Both Old and New Laughs Are Provided In This Reunion

It’s crude, it’s rude, it’s awkward, and it’s AMERICAN PIE.  Yes, as most of you know the latest installment to the American Pie franchise opened this weekend and fans of all ages flocked to the theater.  Now, if you are like me, you may have been rolling your eyes in shame, fear, or a combination of both at this modern day sequel.  However, I’m here to say that too my surprise this American Pie was perhaps my second favorite of the series, only falling behind American Pie 2 slightly.  Surprising right, well if you are interested to hear about this movie, then keep on reading as I review American Pie Reunion.

The title pretty much tells you what the trailers have been advertising, the gang from the previous series are now all grown up and starting the next chapters of their lives.  As fate would have it though, the reunion back in their hometown reunites the gang for a nostalgic adventure that will put their old skills to the test against the modern world, while dusting off the cobwebs of some memories that have been in the put in storage for a long time.

So what do I have to say to this movie?  Well for one thing, this is a movie whose humor you have to be a fan of as it is not one of the generic comedies that seem to plague the movie theaters these days.  Those who are fans of the series will be happy to hear the crude humor is back in full swing, with many of the gang retaining their personalities despite these past nine years.  The awkward humor is still well timed with the directors managing to develop the shots to make every scene as embarrassing as it can be.  Combine this with a dialog that is filled with cursing, innuendos, and of course Stifler’s (Seann William Scott) classic rowdy comedy and you have a recipe for an awkward teenage comedy.  It seems these last nine years have left Scott’s talent for playing the arrogant jock left untouched and much of the audience, myself included, couldn’t help but laugh at his presentation of classic one liners.  However, the master of awkward moments goes to Jason Biggs who plays Jim Levenstein.  Biggs seems to have a natural talent for not only falling into awkward situations, but also reacting to them, which made me chuckle at his bad luck.  His facial gestures and nervous way of speaking adds more to moment, which had a number of my friends cracking up at the scenes left and right.  The other three guys of the movie,  Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin Thomas Ian Nicholas), and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) have their funny moments as well, but for the most part they are used as tools to teach the moral lessons this movie tries to offer. The actor who probably made me laugh the most however is Eugene Levy who plays Mr. Levenstein.  Levy’s seems to naturally be awkward as his talent to give uncomfortable talks, provide interesting advice, and be a geek experiencing new things is still one of the best I have seen.  I couldn’t stop laughing at his scenes due to the combination of his facial gestures and delivery of dialog, which provided me a break from Stifler comedy.  However, what surprised me was how little the women were involved with the comedy.  Unlike its predecessors, the girls didn’t have too many comedic lines in this film.  A majority of their role was again providing that moral compass that kept the guys on track and only providing a few laughs here and there..

A couple of other things to say about this film are the nostalgia it provides.  Countless scenes in the movie brought me back to the memories I had of the prequels and I was impressed how they used the past to influence the comedy of the present.  The directors also did a nice job providing tons of other movie references in this film, which for a critic like me had me in stitches because it was a nice break from the sexual comedyThe pace of the movie was good as well, not too slow and drawn out as I feared it would be.  Although the comedy did grow stale at some parts, I was relieved I wasn’t beaten over the head with innuendos, or annoying one-liners.

However, don’t think there weren’t a few negatives to go along with this movie.  There were various points in the movie where the production crew took the jokes too far.  My friends and I couldn’t help but cringe, and nearly gag on our food when they showed some of the more mature items and there were a few Stifler lines that kind of crossed the line as well.  A few of my friends were also a little disappointed with how diluted some of the roles were in this movie, again the girls and a few of the guys really didn’t provide that many laughs like we had seen in the past.  Fans also looking for big surprises may also be in for a bit of a shock, because guess what the movie is still predictable as ever, but I went in expecting this so that wasn’t as big of an issue.

So let’s wrap this up.  American Reunion is definitely a nice change from the modernized comedy.  The actors have retained their ability to play their characters, still know how to deliver dialog at the right times, and still can provide some new awkward humor.  Fans who want to relive the past of American Pie will also get a blast from the past, maybe even enough to help new fans catch up.  However, I strongly urge caution for younger audience members as again this film does step over the line in a few places, and does get a bit stale in the later stages of the movie.  I recommend seeing this film in a group, like I did, to share in the awkwardness together, but if you have to see it go for Eugene Levy as he will not fail you.  My scores for this movie are the following:

Comedy:  8.0-8.5

Movie overall:  6.5-7.0

Again it is all about preferred comedy humor, but I would say fans of the series will not be disappointed with this modern day sequel, something a lot of us haven’t experienced in a long time.  So until next time my friend continue to enjoy the movies.

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