In American Reunion, which could also be called American Pie 4, the East Great Falls, MI, gang converge for their high school reunion. Each member of the crew is dealing with his or her own crisis of being an adult.
Oz (Chris Klein) is dating model Mia (30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden), and he’s not happy with her need for an over-the-top lifestyle.
Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), is now the coolest guy in school with a huge secret and fondness for pushing up on the newly hot Selena (Dania Ramirez).
And Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is worried about staying faithful to his wife Ellie (Charlene Amoia), who’s quite fond of making her husband watch The Bachelorette and Gossip Girl.
Screenwriters/directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (with characters by Adam Herz) set out to make a “Where are they now?” update of the American Pie gang and largely succeeded. Still there is a lot to be desired.
A MILLENNIAL THING
Part of the reason American Pie became a phenomenon is because it has reflected the times in which it was released: 1999, when the first of the Millennials were graduating from high school. Millennials could relate to the gang. When the gang went to college, Millennials could relate. When Jim and Melissa got married, many still could relate.
Millennials could relate to what it is like to dread and relish your high school reunion. You want to make a good impression and look like you’ve really done something with yourself over the past ten years. Meanwhile, you want to make sure that you look good and all the people you loathed in high school look bad.
American Reunion, while not being the first reunion film for the Millennial generation, is a decent trip back to 1999. But don’t go looking for much growth.
STILL THE SAME
After crashing a high school party, and getting into fights while dressed in dominatrix outfits, along with awkward sexual situations, the gang, particularly Stifler (Seann William Scott), seemingly hasn’t learned enough about adulthood.
American Reunion is supposed to pay homage to the original American Pie – which it does – but there should be more. Why are we watching the same characters in their 30s still doing the same awkward teenage things? Haven’t we all matured enough to be above such degradation?
To say something nice about American Reunion: It’s nice to see that Stifler hasn’t lost his Stifmeister-ness when it comes to getting back at Finch and being a decent friend. American Reunion is realistic about how not growing up and being mentally stuck in high school could leave one’s life and career in the dumps.
Hurwitz and Schlossberg did the Millennials a solid by bringing back all of the favorite characters of the first two
American films, such as Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), Stifler’s mom (the indomitable Jennifer Coolidge), Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy), The Shermanator (Chris Owen), MILF Guy #2 (John Cho of Harold and Kumar fame), and Jessica (Natasha Lyonne).
All said, American Reunion is good for a trip down memory lane to a time when high school graduation held endless possibilities and opportunities, songs actually had meanings and singers actually sung well.
So, if you’re interested in traveling back to the 1990s and being thankful that you’ve grown out of your immature ways, American Reunion is your film. It’s also got a great soundtrack of ’90s favorites such as Lit’s My Own Worst Enemy, which Millennials, now over the age of 21, finally may understand.
Photo: COURTESY OF Hopper Stone/2012 Universal Pictures
'American Reunion': From left, Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Jim (Jason Biggs), Stifler (Seann William Scott), Oz (Chris Klein) and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) together again.