Movie Review: ‘American Reunion’ just another piece of pie
Tom Richardson, Clarion Staff
April 10, 2012
Filed under Arts & Culture
Did you ever have that embarrassing moment in your life when you are doing something that is very “out of character” for you, and then out of sheer bad luck, one of your family members is catching you in the act, right when you don’t want them to? This has happened to Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs) for the fourth time in his life, in the new “American Pie” sequel entitled “American Reunion.” Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg, who directed the “Harold & Kumar” films, were the filmmaking masterminds behind this fourth film in the “American Pie” series to star the original film’s cast, and the eighth overall installment in the series.
“American Reunion” takes place 13 years after the events of the first film, where Jim and his friends have all pursued careers and families since we last saw them on film. Jim gets a call at work from his friend Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) early on in the film, to see if Jim is attending the reunion, since the gang has not seen each other in a long time. Kevin and Jim hope to get their gang back together early, so that way they can have time to themselves to catch up on their busy lives, and have time to see what is going on with their fellow classmates while they are at the reunion later that weekend.
Some things that the viewers of this film will get caught up on right away is the fact that Jim has become a businessman since we last saw him, Kevin is a stay-at-home architect, Oz (Chris Klein) has become a sport show host on TV, Steve Stifler (Sean William Scott) has also become a businessman like Jim has, and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) claims that he has been able to travel the world more since we last saw him. While the gang slowly gets back together, Jim and his wife Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) also visit Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) while they are in town since they don’t get to see him a lot in their daily schedules. During the week of the reunion, Jim also encounters a girl named Kara (Ali Cobrin) who was one of his neighbors from when he was in high school. Jim used to babysit Kara, and since Jim was in town that weekend, Kara wants him to come to her 18th birthday party, since she had fond memories of Jim back when he babysat her. The viewer not only gets to see their favorite “American Pie” characters back on the screen again for one last slice of the memory pie, but they also witness what happens to Jim and his friends when things start to go wrong at Kara’s 18th birthday party.
This was a very fun comedy. Almost all fans of the “American Pie” series will be guaranteed a notable sequel with this film. It was great to see the original “American Pie” cast back in action again, and the film had a very funny sense of humor throughout it’s running time. The directors of this film made sure that the characters learned from their mistakes throughout the story, and each of the couples that were either married or dating had some real chemistry in this film. Most notably, the Kevin and Vicky (Tara Reid) relationship was very well written in this film. Many viewers will also enjoy that this film is not just about Jim, it is about his entire group of friends, and each and every person in that group had plenty of valuable screen time for this story to work. Other characters like Jim’s dad and “The Sherminator” (Chris Owen) got to be apart of some really funny jokes for this film. Some other elements of this film that the fans will really enjoy are all the homage throughout the film that is meant to represent some of the most famous jokes in the film series. Some of these jokes include strong references to the “Jim with a pie” scene, and the “illegal channels” scene from the first film. The fans are also going to love the photo stills shown during the end credits of the film, they are photos of some of the funniest jokes throughout the first three “American Pie” films, and even in this present installment. Also on a side note, make sure to stay after the end credits, for a funny scene that involves Jim’s dad in a movie theatre.
Even though “American Reunion” was an excellent comedy sequel, there are certain aspects of this film that might bother some viewers. The first is pretty obvious, if you didn’t like “American Pie 1, 2, or Wedding,” this might not be the best choice to see in the theatres right now, since the film is mostly raunchy humor, and not a lot of in-depth storyline. Another aspect of this film is that the character Steve Stifler doesn’t get to learn from his mistakes like the other characters do, and even though he is the most immature of Jim’s group of friends, some might argue that it ruins the film’s opportunity to allow all these characters to grow up, and learn from their mistakes that they had made throughout their time at the reunion. Also, a lot of the fans of this series might be disappointed that the characters Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) and Jessica (Natasha Lyonne) don’t get a lot of screen time in this film, and they were two important female characters in the first two “American Pie” films. They almost feel like cameos due to how small their roles were in this film.
“American Reunion” is a humorous, fun and inviting sequel to the “American Pie” series. If you have been a fan of the series since day one, this sequel will be quite a pleasant surprise. This last slice of the pie is one worth experiencing.
I give the film 4 1/2 / 5 stars.