American Reunion

The films in the original “American Pie” trilogy were the kind of movies I would have to stealthily watch in the night to avoid a stern talking to from the Mr. and Mrs. But now, like the characters of “American Reunion,” I am all grown up, and I am in control.

But the same cannot be said for the hijinks of the gang including Jim (Jason Biggs); Michelle (Alyson Hannigan); Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicolas); Oz (Chris Klein); Finch (Eddie Kay Thomas) and Stifler (Sean William Scott). None of their adult lives is going the way they planned, but, hey, does anyone’s?

The “American Pie” movies are famous for bringing back the teen movie with a raunchy, humorous and even insightful take on teenage culture. The last film was in 2003 (“American Wedding”), and the characters and the actors themselves have grown up. On the other hand, the humor and the antics of those characters have not aged a day.

The movie was filled with the exact same kind of gags and filthy dialogue of the original films. And even though everyone involved is a decade older, none of it felt dated or worn.

The writers and the actors have everything down to a science. They knew what would make this movie work and please the fans. The humor didn’t go overboard, nor did it feel lessened from fear its fans have aged.

One scene involved Jason Biggs as Jim carrying a naked, drunk girl back into her home, with his buddies attempting to distract the parents. The nudity was there for dirty humor’s sake, but it did not dominate the humor. What did dominate was the characters’ reactions to it all.

The shout out that needs to be given here is to the now thirty-something Sean William Scott. You can tell the character of Stifler was like second nature to him. It was like watching a perverted genius at work. The way he was able to contort his face and gave that scheming yet charming smile was an art. As with all the films, he is one of the main driving forces of the comedy.

The only place where the movie failed was in the lack of attention to some of the main cast. This relates to Mena Suvari as Heather and Tara Reid as Vicky. They were almost left out and seemed to be there just to give two of the male characters a reason to be there other than to just stand around. It seemed as if neither had more than a few scenes.

But other than that, the movie delivered on everything it promised: Dirty laughs from characters we love.

Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) stole the show in some scenes and even got in on some of the action including a post-credit scene with Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge) that got the biggest laugh of the film.

The “Pie” movies have never been about depth but have always had certain ideas about love and life. The same was here. I can think of at least three real situations that existed in this film including troubled marriage, adult life not being like high school and regret for those you left behind. And although some may criticize the film for not digging deeper into those and not trying anything new, all I have to say is “Why fix what isn’t broken?” Clearly the filmmakers thought the same way.

Grade: B-

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