American Pie Reunion

American Pie Reunion


Reviewed by: Stephen Carty

Like a number of franchises over recent years, American Pie: Reunion attempts to recapture the spirit of its still-superior original by reuniting the cast and largely ignoring the naff sequels. After all, while American Pie was a hugely successful teen comedy that captured a satisfying balance between smut and heart, the second felt like a repetitive copy and the third devolved into an overly-gross joke which wasn’t funny. Thankfully then, the fourth slice of pie, while still going overboard with the odd ridiculous situation, is charming, funny and far better than the last few, if inevitably still someway short of the first.

Ever since having a child, Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Michelle Hannigan) have become boring parents whose sex life has fizzled out. Invited to their 13-year class reunion, they catch up with the rest of the gang: Oz (Chris Klein) is a semi-famous sports presenter but still carrying a torch for old girlfriend Heather (Mena Suvari); Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is now a content house-husband but finds himself enjoying the company of ex flame Vicky (Tara Reid); and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is well-travelled but hasn’t managed to find ‘the one’ just yet. As for Stifler (Seann Williams Scott), he’s working as a temp but still keen to keep the party going.

Copy picture

Not all the gags land and there’s still plenty of toilet humour, but the latest instalment will make you laugh. Quite a bit in fact. Writing-directing partnership Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are clearly big fans of the original, so American Pie: Reunion will likely appeal most to those who’re still fond of the first slice. As mentioned, the whole cast is reunited, while there are also plenty of callbacks to events from American Pie and choice soundtrack selections which will ring bells with sharper Pie fans. Hell, even the latest poster is (purposefully) the same as the original’s. Sadly, the female characters don’t get the focus they were once afforded (if any focus at all) and a few plot threads are either undercooked or utterly predictable, but it’s nice to be back with these characters and a few small favourites (like the MILF guys and The Sherminator) are given their own fleeting moments.

And, while cynical fans have dismissed how much Reunion looks back into the past, that’s pretty much the point. Again, the picture will appeal to those who enjoyed American Pie, and in particular, to those who went to see it as a teenager and have aged along with the characters. As such, if you’re at the stage in your life where you should be settling down, going to dinner parties instead of house parties and find yourself wondering if you and your friends were as obnoxious as today’s teens, then the nostalgia will perhaps strike a chord.

Biggs, who point-blank refuses to age, is likeable as Jim once again and it’s a nice reversal that he’s gone from chasing sex to avoiding it. Eugene Levy is comedy gold dust once more as Jim’s bushy-browed dad (finally meeting a certain someone’s mother), but most of the movie’s best lines come from Scott’s Stifler. After being so over-cranked in the third, the Stifmeister is back to being funny while the script finally addresses his relationship with the gang (ie that’s he’s always been a hanger-on who wanted to be “one of the guys”) and provides a satisfying payoff to his character. For those who still care.

While cynics will dismiss it or complain at all the nostalgia, American Pie: Reunion is a charming and funny improvement over the second and third slices which might speak to those reminiscing about their own teen years. It’s no deep character piece, but fans of the original will like it.

Reviewed on: 08 Sep 2012
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It's high school reunion time for Stifler and the gang.
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