American Reunion Review
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Back in 1999, a gang of hormonal high schoolers shocked and delighted audiences with their outrageous, sex-crazed antics in American Pie. Now, those kids are all grown up (well, most of them, at least)—and their attempt to return home and relive their glory days in American Reunion feels almost as natural as chatting with your dad about erectile dysfunction.

Thirteen years after graduating from high school, the old gang has gone their separate ways. Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are the sexually-frustrated parents of an adorable toddler. Oz (Chris Klein) is a cheesy broadcaster with a reality TV past and a hot model girlfriend. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is a doting house-husband. Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is a globe-trotting man of mystery. And Stifler (Seann William Scott)…well, he’s still the same old Stifler.

When they all return home to East Great Falls for their thirteen-year high school reunion, they’re all eager to reconnect with old friends and maybe get a little bit of that youthful spirit back in the process—because they soon find that they could all use a little change.

In this fourth film in the franchise, the American Pie cast and crew try really hard to get their mojo back, peppering the script with all kinds of references to the good old days. If you’re a die-hard fan of the series—and you just re-watched the first three movies—you’ll enjoy reminiscing with the old gang. But if it’s been a while, you’ll most likely feel like you’re just slightly on the outside of a whole bunch of inside jokes.

Meanwhile, the film once again tries to find the right mix of both heart and outrageous, raunchy comedy. It definitely has its share of sweet surprises and shocking humor. But, instead of striking the perfect balance, it ends up brimming with awkwardness—from chatty exposition and uncomfortable dialogue to clumsy attempts at comedy and whole plotlines that will make you cringe. There are melodramatic moments that touch on things like marriage and fidelity and even death, and there are wacky, gross-out moments involving body parts and bodily functions—but, placed side-by-side in the same movie, they generally feel out-of-place and unbalanced.

Like any real-life reunion, it all looks great on paper. After all, it’s a chance to catch up with some old friends and reminisce about your fun-filled times together. And some things about the series haven’t changed a bit. Stifler still acts like a crazed teenager. Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge) is just as cool as she ever was. And Finch is still the most charming geek around.

But, as they say, “You can’t go back again.” It’s hard to recapture the same excitement—and offer up the same surprises—all these years later. And while it’s nice to see the old gang again, it’s a muddled and rather bittersweet reunion.

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