American Reunion

© 2012 Ray Wong

It's hard to believe that it's been 13 years since we first met Jim, Michelle, Oz, and Stiffler in American Pie. Now in their early 30s, the gang is back for more sex and love (san Rock n Roll).

Since getting married, Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) seem to have everything they want: careers, family, a cute infant son, and each other. But their marriage has hit a snag specially in the bedroom department. They hope to rekindle their fire when they attend their belated high school reunion back in East Village Falls, Michigan.

Once there, Jim reunite with his best pals: Oz (Chris Klein) who is now a celebrity sportscaster; Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) who is a happily married/domesticated architect; and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), now an adventurer. They deliberately avoided troublemaker Stiffler (Sean William Scott), who happens to visit "Stiffler's Mom" (Jennifer Coolidge) anyway.

The guys want to have a good time and recapture the best years of their lives: they seem to be stuck in high school, still. Especially for Stiffler -- he is exactly the same as he was 13 years ago, still a "dick." Coming home to them becomes an exercise of nostalgia and resurfaced feelings when their "first loves" show up. It proves to be a weekend they won't forget.

It's quite a nostalgic treat to see all the actors back to play their beloved characters, especially since many of them have gone on to better and brighter things. Jason Biggs (Life Happens) got his huge break with American Pie as the pie-humping teen. Reprising the role of Jim seems easy to him, but this time he brings a certain level of maturity to the character in addition to the usual earnestness and befuddlement. As his wife, Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother) is in top form as a mom who wants to be a teenager in love again. After all these years, Biggs and Hannigan continue to radiate great chemistry together.

Chris Klein (American Dreamz) is hilarious, charming and earnest as Oz, the hopelessly romantic dork trapped in a hunk's body. After all these years, Oz still pines for his first love Heather. Mena Survari seems to be a bit loss reprising her character. The chemistry isn't quite there. Thomas Ian Nicholas (Cattle Call) and Eddie Kaye Thomas (Harold and Kumar) seem at ease playing Kevin and Finch respectively, although both of us also bring new levels of maturity to their roles. The standout is, once again, Sean William Scott (Role Models), who plays man-child Stiffler with such energy that he could possibly play that character for the rest of his life.

The fantastic cast and cameos include lovely Tara Reid (Last Call) as Kevin's old flame, sultry Jennifer Coolidge (The Jack of Spades) as Stiffler's mom, dorky Eugene Levy (For Your Consideration) as Jim's dad, and a certain bit player named John Cho (Star Trek) as, you know, that Asian MILF Guy #2.

The screenplay by Adam Herz (American Pie), co-directors Jon Hurwitz (Harold and Kumar) and Hayden Schlossberg (Harold and Kumar) follows the same blueprint of the originals, and than goodness for that. Seemingly plotless, the story simply is an excuse to get these characters together to do what they do best: be silly and awkward and sincere. You can't go wrong with these bumbling fools who are simply so darn cute and adorable for being dorks.

Granted, the situations they get into are rather trite and there's that been-there-done-that feeling: after all, teen sex comedies are nothing new anymore. The jokes aren't always funny, and not as dirty as they should be either -- we have seen funnier and dirtier in new flicks such as Superbad or the Hangover. Still, what is endearing about the American Pie franchise is the characters. So kudos to the writers for retaining that quality, and for the actors of diving back into these beloved characters after so many years.

Hurwitz and Schlossberg have done a good job streamlining the relatively plotless story and coordinating among a huge cast of beloved characters played by many now-famous actors. And the cast seems to have a great time as well. The production value is good, and the film has a surprisingly polished look to it despite being a teen sex comedy. Well, I guess it's unfair to call it a "teen" comedy anymore given most of the characters are now in their 30s. They've all grown up. But we don't have to. And that's one reunion for which I can't wait to come back.

Stars: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Sean William Scott, Mena Suvari, Tara Reid, Jennifer Coolidge, Eugene Levy, John Cho
Directors: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Writers: Adam Herz, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Distributor: Universal
MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content, nudity, language, drug use and teen drinking
Running Time: 113 minutes


Script - 7
Performance - 8
Direction - 8
Cinematography - 7
Music/Sound - 7
Editing - 8
Production - 8

Total - 7.8 out of 10.0

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