First we watched them survive High School, then we laughed our way through their first summer home from college and finally we watched as Jim and Michelle finally tied the knot. Now, the whole gang is back together for their thirteen year High School reunion in American Reunion.
In past posts, I have made it clear that I am very skeptical of comedy movie sequels. More often than not the sequels are bad but somehow, the American Pie franchise has survived the curse of the sequel. Both American Pie 2 and American Wedding were in my opinion, two very funny, very successful sequels. Though the franchise has produced quality sequels in the past, I still walked into American Reunion as a skeptic. It only took fifteen minutes for the film to prove that the franchise was still as strong as ever. We’ve seen them in High School, College and we’ve even seen them get married; now it’s time to see what the gang is up to in the midst of adulthood. Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are struggling sexually with their marriage, ever since their two year old son was born. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is also married but there are no signs of children. Oz (Chris Klein) is a famous, wealthy sportscaster and nobody seems to know where Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is. Though everybody else has spread across the country, Stifler (Seann William Scott) remained in his hometown, working as an abused temp. The gang’s 13 year high school reunion brings them all back home and as is expected, hilarity ensues. The film keeps the same raunchy humor, delivering a laugh a minute and keeping the audience entertained for nearly two full hours.
Not only do all the main characters return but most side characters do as well. Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) and Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge) both show up in a number of different scenes and Vicky (Tara Reid) and Heather (Mena Suvari) return to cause problems in their former lover’s lives. The notorious MILF due returns (Justin Isfeld and John Cho), though with a rocky relationship, the Sherminator makes a cameo and even Nadie (Shannon Elizabeth) returns for the reunion. As each character returns, the movie feels more and more like a true reunion. Each character adds more laughs but, as always, Eugene Levy steals the show. The movies is full of the awkward father/son talks between Jim and his father that the franchise is famous for but Levy is at his funniest when he attends a party at Stifler’s house. Between Stifler and Stifler’s mother, Jim’s dad drinks and smokes to excess, creating what I found to be the funniest scene in the movie.
The movie’s soundtrack surprised me quite a bit. The original American Pie had a very iconic, 90’s soundtrack that often repeats itself throughout the franchise. The first half of American Reunion however was filled with current music that was popular in 2011/12. The shift in soundtrack really emphasized how far out of High School the gang was. The town had changed, the people had changed, the parties had changed and they had changed. As they got into the same old shit they go into in High School, the music began to shift. Good Charlotte started to provide the soundtrack rather than Cobra Starship. The music change not only makes sense, because the reunion has a 90’s theme, but it also gives the film the reunion fell it needs. The characters are having a reunion but fans of the franchise, those that grew up with American Pie, American Pie 2 and American Wedding, got a true reunion of their favorite movies and their favorite hilarious characters.
For someone who has almost no faith in comedy movie sequels, I could not believe how much I loved this movie. Funny from beginning to end, the film makes what I hope to be the perfect end to a successful comedy franchise. I give the film a 7 out of 10 and highly recommend it, especially if, like me, you grew up watching American Pie.