Posted October 13, 2011 by Alex Moss Editor in Films
 
 

American Pie: Reunion


The gang’s back together but can they still capture that gross-out humour now they’re all grown up?

The gang’s back together but can they still capture
that gross-out humour now they’re all grown up?

There is no
denying the impressive impact American
Pie
had on cinema. It has
spawned, to date, six sequels/spin-offs with American Pie: Reunion being the
eighth in the series. That’s
right, a film built aound the premise of a guy f*cking a freshly baked apple
pie has given birth to a fully-fledged franchise, reigniting the Teen Comedy
genre in the process. If weren’t
for American Pie, we wouldn’t have films like Superbad, Easy A or even
Mean Girls. Seth
Rogen
, Jonah Hill and Judd Apatow might not have
careers. Tara Reid would never have got to hang out with Jedward.

So it is with
some trepidation that American Pie: Reunion comes to the screen. This time the gang have all grown up,
moved on, taken “the next step” as Jim would put it. The problem is the next step involves getting boring jobs,
getting married, having kids and, to quote Stifler, “all that boring
sh*t.” Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alison
Hannigan
) are married and raising their young son which means little in the
way of bedroom action. Oz (Chris Klein) is a sports presenter (and
Dancing With The Stars contestant)
who can’t quite keep up with his pneumatic blonde girlfriend. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is a kept man
forced to watch Gossip Girl (not
necessarily a bad thing…), Finch (Eddie
Kaye Thomas
) has supposedly travelled the world but is hopelessly lonely
and Stifler (Sean Willliam Scott)
is, well, Stifler. But all that
bravado didn’t get him anywhere, he’s a temp in a high profile firm whose boss
barks orders at him like a misbehaving dog. So when the opportunity arises for them all to head home for
their high school reunion they jump at the chance.

What has always
made the American Pie films, the ones with the original cast members anyway, so
fun has been a combination of honest characters and laugh-out-loud set-pieces
and thankfully Reunion doesn’t disappoint, matching the earlier films in the
pie humping, super-glue wanking, shaved balls stakes. Jim’s encounter with a tube sock, Jim’s Dad’s encounter with
Stifler’s Mom, Stifler’s encounter with Finch’s Mom, played by outrageously
sexy GILF Rebecca de Mornay, and
that’s before you even talk about Jim’s use of kitchenware to save his dignity
and Stifler’s revenge on the high school jocks (Waitaminute? Wasn’t
Stifler originally a high school jock?).

Sure there’s no
real plot but that was never what these films were about. The humour is frat-boyish, Stifler’s
language will make your Gran keel over and the frequent bouts of nudity will
leave you both gasping and chuckling.
Seriously, be prepared for Jim’s use of a pot lid. But that’s why these movies work. Throw into the mix some solid character
arcs with real heart, some genuine problems to be overcome, and you have
yourself a thoroughly entertaining, heartfelt, comedy romp.

Much of this is
down to the returning cast who are back en masse and on form. Biggs is still on blisteringly good
form as the haphazard Jim. It’s
that look of utter humiliation combined with reluctant acceptance of his lot in
life that warms the heart and tickles the funny bone. That and the fact that even he seems to have come to terms
with his Adam Sandler-like looks.
Thomas, Klein and Nicholas all play their respective parts as if they
never left the characters and, while rarely more than subplots, are all solid
in their roles. Hannigan, normally
seen as the loveable Lilly in TV’s How I
Met Your Mother
, displays a mature yet clearly still Band Camp-geek
Michelle and, if anything, feels underused.

However, the
stand-outs, are, as always, Seann William Scott and Jim’s Dad Eugene Levy. As Stifler, Scott always got the best lines and nothing has
changed. He’s still horribly
obnoxious, loud, abrasive and the kind of person you would never want as an enemy,
or even as a friend, but he’s got a big heart and an even bigger mouth, making
even the most horrific of profanities hysterically funny. It’s safe to say The Inbetweeners owe a debt of gratitude to The Stifmeister. What is more delightful is that Levy is
given a more solid and endearing story-line rather than just being Jim’s
Yoda-like sage of sex advice.
Having lost his wife three years ago, Jim’s Dad is lonely and in Levy’s
hands becomes the three dimensional character that you always knew was lurking
in the back-story.

It’s not going to
change the world but American Pie: Reunion is about as much fun you can have in
the cinema with your clothes on.
Lock your mum away, hide the baked goods and hang out with some old
friends.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com