It’s been over a decade since all the primary characters from the first two American Pie movies were all together. The less said about the embarrassing third installment, American Wedding (2003), the better. That one only managed to reassemble part of the original cast and even they seemed to realize the franchise was out of steam. But now we have American Reunion, an appropriate title, as every significant cast member—from Jason Biggs as Jim Levenstein right down to Chuck “The Sherminator” Sherman (Chris Owen)—is back. The big question is, were they able to pull it off after all these years?
I’d say the answer is a very cautious yes. For anyone who enjoyed the 1999 original and its 2001 follow-up, seeing everyone back together is quite a nostalgic kick. The concept is simple. After we catch up with the primary cast members, it’s revealed that their 10 year high school reunion never quite came together so there’ll be a 13 year reunion instead. Jim and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are still married. They now have a child, but are lacking intimacy. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicolas) is also married and has become quite a pussified househusband. At least he seems happy. Oz (Chris Klein) hit the big time as a TV sportscaster. He even competed on a Dancing with the Stars-type show. Poor old Stifler (Seann William Scott) has continued on a downward spiral since we last saw him. He’s working as an office assistant and gets no respect from his ego-tripping boss. Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) has disappeared, rumored to be living a life of adventure.
The idea was to show the guys as full-fledged adults, while retaining the adolescent mischief of the earlier films. In other words, it’s still a raunchy teen comedy, only with a bunch of thirtysomethings replacing the teens. Some of the hijinks seem a little forced though, like when Stifler takes a dump in a cooler belonging to some current high school guys that teased him. There are a few playfully funny moments as the guys try to fit in with high schoolers at a beach party. Jim finds himself hotly pursued by, quite literally, the girl next door. He used to babysit Kara (Ali Cobrin), who just turned 18 and desperately wants to lose her virginity. But no matter how great Cobrin looks naked (pretty damn great, for the record), things kind of stop being funny as she is carried around unconscious by Jim, who even drops the poor girl on the ground as he’s trying to sneak her back into her parents’ house.