Film Review: ‘American Reunion’ is Tasteless, Stale Piece of Comedy Pie

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CHICAGO – “American Reunion” is not unlike the event from which it takes its title. Some of it rekindles memories of what worked in the past in a nostalgic, even sweet way. Some of it reminds one what they liked about these people in the first place. Some of it is just sad. Ultimately, it’s too inconsistent a movie to recommend in any way even if Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy pull every weapon from their comedy arsenals to try and save it. It’s a stale piece of pie.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Of course, “American Reunion” opens with an awkward scene of a sexual nature as we quickly learn that Jim (Jason Biggs) hasn’t really matured much since he was a virginal teenager even though he’s now married to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) and has a precocious son. In the opening scene, he starts to masturbate to internet porn while his wife takes a bath when he’s interrupted by his toddler. Hilarity ensues. At least it’s supposed to. As with nearly everything that happens with Jim in “American Reunion,” there’s a desperation to the raunchy comedy like the writers are going through the motions instead of writing characters. “Well, we have to open with Jim being embarrassed, right?” Wouldn’t it have been more interesting and set the tone for something fresh instead of recycled if they didn’t?

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “American Reunion” in our reviews section.

Getting down on a film like “American Reunion” for being overly familiar is probably ill-advised. It’s why people go to see it, for the most part, to be reminded that we don’t really change all that much from our high school incarnations. It’s not so much a flaw of the film that these character have grown so little since “American Pie” but that the recycled nature of it all lessens the entire franchise. It’s like someone doing a cover of “Closing Time.” Not only does it seem unnecessary but you’ll probably just be reminded that the original wasn’t that good in the first place.

The plot of “American Reunion” is pretty self-explanatory. Most of the characters from the first film pop up in major or minor parts (some VERY minor…just a warning Natasha Lyonne and Shannon Elizabeth fans, who I think combine for about 45 seconds of screen time) and echo plotlines from the first three films. To be fair, there aren’t nearly as many references to band camp as I expected. Although the writers do think every time someone says “Stifler’s mom” that it constitutes an actual punchline.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “American Reunion” review.

“American Reunion” stars Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Katrina Bowden, Dania Ramirez, Alyson Hannigan, Eugene Levy, Ari Colbin, and Jennifer Coolidge. It was written and directed by Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg. It is rated R and opens on April 6, 2012.

American Reunion
American Reunion
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

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