Friday, April 6, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: American Reunion

This movie review for "American Reunion" was written by guest blogger Liz Parker...

American Reunion is the fourth movie in the franchise, not counting the various spin-offs that have popped up over the years.. The third movie, American Wedding, was released in 2003, so there has been quite a few years between that installment and this current one. Although they can be quite raunchy, I found the last three movies in the series hilarious and really enjoyed them. Unfortunately, American Reunion is the weakest movie of the bunch, even though there were definitely some hilarious moments throughout.

The first scene in the movie is straight out of the trailer: we see discarded clothes next to a bed that's bouncing up and down, hinting that something raunchy going on. Instead, however, Jim (Jason Biggs, My Best Friend's Girl) is trying to read while his wife Michelle (Alyson Hannigan, TV's How I Met Your Mother) is trying to rock their 2 year-old son to sleep - quite a change from the couple's usual activities in the previous Pie movies. Jim and Michelle haven't had a lot of "sexy time" together lately, as she puts it, and they decide to attend their 13th high school reunion together back in East Great Falls. Jim, especially, is looking forward to spending some time with the guys, including his old pals Oz (Chris Klein, Caught in the Crossfire), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas, Please Give), and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas, TV's American Dad!). The guys unanimously decide not to invite Stifler (Seann William Scott, Goon) because he still hasn't really "grown up." Unfortunately, they run into Stiffler at a local bar, but pretend that his email invite got lost.

It was nice to see the American Pie group back together on-screen, but Reunion isn't really up to par with the other movies in the series. What's interesting is that there were some truly hilarious scenes mixed in with the rest of the film, which was a little slow, and it is for this reason that the film gets bumped up to a Maybe rating. Jim's dad (Eugene Levy, Taking Woodstock) has been a little lonely since Jim's mom has died, and Jim and Stifler try to get him to go out and meet some women; these scenes and also a scene where he meets Stifler's mom (Jennifer Coolidge, TV's 2 Broke Girls) comprised some of the funnier ones in the film. American Reunion trots out almost every character from the first movie, too, so that we get to see what has become of them, and former relationships (ie, Oz and Heather, played by Mena Suvari, and Kevin and Vicky, played by Tara Reid) are possibly rekindled.

Fans of the film likely won't be discouraged from seeing it based on this review, but I would recommend going back and re-watching the other three movies, which are much funnier, rather than seeing  American Reunion. I hope this is the last film in the series, since I'm not sure what more they could do with it. I like the Pie core group a lot, but I think now that we are assured that they have, in fact, grown up, the series should come to an end.

American Reunion is in theaters today, April 6th, and is rated R with a runtime of 113 minutes. 2.5 stars out of 5.

Click here if American Reunion trailer is not shown

Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films
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