American Reunion review

So the gang from American Pie are now all middle-aged and fat and balding and ... no, wait, that will be the next Pie film with the original cast, in another 13 years. THIS one sees them in their 30s and getting back together for their first high school reunion (yeah, the title is a bit of a give-away).

So what have our four high school buddies been up to for the past decade or so? Jim and Michelle are still married have a kid, although their sex life is pretty much non-existent. Oz is now hosting a TV sports show for a cable network. Finch is travelling the globe having adventures. Kevin is ... doing stuff. He was always the blandest of the bunch, and I honestly forgot just where he was and what he was doing with his life about five minutes after leaving the cinema. So the old gang is all back in the old hometown for their high school reunion. They hook up again with Stifler, have parties and generally get up to the crazy hijinks we know and love from the first three Pie films. And yes, Jim's penis does get a scene of its own.

As with the first three films, it's not action, adventure or complex plots that audiences seek from this franchise (and anyone who has seen the four straight-to-DVD sequels know not to expect decent scripts or acting, either). No, what we want from the Pie films is laughs. As raunchy sex comedies go, the American Pie films have always been tamer than many, and with a lot more heart and soul than most. And American Reunion sticks with that theme. More than anything, the Pie films are about characters. And over the course of the first three films, we came to know – and, yes, even love – this bunch of juveniles. Now, 13 years later, it's nice to slip back into the lives of these guys who, while they may be a few years older, really aren't much the wiser – particularly Stifler.

So yes, there are laughs most of them courtesy of Mr Stifler. Jim's dad pops up, as does Stifler's mum. Sadly, this is very much a film about the guys – the girls (Michelle, Vicky and Heather) don't get an awful lot to do; and the new female additions to the cast are there primarily to be ogled. Or make a move on poor old Jim.

But most of that is fairly forgivable. American Reunion is as much a reunion for the audience as it is for the characters on the screen. Returning to the company of these guys is like sitting down to a warm piece of apple pie, and will leave you feeling just as content.

American Reunion at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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