American Pie: Reunion Review

A long, long time ago I can still remember how American Pie used to make me smile.

That film showed even I had a chance to lose my virginity at a high school dance, and that thought used to make me smile real wide.

American Pie: Reunion begins by re-introducing us to those best buds from the original.

Jim Levenstein is still married and has a kid with his now wife Michelle, Oz has become a wildly successful sports anchor, Finch has become a man of travel and adventure and Kevin is a stay at home husband slash architect.

Their best worst friend Stifler is still on the scene and, unlike his more grown up buddies, he is almost exactly the same as he was nearly a decade ago. Which is exactly why no talks to him.

As their high school reunion looms thirteen years since they all left, these once great friends decide it’s time to head back to East Great Falls and reconnect with the past. Each of them is still searching for something they’re missing out on in life, and they all believe a return home will bring whatever it is they’re lacking.

American Pie: Reunion is an un-necessary and overly long, trip down a rather hazy memory lane. The original Pie was eminently quotable and great in its own way; the next two slices however were mediocre at best, and the straight to tv movies which followed didn’t even live up to these.

As with previous slices, the plot of American Pie: Reunion weaves in and out of the male characters story lines. Chris Klein’s Oz begins to reconnect with Heather, played by Mena Suvari, who is just as lovely as she was all those years ago.

Thomas Ian Nicholas as Kevin wonders if he still has a special place in his heart for his first love, with Tara Reid’s career trajectory serving as the perfect preparation to reprise her role as the lonely, lost and sort of forgotten Vicky.

Eddie Kaye Thomas’ character of Finch connects with Michelle’s one time ugly band camp friend Selena, who has naturally become a knock out since high school, while Sean William Scott’s Stifler bemoans the general lack of fun everyone around him doesn’t seem to be having.

Of course, the main plot strand hovers around Jason Biggs Jim and his declining sex life with Michelle, played by Alyson Hannigan. Since having a child, these two seem to have lost that loving feeling which keeps any relationship alive.

In a desperate bid to save their marriage, Jim turns to the one man whose good advice has never let him down before; his father played by the ever reliable Eugene Levy. Their scenes are touching, sweet and provide the sentimental backbone American Pie: Reunion rests upon.

Rather then being a clever reboot or reinvention of the franchise, directors Job Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg decided to desperate flog a dead horse instead by rigidly sticking to the exact same formula of previous films.

Stilted and highly self-referential dialogue make for a clunky plot, which is exacerbated by an endless string of forgettable cameos that only serve to remind you just how unmemorable the other films must have been.

There are several laugh out loud moments, most of which are provided by the underused Levy and Jennifer Coolidge, who returns as the predatory Stifler’s Mom. But it’s hard not to feel that this film is little more than a desperate bid by a bunch of average actors to remain culturally relevant.

So bye bye American Pie: Reunion, for today your laughter died.

Shelton Lindsay

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April 2012
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