Sunday, April 8, 2012

American Reunion (2012)

"I love the 'Twilight' books, 'New Moon' is my favorite!"

The "American Pie" franchise has surprisingly survived almost 15 years. Whether it's the original sequels with the original cast or those bastardized additions that carry the "American Pie Presents..." title, the series has been fruitful. For many years since "American Wedding" in 2003, everyone has been asking if another sequel was in the works. In 2012 (a full 9 years after "Wedding") the fans got what they were asking for. But was it a good thing or a bad thing?

"American Reunion" centers around the gang's 13th high school reunion (right here I stop and ask 13th??). The group gets back together and they all have their problems: whether it's Jim and Michelle's sex life after baby or Oz's crazy fucked up girlfriend and his yearning for Heather or Stifler trying to hide the fact that his life sucks now. The premise is simple so what's the next step? Add sex jokes and nudie scenes!

The "American Pie" films have been famous for 2 things: having a nudie scene somewhere around the middle of the film and having something disgusting happen to Stifler. Well, sadly in "American Reunion" neither of these things happen. There is a scene with a naked drunk girl and Jim trying to get her home but that's hardly the lesbian scene in "American Pie 2" or even the bachelor party in "American Wedding" and it doesn't even hold a candle to Shannon Elizabeth's scene in "American Pie". Stifler does do something disgusting but it doesn't happen to him. Do these things ruin the film? No, not at all.

Lets take a look at the characters. All the original cast members return for this outing in the franchise. Whether or not that's a good thing or not is up to the viewer. As much as I personally don't like Chris Klein, it was still nice to see Oz back. My problem with it was the fact that him and Heather were not together and he was with some bimbo in Hollywood. His story line dealt with exactly that, and at the end he and Heather are back together. But the main focus of all the "American Pie" films revolve around Jim and Stifler. Jim's story is he and Michelle haven't had much of a sex life since their son was born. The idea is boring especially with a character like Michelle who in the other films was a sex deviant. Stifler's story is his life sucks, he's stuck at a dead end job of being a gofer, but doesn't want anyone else to know. This is pretty much where a character like Stifler would more than likely end up in real life, so it's believable. As for Michelle, I'd like to ask where the quirky adorable Michelle went? I'm not sure if the producers didn't want to go this route with her or if Alyson Hannigan forgot how to do it, but it's completely gone. Her character isn't the same character from the other 3 films.

Even the minor characters from the past films returned. Jessica has returned to reveal she's a lesbian, Sherman returns and does his "Shermanator" stuff and Nadia returns with a Jim look-a-like. The problem with these cameos is that they are pointless. Jessica comes up to Stifler and literally says "Let me just get this out of the way, I'm a lesbian"... sorry, that's poor writing, just flatly telling the audience what's up with her? You don't just say what the characters are feeling or doing, you show the audience! Sherman's bit was pretty lame, but the worst offender was Nadia's cameo. She shows up see's Jim and Michelle having sex then leaves, I kid you not. Why did Shannon Elizabeth even agree to that? Plus, she sure as hell doesn't remember how to do her accent anymore.

Overall the film is decent, but it was a bit of letdown. The funniest character in the film is Jim's Dad. There's a scene in which he gets drunk and then high and it's fucking hilarious! The film really represents the feeling of kids who were in high school in the late 90s and how we are all adults now and we can't really fit into the high school world anymore. This is a realization that comes to Stifler in the film as well. It's a nice ending to the series and it comes full circle. I don't see them making another film and honestly they don't need to. "American Reunion" is the ending to the franchise in my opinion, the series started out with them as immature high school students and has ended with them realizing they are adults and it's time to act like them. The film was decent and worth a shot if you like the other films.