It’s not uncommon these days to see a movie series go to a second, third, even fourth movie. It’s also not uncommon for them to get progressively worse (Matrix, Lion King, The Godfather, Star Trek, and some even say Star Wars). American Reunion is the fourth movie in the “American Pie” series and it actually brings back most of the original cast. A lot of these actors have moved on since American Pie in 1999, so 13 years later, can they still make a good movie together?
I think the answer to this depends more on how much you like the series instead of the content itself. When American Pie came out, it was an instant hit for those who liked the dirty, sexual, adult oriented comedy that has become so popular now. I’m one of them! In 1999, I was about 15/16 years old and remembered how much I related to their struggles in High School. Granted, their situations were more extreme than an average sigh school, but I still related. I also had a brother who graduated in 1999 and saw a lot of American Pie in my brother and his friends, which is a little scary.
American Pie 2 was more of the same, although they were a little older. It was a good movie, but no where as good as the first. American Wedding, much like American Pie, I was able to relate to because by the time it came out, I was engaged to be married to my wonderful wife, Desiree. Seeing how everything turned out, both the comedy of it and the seriousness, I thought it was a great movie, much better than American Pie 2.
So here we are, 9 years later for American Reunion. The first question I asked myself was “why is it coming out now instead of 2009?” They would have had their 10 year reunion that year, so what is this movie all about? This is explained early in the movie as one of the main characters says it’s actually their 13 year reunion and the class did nothing for the 10 year. So lets get into the meat of my post, namely was American Reunion any good?
The simple answer is it’s tied for my least favorite with American Pie 2, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good! It starts out catching up since Jim and Michelle’s wedding 9 years ago. Jim and Michelle have a child but are going through really rocky times as man and wife. Kevin is married, Oz is a popular sports newscaster with a hot model wife, Stifler is still living in the past, and finch is “no where to be found, even his mother doesn’t know where he is”. They all have moved out of town, except for Stifler, and they agree to come back a few days before the reunion to catch up, “Stifler free”. Of course, you know that can’t happen and it turns out the bar they meet at is a place Stifler goes to. Thanks to him, they all get drunk and, flash forward to the next day, Jim wakes up naked on the kitchen floor, not remembering much from the night before.
Anyway, shenanigans proceed through the weekend, problems come up, things only get worse for Michelle and Jim, and everyone blames Stifler. Sound familiar? It should, it’s the same theme that’s been in each movie. This “plot twist” felt stale and unneeded. Stifler was not to blame for most of the problems in this movie. Yes, he’s living in the past. Yes, he hasn’t matured much, but it wasn’t needed. They are all getting into their early 30’s and there was enough drama and “fun” in this movie without it.
From the beginning to the end, the story is simple and easy to guess what’s going to happen. There were times where I wanted to yell at the screen “JUST TELL THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN”, but if movies did that, no one would want to watch them I guess. I know I’ve said a lot of negative about the movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and would, in no way, say it was a bad movie. This year happens to be my 10 year reunion for High School, so yet again I was able to relate to them in many ways. One thing that is not bland is the characters. The writers have done a great job of growing the characters throughout the four movies and bringing them from teenagers into their 30’s. The ending was both closed and open ended, leaving room for another movie but no “I wonder” plot holes, which is how these types of movies should be. It takes itself serious when it needs to and makes you laugh the rest of the time. For those of you who didn’t like the first three, nothing is going to change about that. I highly recommend it for anyone who liked the past movies or if you’ve never heard of American Pie before.
Oh, did I mention there’s a 17 year old who wants Jim to be her first? No? Well, I’ll leave that story for you when you watch it, I don’t want to give everything away!