Review: American Reunion

American Reunion
The original cast comes back for more in American Reunion

American Reunion

1 Star

Starring Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Chris Kline, Thomas Ian Nichols, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Eugene Levy

There’s a reason we never revisited The Breakfast Club, Fast Times At Ridgemont High or Dazed & Confused. Everything that needed to be said about the characters, their relevant arcs, was said. Sure, it’s nice to speculate where Stacy and Marc are, what happened to Bender, or what Randall Floyd is up to… but the speculation is fun. Having their futures laid out in an unsatisfying way is not how we want to remember those beloved characters. And that is the undoing of the American Pie franchise as a whole, and American Reunion particularly.

I rather enjoyed the first American Pie. It was unique for a teen movie, in that it directly addressed the issue of sex, and treated it with heart. Sure, there was juvenile humour involved, but they were juveniles… it made sense in context. But that was one thing the first one had, it’s heart. Every entrant since has been a pale shadow of the original that recycles jokes and refuses to allow its characters to grow.

In fact, the most glaring character devolution of the franchise is Seann William Scott’s Stifler. Scott is a talented, capable actor whose work I have enjoyed over the years. But Stifler in the 99 was a cool, party guy, even if he was kind of dickish. And while, through the years, the rest of the characters were allowed some sort of natural maturation, he grew more immature as the years went on, almost to the point that he seems to have some sort of (barely) functional retardation.

That’s the worst, everything else is just… bad. Every situation seems contrived to make the joke, completely clichéd (“It’s not what it looks like!”), and still juvenile. Jim still has problems masturbating, Finch is still pretentious, Kevin is still the lovelorn optimist, Oz is still the dumb jock with a heart of gold. Really? They couldn’t grow as people in the 13 years since they were in high school?

The only enjoyable bit came at the very end, a scene between the great Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge. That’s perfection, and that scene alone is worth one star.

I just couldn’t bring myself to like this one, as much as I wanted to. It’s just a hopeless retread of the original, offering nothing new and everything exactly as expected. Save your money… don’t bother with this one.


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