American Reunion

Posted April 6, 2012 by in


Total Score

3.5/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: comedy
Director: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
MPAA Rating: R
Actors: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott
Length: 113 minutes
Release Date: 4/6/2012
Studio: Universal Pictures, Practical Pictures, Relativity Media, Zoe Pictures
What We Thought

The film is at its best when it dispenses with sentimentality, and does what it does best; bawdy comedy.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article
American Reunion is like most reunions, of interest only to those who cared the first time.  If that’s you, you’re in for a treat.  While not as successful as a story as American PieAmerican Reunion is almost as funny as the original, and far superior to interim sequels American Pie 2 and American Wedding.  The humor is fresher, more outrageous than the last two outings, and the comedy is done with real passion.  Reunion knows what its fans want, and aims to please.  By and large, it hits the mark.
     Life-long friends Jim, Oz, Kevin, Finch, and Stifler return to their home town for their 13th High School reunion.  Jim has since married Michelle, and parenthood has taken its toll on life in their bedroom.  Oz is now a sportscaster and no longer dating Heather; Kevin is a male-homemaker and still friends with his first love Vicky; and Finch seems to have lead an exciting life up till now.  Stifler is still Stifler…
     As much as the reunion brings the friends together, it does just as much to jeopardize their personal relationships.  Jim is reintroduced to the girl he used to babysit (though this was never referred to in the series), who is now eighteen, gorgeous, and wanting to go through the same rite-of-passage that Jim went through in the original film (well, minus the pie, maybe).  Oz and Heather chance upon each other, but both are in relationships, and neither seems happy in them.  Kevin catches up with Vicky—who’s single now, and as attractive as ever.
     Just like it sounds, this is a film for the fans of the series.  Everyone is back, from major to minor characters.  American Reunion tries to give closure to the characters that have become a part of our cultural lexicon (or at least Stifler’s mom has).  Finch has never settled down with anyone, Stifler is at heart still the same teenager he was 13 years ago, and Jim’s dad is a widower, ready to move on, but socially awkward.
     But this is more balls than American Reunion can juggle (no pun intended).  Oz doesn’t have a character arc this time, and notice his absence from the last film, American Wedding.  He makes for a decent straight man for his “free-spirited” girlfriend and her interior decorator cohort, but is not himself funny.  Kevin’s schtick was finished in the original film, and now he feels extraneous.  The women of the American series are uniformly forgettable (except of course for Stifler’s mom)—they’re merely objects.  There’s just no reason to care what happens to half the cast of this film, no sense of purpose like the original film had, or the feeling of a story being told.
     None of which stops American Reunion from having a lot of laughs, big and small—some very big.  There are great lines and sight gags for every part and function of the human body.  Jim yet again finds himself in memorable, humiliating situations, plural—but telling is spoiling.  Stifler is just as obnoxious as ever, and it’s always a pleasure to watch him get his comeuppance.  But this time, actor Scott makes you like Stifler by the end, even cheer for him, and that’s saying something.  Jim’s dad’s lectures to his thirty-something son are getting old, but he gets new stuff to do when he finds himself at Stifler’s party, inebriated, and getting to know an American series regular.
     The film is at its best when it dispenses with sentimentality, and does what it does best; bawdy comedy.  Ultimately, American Reunion is nothing more than a situational comedy, built up of sketches.  On that level, the better part of it works.  By no means a must-see, American Reunion is the second funniest in the series, and should be worthwhile to fans.  You will leave the theater laughing.  Jim’s dad sees to that.

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response