‘American Reunion’ brings the band back together for more pie

Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan in 'American Reunion'
Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan in ‘American Reunion’

In 1999, American Pie became more than just the title of a hit song.  It was a coming of age film that showed us the journey of four high school boys who had entered into a pact to each lose their virginity by the time the sun rose the morning after Prom night.

We’ve seen them reunite twice since then, in American Pie 2 and then in American Wedding where Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) got married.

Now, 13 years later, the time has come for the first official high school reunion.  The married couple, albeit not quite so happily since the birth of their child apparently sank their healthy sex life together, along with Oz (Chris Klein), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) are going home a few days before the reunion to spend time with friends and family.  The one person who didn’t get an invite to the pre-reunion reunion is Stifler (Seann William Scott), who still refers to himself as the “Stifmeister,” and who has apparently regressed any and all of the character growth we watched him painfully endure in American Wedding.

Almost everyone from the original film returns, with the one notable exception being Jim’s mother.  Jim’s Dad (Eugene Levy) lost his wife three years earlier and Jim wants to push his dad out the front door and back into the world, but Dad isn’t quite ready to budge.

Eugene Levy is back in 'American Reunion'
Eugene Levy is back in ‘American Reunion’

They all need this reunion badly.  Oz is now a sports host for some kind of ESPN clone while Kevin appears to have become his wife’s wife and apparently lets her hold the remote control when they watch Real Housewives.  Finch became a global adventurer and rides into town aboard a hot motorcycle.  Kevin’s wife will be there for the reunion, as will Oz’s squeeze Mia. Jim encounters the little girl next door that he used to baby-sit and she’s about to turn 18, is all grown up and still has a thing for her former babysitter.

If you’ve seen the original or either of the earlier sequels, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect.  Stifler is going to show up, going to make an ass out of himself and in general upset the applecart.  Stifler’s mother is still the blonde bombshell hidden upstairs or wherever MILFs hide out.  Yes, MILF Guy #2 managed to get away from White Castle to return to East Great Falls as well.

There are encounters with the current crop of miscreant teens, the obligatory beach scene in order to show off fit bikini bods, and loads of laughs of the type that were sought and achieved in the original and its sequels.

Where American Reunion fails actually ends up making it a success.

We loved to hate Stifler for being such a horse’s ass and when it looked like he might turn into a useful member of society we wanted to cringe at the sight.  He’s reverted back to full-on dickhead and it ends up being just fine.  The guys love/hate relationship with that Stifler is what they want and need from him.  Some men just never grow up and they don’t have to be Peter Pan in choosing not to mature.

The raunchy humor is back and you’ll see more of Jason Biggs anatomy than ever displayed on-screen before.  The Sherminator manages to squeeze in a moment or too and maybe this time he’ll do better.  Jessica (Natasha Lyonne) is also there for a nano-second and is woefully wasted in a quick appearance.

Mena Suvari is also back as Heather and she and Oz have unfinished business, even though each is involved with someone else.  Tara Reid is also back so the filmmakers can remind us that no matter how many time one loves in a lifetime, that first love is always something special, meaningful and unforgettable. Making a cameo appearance as someone else’s Mother is the still gorgeous Rebecca DeMornay.

In the end, this is nothing more than good execution of a film formula that works, and when the characters are wrapping things up with a promise that they will get together again long before the next high school reunion, you will probably want to join them.

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