Directed by: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Starring: Jason Biggs, Sean William Scott, Eugene Levy
There was only one redeeming quality to Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg’s third American Pie sequel, American Reunion—Eugene Levy. He excels in every scene he is in, masterfully transitioning from oblivious awkward humour to completely goofy.
Unfortunately, everything else in American Reunion is a collection of profane, obscene schlock. It’s long past the “glory” days of its predecessors. While some of the jokes will go over the heads of those uninitiated into the American Pie canon, teenager-style sexual humour ages poorly and remains devoid of any significant insight.
Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and the constantly crude, ever-unbearable Stifler (Sean William Scott) return to their hometown for their high school reunion. Most of the characters, save for the “Stifmeister,” have their own jobs or families—Jim and Kevin are married to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) and Ellie (Charlene Amoia), respectively, and Oz is a famous sportscaster with a supermodel girlfriend.
As many of these characters run into old high school flames or rivals, they find themselves in morally compromising positions where their post-high school lives are threatened by various attempts to relive old parties. Granted only the men are threatened, because in this liberated society, allowing the female characters to have any kind of character arc or development would over-shadow the hyper-sexuality of these teenagers in adult skin.
The events themselves are so ridiculous and over-the-top that American Reunion doesn’t provide any kind of serious commentary on life after high school. Maybe the characters exist in a fantasy world, but in reality, there aren’t high schools with fancy massive gymnasiums and classrooms or beach parties full of bikini clad women and underage drinking. This fantasy doesn’t provide anything relatable and the comedy suffers as a result.
The various sequences are actually well-constructed with several subplots colliding, but they lack the skill—and originality—of other recent comedies, such as Bridesmaids. American Reunion’s scenes play out rather predictably with multiple sub-plots building off each other exactly as one would expect.
The worst part of this film is Stifler, who is so outright offensive that even the other actors look uncomfortable whenever he interrupts them. His obsession with reliving high school is jarring, like Charlize Theron’s performance in last year’s Young Adult, but without any depth or intelligence. Hopefully he’ll be dead in the inevitable sequel American Funeral.
However, like Stifler, the rest of the characters never really got over high school—they are all still trying to live in the past. It’s a pretty good metaphor for the film as a whole, but unlike high school, the American Pie series won’t take much time to get over.