler’s mom. In fact, several of the cast deal with romances, but just like the first “American Pie”, they really only serve to but some breathers into the comedy.

And I have to say… it was a really good comedy.

It was really, really, funny. Seriously, I laughed pretty much from beginning to end. At times like, really cracking up. The movie didnt break any new ground, but it never felt like a straight up reheat, either. They just took the “American Pie” players, with as solid an excuse as any (the reunion), and created a new set of situations for them to get into. I’ll have to say that a lot of the enjoyment of this flick had to have come from revisiting the characters again, because it can’t be THAT good… but I was laughing through like the entire movie. Stifler was back in people’s faces, Jim is caught in every kind of embarrassing situation imaginable, and even Oz has some funny moments this time. Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) and Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge) have one of the funniest post credits sequences you’re ever going to see. The comedy is crude and lewd at times, but they do it very well. The pacing is great, the jokes are solid, and the cast holds up their end.

All in all it greatly exceeded my expectations, and I went in hoping it was going to be good. The familiarity with the cast and characters added a level of nostalgic comfort to a well written comedy, and I laughed for through the entire showing.

Fans of the original series should consider this “Can’t Miss”.

A-

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16 thoughts on “American Reunion

  1. American Pie was THE movie to watch when I was in High School. See, I’m class of 2001 and their antics were somewhat similar to what was going on in my environment. Now that they are back, it’s as if it’s my reunion too. I can’t wait to watch this movie. Great review, I’m glad to see a high rating. I was afraid of the dreaded “C” or worst “F”.

    • Yeah, I was way ahead of them, but I could relate. A lot of it is timeless teenage stuff.

      If you have a connection to the earlier movies, I cant imagine how you could be disappointed with this. I felt that same way, that I would go in and be really let down, but I wasn’t… the audience I was with seemed to eat it up too, but not critics apparently. Not batting well on the ol Rotten Tomatoes.

  2. Mel and I went to this this weekend. It was the first movie she’s seen in theatres for over 2 years, since Charlotte was born. We both really enjoyed it. Like you said… Nothing really new to see here, it’s the same formula of exaggerated awkward (yet nearly relatable) situations. But for me at least, that formula still works when done right, and I really feel this one did it right. Pretty solid 4/5 star experience for me.

    I must say I am surprised this one hit it off with you, Fogs. I really expected a “Clerks 2″ or “Say Anything Else” or “Matthew Broderick Drives a Honda” level rage rant on this one. I know it would have been more on principle than die-hard love of the source material, but still… not what I expected.

    Unrelated side note: I just learned that relatable isn’t a “real” word.

    • Heyyyy… Spike! Good to see you, buddy.

      Relatable? Thats a real word. What are you talking about?

      Glad you and Melanie enjoyed it. Especially if you havent been getting out to the theatre much with the baby and all… You want to make those trips count.

      Meanwhile, as to a “Rant” on this one.

      2 Previous sequels and all the “branded” movies have really softened me. Of the three flicks you mentioned (which of course, I’ve… railed against sequels to) two of them have had no sequels. Plus… this was a movie about an entire high school class, a reunion flick makes total sense.

      I’m not against sequels per se, a lot of the best movies are sequels. But sequels 20+ years later make me squeamish. And if a movie is unique and memorable, it should be left alone.

      • I had a feeling one-off originals would be the defining quality that made the difference, but I wasn’t sure.

        Regarding relatable, it was (and is) setting off the spell checker, so I googled it. Apparently, it *is* a word, but we’re all using it wrong. Like how ignorant now means rude, instead of lacking knowledge. Relatable originally meant “able to be related”, like information being passed along… not “I understand how that feels”, which is how we use it now. Now, of course, being for the last 65 odd years.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/magazine/15onlanguage.html

  3. Wow, was not expecting such a positive review! Maybe I need to see this one after all. It could be fun to see the old gang back together again…

    • Trust me, I was as shocked as you are. There are times when I’m leaving a theatre and I’m thinking… you’re not really about to give that movie an A, are you? LOL.

      It’s a comedy that cracked me up all the way through. Thats what comedies should do… I laughed a lot. A LOT. So, I know… but, I had to be fair to it. It was really funny.

  4. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | LAMBScores: American Reunion and The Hunter

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