On July 9, 1999 a little vulgar comedy made for $11 million about a group of friends desperately trying to get laid came out. No one realized it would gros $235 million worldwide, spawn 3 sequels and a direct-to-DVD line of side films.
But that’s exactly what American Pie did. It ended up entertaining a generation during their puberty years and became an American comedy classic. It was Porky’s for the 90s generation. Now, 13 years after the original American Pie is back for a reunion. The entire cast from the original is back. Yes, everyone.
This time Jim and his friends return for their high school reunion. Although really, who goes to a high school reunion 13 years after the class graduates? How does that make sense? Anyway, they’re all back and they’ve got grown-up problems. Their sex lives are suffering, people are making them someone they don’t want to be, they have to deal with ex-flames and coming to terms with the fact that sometimes your life doesn’t turn out how you want it.
Unlike some other comedy sequels (The Hangover Part 2) American Reunion comes with some heart. There are some good emotional moments here and there’s almost a catalog of references they can make to the older films. In fact, this movie makes so many references to the past that the movie feels like sitting down with some old friends and recounting the glory days. This is both great and terrible. It’s great because it punches you in the face with nostalgia. It’s terrible because people who didn’t see the originals will get a sucker punch and feel like a jock invited to a hipster party.
Another side effect of watching American Reunion? You’re going to feel old if you grew up in the 90s. There are tons of jokes and instances that make fun of advancements from 1999 to 2012.
But that’s all right, because the movie is ultimately about coming to terms with your life. Look at the actors behind the characters for the film. I’m sure after the success of the first these guys all thought their careers were going to skyrocket. Only Sean William Scott really made a dent with a couple of flicks afterward.
Some people won’t come to terms with some of the film’s problems though. Jim’s temptation with a hot 18 year old he used to babysit comes across as heavy handed. It’s probable, but it’s way over the top. Some other scenes aren’t paced correctly or are just plain cringe-worthingly bad. Of course, American Pie films aren’t supposed to be perfect. There’s always been an over-the-top feeling to them with a good side of heavy handedness.
So if you enjoyed the originals you’ll be right at home. If not, you should probably stay away.