American Reunion [aka American Pie: Reunion]

"Weak"

American Reunion [aka American Pie: Reunion] Review


Call this a missed opportunity. While there's plenty of scope to have fun with these characters as they hit 30, this script is simply not up to the job. It's never very funny, has no sense of momentum and only comes to life due to the endearing characters and the likeable actors who play them.

It's the class of 1999's 13th reunion (huh?), so the entire gang returns to East Great Falls. Jim and Michelle (Bigs and Hannigan) now have a 2-year-old son, which has interrupted their sex life; Oz (Klein) is a B-list TV star with a supermodel girlfriend (Bowden); the now-married Kevin is worried about rekindling his high school romance with Vicky (Reid); Finch (Thomas) is a world traveler who clicks with Michelle's band camp pal Selena (Ramirez). And then there's party-boy prankster Stifler (Scott), who hasn't changed at all and leads them into all manner of trouble.

The filmmakers miraculously reassemble the entire cast - including appearances from Natasha Lyonne (now-stereotypical lesbian Jessica), Chris Owen (the Shermanator) and Shannon Elizabeth (exchange-hottie Nadia) - but they never do anything clever with them. Structured in three escalating nights out, the narrative is merely a series of set-pieces featuring gross-out gags and embarrassing moments. But there's no edge: it's relentlessly naïve and sentimental. And each character's plot-strand is a string of cliches.

Fortunately, watching these gifted actors in strained, unfunny situations is still mildly entertaining. Biggs is a solid lead, stumbling headlong into humiliation (as usual, he gets the film's money shot). Aside from Scott, we've barely seen the others in the intervening years, and all of them slip easily back into their roles. But the best moments belong to shameless scene-stealers Levy and Coolidge, even though the filmmakers gave them nothing to work with.

But most surprising is that, despite the continual madcap antics, the film's actually rather dull. The middle section turns strangely mushy, with superficial nods to failed potential, infidelity, grief, marital strain, frustrated dreams, lost love - issues a reunion movie should grapple with.

There's no reason why these things can't be explored with vulgar comedy and riotous, sex-obsessed antics. But that requires much smarter writing and directing.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.