Movie Review: American Reunion
High-school hijinx continue into adulthood as “American” friends gather for laughs and lots of booze
“American Reunion” blends nostalgia and dirty humor, reuniting us with a cast of characters that helped define high school humor over the last decade. The once troubled youth are now in their thirties and are plagued with similar problems they faced in their high school days.
Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle, (Alyson Hannigan) are still married but coping with intimate problems. Oz (Chris Klein) is a sports reporter discontent with his buxom, blonde girlfriend. Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is an alleged world traveller but still looking for love. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is a stay-at-home cook wondering if he has found contentment. And Stifler (Seann William Scott) is an intern at a law firm.
Since we haven’t seen an “American” movie with the original cast since 2003, there are plenty Facebook and technology jokes to make, as if the characters were waiting a decade to make them. But playing catch-up is only a small piece of the film because jokes about genitalia are timeless, of which, Stifler has plenty.
Seann William Scott is indubitably the film’s biggest asset. Arguably he plays similar roles in all of his films, but this doesn’t take away from his original craft as the notorious high school dick.
The remaining cast members try to conform to their archetypes, but ultimately realize they’re not in high school anymore.
Based on a script by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (“Harold & Kumar” series), the team does a splendid job of not making “Reunion” feel like a shameless money grab and more so a genuine cause to bring these characters back together.
The real reunion only occupies several minutes of the film, as it is the hijinx surrounding the reunion weekend that garner the laughs. Some of the melodrama feels a bit out of place, but some of it resonates as hopelessness still enshrouding their post-college lives.
This is why “Reunion” succeeds where a lot of other reunion films fail. It’s unafraid to highlight the grim reality the class of 1999 faces – and then mock it.
While there is no pie humping in the movie, there still are MILFs and high school girls, and Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) and Stifler’s Mom (Jennifer Coolidge).
It’s a shame “Reunion” doesn’t rise to higher standards. But as Heather (Mena Suvari) says to Oz, “In some ways you’ve changed, and in some ways you’re exactly the same.” This is an accurate description of the formulaic curse of the sequel, where only what needs to be changed is changed.