Is American Reunion a welcomed return to classic American Pie, or a high school reunion that should never have happened?
There was a time when American Pie was known as one of the raunchiest films around. Not known for its cinematic mastery, Pie was new and exciting to audiences not used to seeing young boys ‘interacting’ with warm apple pies. Shannon Elizabeth’s topless scene was only part of an experience that seemed to redefine the entire genre. But time has a way of changing people’s minds, so when The Hangover became such an amazing success, franchises like Pie lost their luster. Sadly, American Reunion only strengthens my belief that the franchise is either no longer funny or wasn’t ever funny, and we were just trying to be nice about it. Any shred of story here, about how the gang gets together for a 13th year high school reunion, is utterly lost in gross humor, poor acting, and tired old sexual clichés. Everyone is older, less funny, and worried about either their lack of sexual activity or the choices they made after high school. This attempt to make two separate movies, one raunchy and one coming-of-age, comes off feeling more like an after-school special than a franchise trying to grow out of its pubescent roots.
There are some funny moments, particularly between dad (Eugene Levy) and son Jim (Jason Biggs), and it's nice to see the gang all back (including a nice cameo or two), but Tara Reid (The Big Lebowski) and Mena Suvari (American Beauty) seem strangely out of place. Neither seems very comfortable, their lines are way too serious for the overall tone of the film, and they really get in the way of any meaningful humor that this edition so desperately needed. Even the antics of Stiffler (Seann William Scott) seem tired – every movie of this genre seems to have a Stiffler in it nowadays.
The suggestion at film’s end is that the gang will reunify in future episodes to rekindle old friendships; I sure hope that doesn’t happen. I’m not sure we could stand the boredom of yet another raunchy, coming-of-age movie that fails to exist well in either genre. The Hangover never really strayed beyond its comfort zone, fearing it would take itself too seriously. That’s a lesson Reunion should have learned. Save your money for The Avengers.
Please Leave A Comment-