Directors: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Writers: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Stars: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Sean William Scott, Eugene Levy
Release date: April 6th, 2012
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Running time: 113 minutes
Best part: Sean William Scott.
Worst part: The been-there-done-that sub-plots.
The first American Pie was an instant box office hit and landmark Hollywood comedy. This infamous frat boy farce fused together high school rebellion, sexual conquests and fall out of your seat hilarity to perfectly implant itself into the minds of horny teenagers and MILFs everywhere. Enter American Pie: Reunion; among many trying too hard to stick the same landing as its influential predecessor.
The bevy of memorably charming yet wacky characters in this series come together for a fourth time, nine years since the wedding of Jim Levinstein (Jason Biggs) and his bad camp sweetheart Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), to solve their complicated and uncomfortable problems. With thirteen years gone by since their high school graduation, Jim and Michelle accompany old buddies Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nichols), Stifler (Sean William Scott) and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) to the reunion. Each relationship, sexual complication and crazy character from years past presents a problem as friendships and attitudes take significant and alarming turns.
This piece of the pie primarily suffers from one of the biggest symptoms of sequelitis; it resembles a remake of the original. With every charismatic character and character actor from film’s past, comes one formulaic sex related problem and situation right after it. Despite the fun sense of nostalgia it tightly holds onto for the fans, many of the tropes that make the original stand out are hit and miss here, particularly the humour. the script leaves a too much time open for a needless amount of filthy jokes and shocking pranks. When not handling awkward situations through disgusting means, American Pie: Reunion spends too much time on flicking through its many sub-plots, all of them very familiar. Jim and Michelle trying to rekindle their spark in the bedroom after having a child, Kevin reminiscing with old flame Vicky (Tara Reid), Oz and Heather (Mena Suvari) reminiscing after their break up and Stifler refusing to change are all underwhelming and awkwardly resolved. While one major sub-plot, involving Jim fighting off the advances of the now 18 year old neighbour he used to babysit, quickly strays into plain creepiness.
“Is it an erectile problem? Because sometimes, you can buy a little time… with a well-placed thumb.” (Jim’s Dad (Eugene Levy), American Pie: Reunion).
Fans will ultimately love looking back on a different time (the 90s), mostly due to the chemistry between this beloved cast of misfit characters. Thankfully the five guys we once knew as desperate virgins and loud mouth teens still work well together. Despite Biggs’ irritating Woody Allen-esque shtick, Klein’s uncomfortably bland performance and the large number of useless cameos from fan favourites, the friendship between everyone feels realistic in American Pie: Reunion’s charming moments. A stand out here is John Cho AKA one half of Harold and Kumar, known simply in this series as MILF Guy 1. Him, along with an effective cameo by Neil Patrick Harris, prove to be the film’s highlights, as their comedic abilities are streaks ahead of most of the cast. Credit also goes to Sean William Scott and Eugene Levy. Levy as Jim’s charming yet inappropriate dad always delivers a large amount of likeability. While still resembling the devil on everyone’s shoulder, Scott delivers a significant amount of energy, yet not enough for a film that refuses to go as far as it should or even provide any sense of originality for this already popular franchise.
American Pie: Reunion, without a doubt, is an interesting experiment drenched in nostalgia. Despite the nice cast and fun sight-gags, this sequel seems to exist simply to pay its underworked and overconfident actors. Sorry, 90s kids!