'American Reunion' Review: A Funnier Than Expected Surprise
For anyone caught like a deer in headlights regarding this film, shame on you! Of course there had to be a reunion! With all the garbage that’s been produced on this franchise’s name – Including spin-offs – Hollywood needed to do something to help revive a comedy which stood strong 13 years ago, as well as throw the entire cast a bone. Seriously – it was either teaming up for one last hurrah and party like it’s 1999 or go down the Dancing with the Stars / Celebrity Apprentice Street.
Although not eons since the one-and-only funny film in the American Pie franchise hit, it does feel like it’s been a while. Nothing trailing it was able to hold its own, therefore, American Reunion seemed like it was born to fail. Why? Well, let’s start with the fact that the entire cast has grown up and perhaps a little burnt-out due to lucrative careers, rather than comical purposes. And secondly – where could they go story-wise that hasn’t been covered already in other “reunion-based” flicks.
Seeing as I was pre-judging (I’ve been let down before), it was a well received surprise that American Reunion is funnier than I expected!
Courtesy of those behind writing/directing Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg did a great job comically matching today’s characters with yesterdays. Their personal antics and contemporary, complex issues which leads to exposing their “nitch” on a different level.
The BEST jokes (of course) are harsh and wrong! There’s a great it-factor feeling to tying foul play and comedy these days. It’s been the hot plate during the last couple of years with other comedy flicks, and it would only have been what an American Pie piece needed. Ladies and gentleman, it’s all there – pooping it up, porn play with funny sound effects, nosey kids, masturbation, awkwardness among situations/people, mid-life crises, inevitable partying etc. – so if you’re one of those uptight, religious, conservative prudes – skip it! However, if you’re the type who can flip the control switch from mature to immature, let your mind go and tap into your sense-of-unlimited-humor, than I’d say this one’s for you!
Whatever this film needed to click, clicked! Of course the common denominators are Biggs and William Scott whose lives have and haven’t moved much from where they left off. Exposing Jim and the Stiffmeister cleverly, as the film plays along; both stories run parallel on a level of abnormality, with the rest of the cast filling in. I wouldn’t say peripherally, seeing as we get to see them, experience their moments and share their issues as well, but clearly the two keeping this film going are Biggs and William Scott!
Unlike comedies which start off funny and die out half-way through, as stupid as this film is, it doesn’t cease to keep pushing the envelope of ridiculousness despite going against all sorts of evil, comedy movie curses. A lot of what’s enjoyable (obviously) is the presentation of all their mid-life crises. Whether jobs, or boring marriages, or simply not having moved much in life since high school, the film keeps fresh leverage scene upon scene making you want more. The film twirls their insecurities and failures into comedy platinum.
One of my most enjoyable moments in the film happens during their actual reunion gathering. There’s a level of disarray which becomes obvious as the film moves along, however, quite nostalgic and throughout the entire scene all that’s playing in the background are hits from the 90s. It’s a trip down memory lane with all the Alternative Rock, Hip Hop and some R&B as it plays. Truth be told, I left the theater thinking about ALL that’s transpired since the first American Pie movie back in 1999, through this one in 2012! There’s also a special treat during the running of end credits which I thought was pretty cool. Nothing over-the-top, but let's just say 13 years causes some changes!
Overall, American Reunion is a movie I’m sure will catch most by surprise with its straight-forwardness, introduction of a couple of new characters and satire – it’s a fun-filled flick!
Grade: B / Genre: Comedy / Rated: R / Run Time: 113 Minutes
Starring: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Tara Reid, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Mena Suvari, Chris Klein, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Eugene Levy and John Cho
Director(s): Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
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