Saturday, April 14, 2012

American Reunion (2012)


What high school class puts together their big reunion on the 13th anniversary of their graduation?  Well, if it needs to fit the plot because American Reunion was a few years late, then it’s made to seem like it’s the most normal event in the world rather than a plot device.  All of the main characters we were first introduced to in 1999 are back and it feels comfortable and nostalgic.  Also, for those of us who have passed the 30 mark, it is refreshing to see that other people have as well, even the American Pie kids.
The characters are in various stages of success and home life and for whatever reason, some just get a lot more attention this time around while other are shuffled towards the back of the line.  Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) remain front and center and show up to reunion weekend with a two year kid and lack of steam in the bedroom.  They stay with Jim’s Dad (Eugene Levy) who is just going through the motions after losing his wife three years ago.  The most successful of the group is Oz (Chris Klein).  He lives in L.A. and is on TV as a sports anchor as well as carrying around his fame from a stint on a rip-off version of Dancing with the Stars.  He also brings his girlfriend Mia (Katrina Bowden) who has to drink at every “I never” in the ‘I never’ game because she is so…experienced. 
For some reason, Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is a bit of an afterthought here.  He was right up front in the first two films in the series but now he has faded to make room for the more outlandish characters.  He has a long-term girlfriend who has a bit of a DVR obsession but no real problems.  Vicki (Tara Reid) shows up for the weekend so the audience gets to watch to see if they will or they won’t.  It doesn’t really matter.  Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) screams up on a motorcycle and appears to be the most interesting man in the world with tales of South America and Africa.  Finally, there is Stifler (Seann William Scott).  He never left town, still lives at home, and works a horrible office temp job.  This reunion weekend is lined up to be the highlight of his decade.
That was a lot of plot description and there are still plenty of characters not mentioned.  This is what reunions are for, you see people you used to know and get the two minute “what have you been up to the past 13 years?”  Even though all the kids are now grown up and have adult lives, they are still able to find themselves in those classic American Pie sexual mortifying episodes.  Jim and Jim’s dad still have those frequent and choppy sex conversations which are no longer amusing, there are misunderstandings when caught with half-naked teenagers, and Stifler still creates the most absurd yet hysterical comedic episodes.
Instead of the usual American Pie crew, they brought in the Harold & Kumar team (John Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg) to breathe some fresh life into this iteration.  They also brought back all of the original cast members.  Just like at a real reunion, you start asking yourself where have some of these people been lately?  Jason Biggs, Tara Reid, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari, etc…  It’s good to see you guys again but I know that after this reunion, you’re just going to leave again and I probably will not see you for another few years.     
The pranks and shocking scenes live up to their predecessors’ example and American Reunion has surprisingly made itself to be a quality get together.  It was easy to upstage the lousy American Wedding and move past the mostly forgettable American Pie 2.  Reunion does not reach the peak of the original film, but it is enjoyable and if you look past the ridiculous 13 year issue, you will laugh and enjoy the time with some old character friends of yours.

1 comment:

  1. The original gang is back and still have the comedic timing they did 13 years ago, which is always fun no matter what. There isn’t anything new or special about this entry into the series but for anyone who wants some nice 1999 nostalgia, then this is the perfect fit. Good review Charlie. I liked it a lot more than the previous two sequels though, which may not be saying too much but still says something.