American Reunion – Growing Up

American Reunion – Growing Up

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  1. Sex sells, right?  That’s the idea behind the whole American Pie franchise which has done pretty well throughout the years.  American Pie dropped in 1999 with American Pie 2 following just 2 years later and American Wedding rounding out the trilogy two years after that.  Apart from some straight to DVD spinoffs, the franchise remained as a trilogy until 2012 when the Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg directed American Reunion hit theaters on April 6 and grossed considerably more than it’s 50 million or so dollar budget.  Thirteen years later, Stifler and company can still bring a crowd!

    What is it about?

    It’s 13 years after the gang graduated from high school.  Last time, Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle’s (Alyson Hannigan) wedding brought the group back together but now it’s been long enough since the wedding for Jim and Michelle to have a two-year-old son and marriage problems, Oz (Chris Klein) to have a swanky Los Angeles job and be a pseudo celebrity, Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) to have a pretty wife and be a stay at home architect, and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) to have all kinds of wild stories about his travels.  It turns out that their high school is having a 13 year reunion and all the guys want to use this opportunity to reunite.  They don’t however, want to invite Stifler (Seann William Scott) beacause they are afraid he will screw everything up like usual.

    While drinking at a bar a few nights before the reunion, the guys (much to their chagrin) run into Stifler who acts like he’s not upset that they didn’t get in touch with him.  From there, the film becomes what you expect from this franchise:  crazy antics involving a lot of alcohol, nudity, sexual jokes, and bad language… but it’s pretty funny!  Some highlights are as follows:  they sneak a drunk 18 year old (whom Jim used to babysit) into her parents’ house while she tries her hardest to hook up with Jim, they get back at some high school jerks in a rather disgusting way, they go to a party at which Jim’s newly widower dad (Eugene Levy) gets hammered and smokes pot with Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge), and more.

    The trip back home also gives Kevin a chance to reconnect with his first love, Vicky (Tara Reid), and reunites Oz with his old flame, Heather (Mena Suvari), who is now dating a heart surgeon.  These guys have to deal with their complicated feelings for these women from their past despite having current significant others and Jim has to figure out how to fix his marital problems with Michelle… all while dealing with high school style antics brought on by Stifler and alcohol.

    Is it any good?

    This film is more of the same from the American Pie franchise.  Sex, alcohol, and partying which can get old after a while.  This cast, however, works very well together and plays off each other so wonderfully that this film is more watchable than some of its similar party-style film contemporaries.  Eugene Levy is the standout, though (as usual).  He has stolen the show in all of the American Pie films and American Reunion is no different.  He has new ground to tread on now, though, because his wife passed away three years before the start of this portion of the story so he is trying to get "back in the game" and it is hilarious.

    While the majority of the antics are unbelievably wild and sometimes too gross to be funny, the film does have a little heart that shows through.  It addresses issues of growing up and how much that sucks sometimes.  Stifler especially becomes a metaphor for this idea because he is so clearly stuck in the past (more specifically, high school).  His predilection for acting like he is still in high school (getting hammered, hooking up with high school chicks, etc.) leads to many of the problems that the guys run into in this film; however, he is the only one that really enjoys life at some points in the film because the other guys have so many real world, grown up problems to face.  So Stifler becomes an interesting look at the value of holding on to that fun, childish side while still dealing with real life like an adult.

    Nolan’s Grade:  B-

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