Film Reviews, Rants and Opinions

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Yet Another "American Reunion" Review

Way back in 1999, five desperate virgins made a pact to lose their virginity by prom: raunchy hi jinks and depraved hilarity ensued. Now - thirteen years later - they reunite (yes, all of them) in the hope of reliving former glories, can they pull it off?

Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle Levenstein (Alyson Hannigan) are married and have a two year old son. Are they happy? Mostly, except for their sex life.  Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is also married, and living at home as a House-Husband. Is he happy? Well sort of but, you know, House-Husband. Christopher "Oz" Ostreicher (Chris Klein) is living it up in LA as a pseudo-famous sports-caster, he has a beautiful, supermodel girlfriend and a nice home, but is he happy? You bet he ain't. Steve Stiffler (Sean William Scott) still lives at home with his mum and works a lowly temp-job. Happy? Yaddah-yaddah-yaddah. The only one who seems happy is Paul "Shitbreak" Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), but is he really? No, no he isn't. When the chance to meet up for a High School reunion appears they all jump at it.  The five men meet up in their home town and soon begin to regress to their teenage states. Even the level-headed Oz and Kev are tempted back to their old ways by old flames Heather (Mina Suvari) and Vicky (Tara Reid).

Everybody of my generation has seen the original American Pie movies, FACT. They were a rite of passage, and at the time were very original. Unfortunately there have since been so many knock-off "Gross-out comedies" that the genre has become a little stale; any film in this category would seriously need to up its game to out-do the Hangover movies. Does "American Reunion" pull it off? In a word, no.

I don't want to be totally negative about this film: there are some genuinely funny moments, but unfortunately most of them were shown in the trailers: The opening sequence didn't receive one laugh in the screen I was in because we had all seen it about a dozen times already.  Most of the jokes play off of the original movies (particularly the first movie) and so they don't feel fresh, and this is American Reunion's major problem:  The film's premise is also its downfall. The truth is it is all about nostalgia and longing for former glories, but it spends so much time focusing on that it doesn't work in its own right.

I walked into the Cinema wishing that I would see a film that left me nostalgic for my teen years. Well I got what I wanted, but what's that old saying? Oh yeah! Be careful what you wish for, because if there is one clear message to take away from American Reunion it is this: being an adult sucks, and your High School years were the best days of your life. Seriously, this movie puts a really negative spin on adult life. At no point is this more blatant than in a scene where Jim, Kev, Oz and Finch convince Stiffler to quit his job and join them at the reunion because "all their lives suck too". I actually left the cinema feeling mildly depressed, which surely makes this a failure as a comedy film.

In all fairness, American Reunion is not an awful movie, but it isn't great either. It has its fun moments and should work for anyone who wants a "trip down memory lane", but it will never be anything more than that.

5 comments:

  1. I think I liked the movie more than you did but I can see where you're coming from with the negative points. I like your 2nd paragraph too.

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    1. The funny thing is I came away from it yesterday thinking "yeah, that was alright", but I was sitting here thinking about it all morning and my opinion grew less and less favourable.

      Cheers for the comments. I can read your review of it now I've written mine

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  2. Well Katie went to see that new Nicholas Sparks one instead so I guess all we can conclude is that she has terrible taste. As I said in my review, I thought it was probably a three star film but gave it four partly for senimental reasons.

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    1. How did Katie rate the Lucky One? That's the important question.

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