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American Reunion movie poster

American Reunion: Movie Review

Genre: Comedy
Rated: R
Directed by: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg

Starring: Jennifer Coolidge, Chris Klein, Eugene Levy, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Tara Reid, Jason Biggs
Released by: Universal Pictures

In Short: The teens from "American Pie" are all grown up, returning home for their high school reunion; but it feels more like their collective funerals.

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A Regrettable Reunion

When "American Pie" burst onto the cinematic scene back in 1999, it was a raucous (perhaps even tasteless) sex romp that followed five high school seniors who were desperate to lose their virginity before they graduated. It was a huge hit, and so the sequels began. In fact, six "American Pie" movies have been made in the 13 years since, including four direct-to-video flicks that don't even feature any of the original stars (except Eugene Levy, who takes the gig no matter what).

Now the seventh, "American Reunion," is back on the big screen, and actually reunites the whole original cast. Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Seann William Scott are back as the guys, all grown up and returning to their Michigan home for a class reunion. The gals are back, too, including Alyson Hannigan, Mena Suvari, Tara Reid, Natasha Lyonne and Shannon Elizabeth, although only Hannigan and Suvari get any real screen time.

Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas and Eddie Kaye Thomas in American Reunion Seann William Scott in American Reunion

Most of the group is married off, or in relationships; some even have children. No one is particularly happy, a fact that gives the whole story a slightly maudlin, depressing vibe. Stifler (Scott) is such a loser that he is back living at home with his mother (Jennifer Coolidge) again, but that doesn't stop him from being just as big a jerk as he was in high school. And the others are not in much better places, even Oz (Klein), who has become a television celebrity along the way with a fashion model girlfriend, isn't a very happy man.

There's the prerequisite sex jokes, beginning with Jim (Jason Biggs) slamming his private parts into a laptop computer, all the way to his dad (Levy) getting it on with Stifler's mother, who finally finds an age-appropriate partner. Problem is, from start to finish, none of the jokes are funny. In fact, they all seem forced, delivered with an air of quiet desperation emanating from the cast, who seem well aware that this abysmal script is an embarrassment to everyone involved. But they all go through the motions, perhaps because, with the exception of Alyson Hannigan, who stars in the hit television show "How I Met Your Mother," this group of actors hit their peak with the original movie and have since struggled to stay in cinema's spotlight.

"American Reunion" is a classic example of Hollywood trying too hard to squeeze the last possible drops out of a moneymaking franchise, and should never have been made. If we're all lucky, this one will be the last, and we won't be seeing "American Pie: The Middle-Aged Crisis" churned out in another ten years.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters


(Updated: 04/06/12 CT)

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