Directors Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Screenwriters Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Cast Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge
They’re back! Or more specifically, Stifler’s (Scott) back! And so is Jim’s Dad (Levy)! And so is Stifler’s Mom (Coolidge)! Do we really care about anyone else? A lot of the comedy that sticks to our mind revolves around these three characters, and with American Reunion, these three are the ones who once again steal the show, and remind us why the American Pie franchise was such a hit.
With Reunion the characters have aged. Their lives have changed and no longer revolve around having to go to school. Instead they have their jobs, serious adult relationships, and for some, kids. Jim (Biggs) and Michelle (Hannigan) now have a young boy, and have very little time to spend for themselves. Oz (Klein) is a sports news anchor working in L.A. with a smoking hot new girlfriend. Kevin (Nicholas) is a stay-at-home architect completely devoted to his wife who makes him watch the likes of Gossip Girl and The Bachelorette. And of course, Stifler… he has a job. No, really, he does. But it’s clear Stifler hasn’t grown up one bit, hitting on women in the workplace with his usual, crass practice.
Bringing them all back is the high-school reunion, class of ’99. And with this, the gang is exactly as you would expect them to be, doing and saying everything that is required of them, and a lot of the gags work because of the film’s loyalty to the characters its predecessors have successfully created. Their living situations have changed, but they seem to remain true to themselves, with actors who look more than comfortable slipping back into the roles they originated over 10 years ago. There have been numerous direct-to-video sequels in between the Wedding and this Reunion. It’s been a long wait, but it certainly feels nice to have them back.
Trying to squeeze in quieter drama in the midst of all the chaos that arises from the gang’s arrival back in their hometown, the film’s frequent missteps originate from trying to attach dull life lessons and deeper themes into the many comedic moments. Painfully obvious messages are dragged out through revelatory conversations characters share in unnecessarily drawn-out scenes that unfortunately contribute to the 113-minute running time, plaguing the many crucial moments of the film’s fast-paced wit with sudden narrative breaks.
Original fans of the series will no doubt welcome back their favourite characters with open arms, and even newcomers might appreciate the surprisingly accessible, hysterical comedy. There is a chance this could be the last outing for Jim and his gang (because let’s face it, what excuse will there be next time to bring everyone back?) and this serves well as the final, send-off piece, neatly wrapping everything up to a sweet and funny conclusion.