American Reunion

In the thirteen years since Jim, Finch, and Stifler first raunched their way across the big screen (or, in the nine years since we last saw them), the core audience has gotten quite a bit older, too. Fear not, though– it turns out that penis jokes, poop-laced slapstick, and even The Stif-meister himself all hold up really well.

The fourth American Pie installment (assuming you don’t count the four direct-to-DVD offerings) will ease anyone’s trepidation about the Pie getting stale or your being too full for another piece.

American Reunion finds the bunch back in East Great Falls for their 13th (um, okay?) high school reunion. Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are still married, though now they’ve added a two-year-old to the fam. Oz (Chris Klein) is a second-rate sportscaster and former Dancing with the Stars-esque contestant. Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) has been touring the world on his motorcycle. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is a bearded house-husband. And Stifler (Seann William Scott)… well, he hasn’t changed one bit. Seriously, every other word out of his mouth here would be sandblasted from the walls of even the seediest bathroom.

They and everyone else (including even Sherman and Nadia) eventually make their way to the party, and there is a definite feel of nostalgia in seeing them all back together. But there are fresh faces, too, including Kara (Ali Cobrin), a horny co-ed who Jim used to babysit, and Selena (Dania Ramirez), a former band camp ugly duckling who’s blossomed nicely.

The Reunion antics run the gamut from defecating into a beer cooler to dressing up in bondage gear. None of it feels out of place, and, more importantly, most of the jokes hit their mark, with some even providing bona fide laugh-out-loud moments.

Though Oz (particularly), Finch, and Kevin all seem to have lost a little of their edge in the decade since we last saw them –apparently it was the lure of the nice paycheck that brought Klein, Thomas, and Nicholas back– the rest of the cast steps up nicely. Biggs, who has been egregiously underrated for his spot-on comic timing and for (let’s face it) carrying the original films, has never been better. And Scott, who turned Stifler into an overnight icon, has only mastered the role that much more.

Plus, of course, Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) outshines pretty much everyone– taking advantage of his extended screen time here to show the young-ish guns how it’s done.

Co-directors and co-writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (the ‘brains’ behind the Harold and Kumar franchise) have a definite, deep-seeded love for the American Pie gang, and the duo’s ability to re-boot the franchise so deftly (though not at all subtly) is a testament to that.

And having the smarts to bring along a certain actress (and her iconic line) from a certain 80s movie for what may be the season’s best cameo? Well, that’s just the icing on the Pie.

4/5 stars