American Pie was a game changer. American Reunion not so much, but it does try. After 13-years, two sequels and a four straight-to-DVD movies, the whole gang is back under the direction of Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, the guys who brought you the Harold & Kumar franchise.  Does it work?  Check out our review of American Reunion below.

The Players:

  • Directors: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
  • Writers: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
  • Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Sean William Scott, Mena Suvaru, Eddie Kaye Thomas
  • Cinematography: Daryn Okada

The Plot:

Over a decade has passed since the events of the first film, and the gang returns to East Great Falls, Michigan, for one weekend. In 48 hours, they will discover how their lives have changed and developed as they gather for their high school reunion.

The Good:

  • Stifler Pranks: There’s a good amount of raunch and pranks in American Reunion that will keep you entertained throughout most of the movie. The best lines and laughs definitely come from Stifler. As a friend, he would be impossible to have, but his overgrown child persona works here because you believe that he would do all of the outrageous things he does. Surprisingly enough, the most heartfelt moments also come from Stifler. He’s the star here.
  • Eugene Levy/Jennifer Coolidge: Levy and Coolidge are great assets. Jim’s dad is a guy who never really left the house, and Stifler’s mom was in one scene in American Pie.  It was great to see them join up and act like, basically, teenagers. Levy has some great lines in the film (might require Googling) and Coolidge is just as awesome as always.
  • It Takes Risks (SPOILERS!): American Pie set the bar for movies like Superbad and Project X. It pushed the boundaries of teen comedies, and the directors know that. Here the film tries to do the same; unfortunately, Forgetting Sarah Marshall beat them to it. Yup, Jim shows us his penis. It’s still a pretty shocking moment, mainly because we’re still not that use to seeing a penis in an R-rated comedy. American Reunion probably won’t go down as the comedy movie that set the new standard for cinematic humor, but you have to give it credit for trying.
  • Easy To Follow: You don’t have to be a fan of American Pie to enjoy this movie. It’s easy to learn who’s who and who hooked up with who in high school. There’s a bunch of reference to the first few films, but nothing that will confuse new audience members.

The Bad:

  • Predictable: You begin this movie knowing that everyone is coming back and that there are going to be some awkward moments between the characters, but that by the end, everyone will work out their problems. Simple storylines often work in comedies because it’s not so much about the story as it is about the comedy. Still, the story does matter somewhat.  American Reunion is by no means a bad comedy, and the writers/directors obviously did their homework, but the story gets predictable. Everyone comes full circle and sorts out their problems in the time frame of one week. It’s unrealistic and cheesy. Pat and predictable endings are the worst kinds of endings in movies like this.
  • More Sad Than Funny: Wouldn’t you like to think that your best days are still ahead of you after high school? American Reunion will make you feel like those best days are way behind you, and in that regard the movie is more sad than funny. Most of the characters are just older versions of their younger selves – Jim’s still horny and looking to get laid; and Stifler is still pranking everyone and referring to himself in the third person as ‘The Stifmeister’. There’s nothing funny about seeing a 30-year-old guy having a mid-life crisis because he doesn’t have his life together. By the end you realize that most of these characters are borderline pathetic.

Overall:

American Reunion is like getting together with an old friend: you guys catch up, laugh a little, and then go back to your lives. These characters have grown up and they can’t do or get away with the things they use to when they were teenagers. It’s a predictable movie, but still worth watching, especially if you’re a fan of the franchise.

Rating: 6/10

American Reunion opens in theaters on April 6, 2012.

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