American Reunion (2012)

American Reunion posterIMDb

The final installment (so far??) of the American Pie series brings back the whole original cast and manages to capture the charm and freshness of the original. It’s been nearly ten years since the third installment where Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) got married and the break has done this series good. It no longer has to focus so much on Seann William Scott’s character Stifler, because he is not the star he was in the early 2000s. The fourth movie reverts back to what made the original so great. It uses all of its cast, wasting nobody. It doesn’t revolve around Stifler as much and the movie thrives because of it.

There is obviously some nostalgia involved in this film, but it is a lot of fun to see these characters 13 years later. The audience loved these characters in the first movie and it’s really interesting to see where these people have ended up. I thought it was really cool that they managed to get everyone back from the original. I know not many of them were working regularly, but it’s still an effort to get ten or so actors in the same film again, especially Alyson Hannigan, who is the only actor in the cast you could still consider successful.

I really enjoyed catching up with some old friends in this fourth installment of the American Pie series. The big gap in time between the third and fourth film has made the characters and their antics seem fresh again. The second and third films in this series were not great, but this fourth one definitely raises the bar, even managing to live up to the original.

On a side note, after watching all four of these films in the span of 2-3 days, I will give them credit for their soundtrack. All four films in this series have great soundtracks. They use songs that were popular when the film was released really well, but also throw in some random songs that weren’t popular at all but are still really catchy.

Rating: B

Finally, the magic is back. As are all of the original cast, most of whom were missing from the last movie (which I don’t blame them at all for skipping).

Also back is a plot that references high school, which was kind of an issue in American Wedding and to a lesser extent in AP2. These characters are so tied to the teenage experience that they felt out of place without that touchstone. They may have moved on to adulthood, but the audience will always see them as high school seniors. Returning them to that environment is exactly what was needed to make the series fresh again.

In fact, I think I like American Reunion better than American Pie, because I was finally in the same state of mind as the characters when I watched the movie. When AR came out, Facebook was full of talk of my own 10 year high school reunion. Half my close friends were married, and a few acquaintances were already divorced. My feed was more photos of babies than bar nights. People I went to school with had real careers, while others were struggling to get by. I had missed the boat with the previous AP installments, having watched them after I had passed those points in my life. But this time I was right there with them. We were all struggling to be “real adults,” while still feeling like awkward teenagers.

All in all, this was a great way to wrap up the American Pie series (Maybe. It did make a lot of money, so the studio is no doubt pushing for another sequel). A perfect mix of nostalgia, humor, and raunch that the original pioneered, but a little more mature. (Just a little.)

Rating: B+

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s