Title: American Reunion
Reviewed for Shockya by Harvey Karten
Director: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Screenwriter: Jon Hurwitz, characters by Adam Herz
Cast: Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Tara Reid, Katrina Bowden, Shannon Elizabeth, Jason Biggs, Eugene Levy
Screened at: AMC Lincoln Sq., NYC, 4/2/12
Opens: April 6, 2012
It’s possible to relive the best years of our lives, those that we spent in high school, isn’t it? Maybe. Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg’s “American Reunion” seems to have it both ways. In one of the few sentimental sectors of the movie, at least one of the characters celebrating a ten-year high-school reunion notes that life is not a reality show: that high school was then and now is now. Yet the major part of this high-spirited comedy, a sequel to Paul Weitz’s 1999 movie “American Pie,” gives reason for hope. We may not be able to relive our high-school days forever, but yes we can: for one weekend.
A film that’s as American as apple pie is anchored by the one married couple with a kid: Jim (Jason Biggs) and his wife Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). Jim is the one guy who may be benefitting in the long run from the weekend with the guys he knew and loved ten years ago. Presumably because they have a small son, their sex lives are in a rut. They seem never to have time to get it on, and what’s more even at the party that precedes the reunion, they are interrupted so many times that we wonder if they’ll ever have an intimate moment. Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) is ready to give advice to the lad but it turns out that he, having been widowed a few years earlier, has been home every night reading when he should be getting warmed up with a girl of his own.
The big event finds the fellows getting together to bond once again: Oz (Chris Klein), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Jim (Jason Biggs), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholis) and Steven Stifler (Seann William Scott), though Stifler was an afterthought, considered by the more moderate fellows to be too much off the wall to join them. Happily, Stifler not only joins but throws the party himself in the home of his hot mom (Jennifer Coolidge). Lucky for us in the audience as well since when it comes to vulgar comedies of this nature, Seann William Scott is in a class by himself.
The guys talk of sex throughout, some practice it, and the gals are all beautiful—Heather (Mena Suvari), on whom Oz has had his eyes for a decade, Vicky (Tara Reid), Nadia (Shannon Elziabeth) and Kara (Ali Cobrin)—the last of whom has the tale’s funniest scene; getting drunk in a car driven by Jim and having to be smuggled bare-chested into her own parents’ home almost under their noses.
Still, this situation comedy is getting old-hat, the setups predictable, and while granting that there is an abundance of laughs thanks largely to Scott’s presence as Stifler, it may be time to end here before the pie becomes stale.
Rated R. (c) 2012 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online
Story – C
Acting – B
Technical – B
Overall – B-