(NEW YORK) — “It’s like warm apple pie.” Those are the words that inspired the most memorable dalliance with a pastry in cinema history, courtesy of American Pie. It’s been nine years since we’ve had a movie in the franchise, and many of us thought (hoped) that after American Wedding, we’d seen the last.
Considering most of the principal actors from the franchise haven’t done anything particularly notable since American Wedding (save for Mena Suvari, Alyson Hannigan and Eddie Kaye Thomas), getting the entire gang together one more time to recapture the magic that catapulted them to early stardom likely didn’t prove too difficult.
The title American Reunion gives you a pretty good idea what’s going on here. Everybody’s in their 30s now. Parenthood and time have destroyed Jim’s (Jason Biggs) and Michelle’s (Alyson Hannigan’s) sex life. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nichols) is married and completely, shall we say, whipped. Oz (Chris Klein) is a cheesy sports anchor with D-level celebrity status, Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is a motorcycle-riding, tall tale-telling man of the world, and Stifler is still a jerk.
Returning home for their high school reunion, Jim discovers that the little girl next door he used to baby sit is now a stunning 17-year-old girl who’s about to celebrate her birthday and become a hot 18-year-old woman — and guess who’s had a crush on Jim since childhood? Guess who’s also got a crazy and jealous boyfriend? Given that Jim hasn’t had sex in a while, the temptation to stray is meant to (and does) provide some funny moments.
There’s some bad news, too: Jim’s mother died three years ago. The good news: It makes Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) more entertaining than ever. Levy’s awkward advice and observations have been one of the franchise’s strengths. This time, it’s Levy who’s uncomfortable as he receives advice from Jim, but it’s effective. Jennifer Coolidge, still a treat as Stifler’s mom, joins Levy for a hilarious climax, so to speak, that happens while the credits are rolling.
American Pie broke new ground when it came to raunchy teen comedies. Though some of the players haven’t evolved much since then, 13 years after taking the world by storm it’s nice to see in American Reunion that most of them can still bring the funny.
Three-and-a-half out of five stars.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Eric Levenson, CNN