Movie Review: American Reunion (**1/2)

Movie Review: American Reunion (**1/2)


Genre: Comedy

Premise: The whole American Pie gang get back together for their 13-year high school reunion, struggling to reconcile who they were in high school with who they are now.  Side note: who has a 13-year reunion?

Behind-the-Scenes: Written and  directed by the two guys who gave us the Harold and Kumar series.  Jason Biggs shows his junk in it.  Every cast member from American Pie is back, some more successful than others at this point in their careers.

The Good: It's amazing what a healthy dose of '90s nostalgia and fondness for the first American Pie can get you.  For much of the movie's running time, it's perfectly content just coasting on those two things, and I must admit that as an audience member, I was happy to go along for the ride.  The cast is very likeable.  Sean William Scott is the stand-out among the guys as the over-the-top Stifler and gets his lion's share of the laughs with a few choice line readings.  But it's Eugene Levy who is the movie's real secret weapon.  He's given a nice story arc this time around (getting over the death of Jim's mom), and it allows Levy to have some fun playing drunk, getting high, and wooing Stifler's mom (Jennifer Coolidge - a nifty little Christopher Guest alumni reunion unto itself).  Stifler gets some satisfying payback against Finch for sleeping with his mom.

The Bad:  The comedic style of the American Pie films hasn't aged that gracefully, and the screenwriters don't try to update the formula at all.  Many of the jokes are stale, and you can't help but feel that you've moved on from these characters.  Am I getting too old to find Stifler's immature shenanigans funny anymore?  I hate to say yes, but it's true, and I don't think I'm alone in that sentiment.  The female characters are, as usual, given short shrift and despite the presence of talented actresses like Mena Suvari and Alyson Hannigan (notice I left Tara Reid out), there's not all that much they can do with the roles.

Should You See It?:  If you liked any of the other American Pie movies, you'll probably enjoy this one.  In that case, yes.  Otherwise, American Reunion probably won't be the film to make you a convert to the franchise.

Rating: **1/2 out of 5 stars.

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