By Jack Rico
‘American Reunion’, the new sequel from the ‘American Pie’ franchise of 1999, is a nostalgic film that fails to reach the heights of laughter as its original predecessor. The laughs are sporadic and the attachment to the characters are not the same. Both reasons are rooted in the argument that the best of this friendship tale has passed its expiration date.
The last time we saw most of the original cast assembled was in 2003 in ‘American Wedding’, perhaps the filthiest in the entire series. This time we see the characters come together, probably for the last time for a reunion at their high school graduation. The plot goes like this: Over a decade has passed and the gang return to East Great Falls, Michigan, for the weekend. They will discover how their lives have developed as they gather for their high school reunion. How has life treated Michelle, Jim, Heather, Oz, Kevin, Vicky, Finch, Stifler, and Stifler’s mom? In the summer of 1999, it was four boys on a quest to lose their virginity. Now Kara is a cute high school senior looking for the perfect guy to lose her virginity to.
The reasons to see this film are the same reasons that many went to see the last three parts, plus the straight to DVD releases – for it’s denigrating, black humor, obscenities and gratuitous nudity. These elements are still part of the essence of the film but it is marked by the maturity of the characters, that somehow or other, weakens the comedy.
However, many fans will be fixed to what the film represents on a nostalgic level – reliving their happy past, remembering the old days, together with friends and the first time they saw a comedy so daring and bold.
Vulgar material aside, the producers injected a certain levelheadedness to every character in their central theme. The lead story is that of Jim and Michelle who have a son and are having marital problems. Conceptually, this should connect with fans of the movie who are now parents, but I object to that view because the reason that we clung on to these characters was because of their irreverent youth, disrespect, and irresponsibility that their ages brought. By removing those characteristics, the whole attraction is no longer the same and the film is directed to a whole other crowd altogether.
Judging the movie objectively, its rude comedy does occasionally entertain and seeing the ‘reunion’ of the original actors, even though aged, is a welcome sight. I woudn’t pay to see the movie in theaters, but seeing it on DVD, at a cheaper price is a sensible option that will save you some bucks.