Movie review – Sexual misadventures continued

2012-04-05 08:20

Film: American Reunion (UIP)

Directors: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg

Featuring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nichols, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge


Perhaps it’s fitting that the gang from East Great Falls in Michigan should reform back at their old stomping ground 13 years since American Pie became the coming-of-age flick for a generation.

Thirteen is after all an auspicious number in popular culture – and the original American Pie film is the epitome of one that has wangled its way into our collective film memory.

You could say that American Pie is the precursor to films such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the slew of other Judd Apatow films that have since flooded our screens.

American Pie did rude cute long before Knocked Up did. It was Superbad before Superbad was even thought up.

This is the fourth American Pie movie to feature the core cast – but it has been 10 years since the last in the series, American Wedding, and this one has rounded up the whole gang.

Even Nadia, the exchange student from the famous webcam incident, as well as making sure Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge) is around to riff on a favourite theme from the original too.

After all, Coolidge’s turn as the cool cougar mum is one of the franchise’s big drawcards, as is Eugene Levy as Jim’s dad, who seems to take all sorts of peculiar teen behaviour in his stride.

Apart from American Pie’s contribution to the comic coming-of-age genre, it has also provided steady work for its cast.

Jason Biggs is synonymous with Jim, the teenager who got graphically friendly with a homemade apple pie, but it is Seann William Scott as the social catastrophy Stifler that has earned a permanent place in the history of funny.

Stifler might be 30-odd, but he still doesn’t know when discussing erections is frowned upon.

Also, the film’s one toilet joke features Stifler in the title role – as always taking a practical joke to felonious lengths.

As for some of the other regulars – Mena Suvari sports the same hairstyle she did back in the late 1990s as Heather, Oz’s squeeze.

Oz (Chris Klein) is still as smooth as ever, and as simple, having made a life out of his jock status at high school; while Tara Reid’s smoking voice has gone from sexy to a little creepy as she returns (also with the same hairstyle) as Vicky.

All in all, American Reunion manages to be funny in parts, sweet in others and it aims right for its original fanbase with quips about life with children and the trouble with trying to find success.

It’s not genre-defining like the first one, but fans will know what to expect and sometimes that’s just what you want on a Friday night at the movies.

And no, the makers have left baked goods out of it.

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