It’s been 13 years since the first American Pie hit pay dirt with teens for bitch-slapping the guardians of good taste. Pie launched two lame legit sequels and four direct-to video abominations. But don’t despair. American Reunion reminds us what we liked about the original, which featured four desperate-to-be-devirginized Michigan high school seniors – Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas). I’m not talking about the sight of Jim sticking his dick in Mom’s prize apple confection, though the image is iconic and the reaction of Jim’s dad (the priceless Eugene Levy) even more so. I’m referring to the way the movie sweetened its raunch to build a rooting interest in these characters, even the obnoxious Stifler (Seann William Scott), a smutmeister with no lid on his libido.
The guys and the all-suffering babes who love and (hopefully) blow them are all back for this high school reunion. And it’s damn good to see them, even when writer-directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, of Harold & Kumar legend, can’t quite stop the movie from spinning out of control. No need to worry that these Peter Pans actually grow up. American Reunion is dedicated to the proposition that no matter how old you get, you can stay immature forever.
Hey, Jim is actually married to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) from band camp, and they have a kid. Oz, now an L.A. sportscaster and dance-show contestant (Klein’s hip-hop moves are a thing of comic beauty), is long split from Heather (Mena Suvari) and happy with a new hottie (30 Rock‘s Katrina Bowden) until the school reunion ignites old fires. Kevin and Vicky (Tara Reid) have a less-successful rekindling. And Finch is forced to table his lust for Stifler’s mom (the ever-amazing Jennifer Coolidge) when she takes a shine to Jim’s dad. Meanwhile, Stifler’s rage to get laid continues unabated – he’ll fake an interest in Twilight to tap high school girls. All the boundaries of good taste are crossed. Biggs gives it his comic all, including a penis cameo. Scott is a hoot. And Klein, in the film’s most nuanced performance, shows how Oz grows a conscience. The laughs that do achieve liftoff are killer. But the real kick is seeing the old gang back and ready to party.