“The Patriot” was the first R-rated movie that I ever saw. I was blown away by the violence, the scope and, well, all the blood. That being said, it mattered so much less to me than a movie I saw a few weeks later.
My memories of “American Pie” might as well be frozen in carbonite. It was asinine and hysterical for nine- year-old me, featured a band I was really into at the time (Blink-182. Tastes change), and was my first exposure to naked boobs. Real boobs!
For people my age, “American Pie” was a landmark, our first exposure to the guys and gals we were going to become. It was frank, more honest about our changing bodies than any fourth grade puberty video could be and, more importantly, it was funny. I have fond memories of every second of it.
Thirteen years can do a lot of damage.
Since then, I’ve written papers on the cinematic genius of Jean-Luc Godard, obsessed over real punk rock such as Sex Pistols and Bad Brains and gotten over my obsession with pre-ejaculate as a punch line. “American Reunion” has proven that some filmmakers still quite haven’t been able to do that.
Focusing on the characters 13 years after they were determined to lose their virginity by the time they graduated, the guys we’ve learned to tolerate are dealing with married, working and adult life, mostly unsuccessfully.
While Jim, played by the sleepwalking Jason Biggs, once was focused on having sex at any cost, now he’s much more satisfied with a warm laptop screen and a familiar sock while his wife, played by Alyson Hannigan, is just as pleased taking some time for herself in the bathtub. None of this is funny, most of it is cringe worthy in the least funny way imaginable and none of it forms a compelling backbone for a comedy, much less an episode of any number of sitcoms. Subplots about a horny teenager next door don’t add anything and instead, make the movie far creepier than the filmmakers probably intended.
With so little to care about in the main plot, viewers are going to have to find joy in the smaller moments of the film. Seann William Scott is game to engage in the sophomoric antics he made his name with, pooping in coolers and slapping every ass he comes across, all the while engaging in some light semi-pedophilia.
The only joy anyone’s going to find here is in the background players. The filmmakers were able to get a hold of nearly everyone who made an appearance in the first film and some of the new characters get some solid lines in. Jay Harrington, formerly of cult-favorite Better Off Ted, is hysterical in every one of his far-too-few scenes as a meddlesome, egotistical and sexually deviant boyfriend but even he can’t hold up this sinking ship. Eugene Levy also tries his best but is stretched far too thin far too often.
“American Reunion” oddly ends up feeling far too much like your high school crush. All of the feelings you once had, all of the embarrassing things you said and did, all of the futures you imagined seem silly compared to the person you are now. It’s best to throw this pie out before it starts to rot.