So does anyone remember the furore caused by the first American Pie film? Cast your mind back 14 years… (yep, makes you feel old doesn’t it) American Pie signalled a new genre, the teen gross out. There were many before, Animal House etc. from the 80s. Then you had outright gross out of Dumb and Dumber. American Pie represented everything about American Teen life, sex, school, sports, drinking, parties. We had subtle hints at things like this before in movies, like the much more innocent (but still wildly obsessed with sex) 10 Things I Hate About You, but American Pie was the first movie to really ‘adultify’ the teen genre. Jim and his friends might only be 17-18 years old, but they are definitely X-rated in their behaviour. This kind of film, particularly the attitude toward sex, caused a bit of a stir. nevertheless it went on to earn high box-office takings and an almost myth-like status among teens all around the world.
So fast forward 14 years. We are all nearly 30, we’ve graduated, gone to college, some of us have married and have kids. We are introduced again to Jim and Michelle, their sex life non-existent due to a baby, typical cliché for any kind of ‘this is us grown up now’ type film. However the impending school reunion will obviously offer some juvenile and much-needed relief from adulthood jokes, parties and drinking sessions. The old gang gets back together, despite trying to exclude Stifler, he some how makes it back in and they proceed with drink, drugs and debauchery.
I have to say, contrary to my really, really REALLY low expectation of American Pie: The Reunion, I actually enjoyed it. I thought it was very funny in places and actually not as exploitative as many other films like this. I thought that the moral tone of the film was a peg or two higher than it’s counterparts. Of course there was a ‘naked girl in a farcical situation’ type scene, but again I actually thought it was funny and didn’t think it was gratuitous or overly explicit. It didn’t really have a well strung together plot, in fact the plot kind of meant nothing, it was a thin strand holding together individual sketches (and most likely, in the strangest scene in the film, a reason to make Alyson Hannigan wear hardcore bondage gear, which by the way as a fan of Buffy, was very bizarre seeing).
But in reality, no one is watching any American Pie film for the plot, the plot is irrelevant, what you want to see when you watch American Pie is embarrassing things happening to people, you’re not particularly looking to change your perspective on cultural issues of youth or learn anything. In all reality a reunion was effectively the only ending to the American Pie series and it think that it ended on a marginally better than average note, which is change from the norm with these types of films which try and be as obscene, gratuitous and explicit as they can possibly be. The charm of American Pie is there is still a hint of that innocence behind everything they do. Uncomplicated characters facing uncomplicated decisions with uncomplicated lives. And sometimes, in the name of comedy, you want uncomplicated, and if you’ve followed the earlier films, you definitely wont be disappointed by their most recent outing. Ultimately The Reunion, is a fan movie, it’s not looking to gain new audiences, in fact, I’m not sure the creators even care if they make new fans off the back of this.
(P.S – I was really hoping for more of Stifler’s mom, I know that she is exceptionally funny as a stand up, she definitely deserved a bit more screen time!)
- Product placement in pictures: American Reunion (brandsandfilms.com)
- Alyson Hannigan talks ‘American Reunion’ – EXCLUSIVE (insidemovies.ew.com)
- “American Pie: On a more serious note.” -Just random thoughts after watching the film (joannabonda21.wordpress.com)
- AMERICAN REUNION Directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg Confirmed to Helm R-Rated Comedy CHERRIES; Seth Rogen to Produce (collider.com)