The last piece of pie

The last piece of pie

Waste of Time
Apr 15, 2012
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Back in 1999, nurse the world was introduced to American Pie. It was raunchy, public health juvenile and, well, hugely influential on popular culture. Words and phrases like, “MILF”, “…one summer at band camp…”, “…Go trig-boy, it’s your birthday!”, etc…were all quickly absorbed into the mainstream through this singular cinematic sensation. Well, 13 years later the pie is back with American Reunion.

We find our loveable cast well beyond high school and navigating their lives through the disappointing world of adulthood. Our unlikely hero, Jim (Jason Biggs), and his high school sweetheart, Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), have a two year old son. They’re experiencing the usual lack of sizzle that all young parents go through. Of course, this just happens to line up with the big high school reunion. In preparation, the guys arrange to meet up for beers a couple of days before the big party. From there, antics arise, comedic misunderstandings abound and the term “potty-humour” is, again, redefined.

Because it’s a reunion, the makers of American Reunion clearly went out of their way to ensure every memorable character was present. Every single joke from the first film is referenced, as well. In fact, this becomes almost painful as scene after scene you’re just waiting for the next reference from the first film. And herein lies the problem with American Reunion. It’s so busy looking back at the original film, that it never has a life of its own. Its like when sitcoms spend a whole show looking back at scenes from previous episodes. I hate that. Now I know what you’re saying: “But Craig, it’s a reunion! That’s what’s supposed to happen. They’re reminiscing on the past!” And I hear ya. But, if you’re gonna go through the bother of making a film, please, create some new material. For example, without giving away too much, there is one plot line that is new, unexpected and refreshing. Let’s just say Stifler’s mom (Coolidge) and Jim’s Dad (Levy) “connect”. That part, which is short-lived, is new and memorable. American Reunion should have more of that. Instead, like the characters who are desperately trying to recapture the nostalgia of the past, this movie stumbles along trying to relive the highlights of its original. And if that’s all a sequel is, then I’d rather stay home and watch the first one again.

The posters for American Reunion say, “Save the best piece for last”. Unfortunately, this movie spends so much time focusing on how great the first piece of pie was that the last piece ends up being very, very stale.

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Craig the Critic

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