American Pie, right.
You know the drill by now. Four friends and that lad with learning difficulties and the slutty mother meet up for some plausible reason, they have a few drinks, something awkward happens, they have a few more drinks, fail to have sex, have a few more drinks, sober up, realise a life lesson, have a few drinks, then get laid.
Sorry if there were spoilers there.
Here’s the thing, Reunion doesn’t break any boundaries. It doesn’t offer a hitherto unnoticed angle of social commentary. It makes a slight reference to what could only be described as the intended rape of a drunk girl, WHICH DOESN’T HAPPEN, BECAUSE THAT’S BAD, MMKAY? It laughs at breasts, and jokes involving shit, and let’s be honest, pretty much replays Porky’s, or Animal House, but without the bonus of John Belushi.
And you know what? That’s fine by me.
I liked the first three AP movies. I laughed, because they were supposedly the same age as me, and while I never once stuck my dick in a pie (pasties aren’t pies, right?), I could empathise with those guys. I was terrible with women, worse when I was drunk, and swore all the time. So those movies were for me. And they grew up with me. Then the producers got it into their heads to make the series shit, and around 47 straight-to-Netflix movies were pumped out, occasionally featuring the almighty Eugene Levy’s eyebrows. We forget about these films, because they were a stinking pile of rat shit. A lot of rats went into the making of that pile of rat shit, that’s how big the pile was.
But I digress. Point is, Jim, Kevin, Chris, Finch, and their friend with learning difficulties are fun and relatable, and more importantly, more bankable to the studio. So here they are, back in East Great Falls for their school reunion. Jim is still married to that one from Buffy, and they have a kid, who’ll no doubt end up fucking pastry, Kevin is still a whiney dick, but now he’s a whiney dick with a piss-weak beard (causing an excellent vagina joke from Stifler), Chris is still entirely forgettable, and Finch is still the coolest one there, and still gently lusting after Stifler’s mum’s magnificent breasts. Oh yeah, and Stifler seems to have received more blows to the head than ever before.
It’s a great format, playing on both your empathy for the characters, and your rose-tinted nostalgia for when you saw the first one in the cinema, or what you can remember, because you were too busy being knuckles deep in your date/fending off the amorous advances of your date (delete as applicable). It’s a familiar film, with certain scenes, and even dialogue being lifted almost wholesale from the original. But something about that is smart. If you laughed at it the first time, then you’ll smile with fond remembrance this time.
Special mention must be made of Eugene Levy. That man is a genius, and plays by far the best character in the series. His eyebrows have a SAG card of their own. Jim’s Dad is awkward, lovable, realistic, and just trying to be himself, against all odds. He steals every single scene he’s in, sells it in Cash Converters, then steals it back again. If you’ve never seen Levy in any of Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries, then I’m sorry, but your movie viewing is all the poorer for it, and to be frank, you’re a dullard.
All of the main characters are back, some in far smaller roles than others, but they’re all there, so you mentally make the role call, and are satisfied by the time the credits roll. So yeah, this is a movie designed to wring as much cynical emotion from you as possible, but it’s fine, because it’s fun.
The soundtrack isn’t as good as before, but that’s probably more indicative of the state of pop music today than anything. I mean, for fuck’s sake, Stooshe covering Ini Kamoze’s Here Comes The Hotstepper?! Who, in the name of Christ and Herod on tandem, are Stooshe? Are why use this abomination? Surely it would have been cheaper to get Kamoze’s original on, BECAUSE IT’S DAMN NEAR PERFECT POP MUSIC.
All of this is based on my having loved the originals, and having watched them over and over. If you’re new to the franchise because you’re too young, or whatever, then that’s hardly my fault. You should have been born sooner, you lazy bastard.
In short, American Reunion made me laugh hard enough and often enough for people to assume that I’m not firing on all cylinders. Regardless of the cynical, cash reaping undertones, the way I see it, that’s a successful movie.
Go and see it if the idea of an 18 year old man putting his hand in the freshly laid shit of a 31 year old man makes you laugh. But not if it makes you horny. Seriously dude, you shouldn’t really be going out in public.
It certainly made me laugh. But not horny.