American Reunion (2012) Review
I still remember seeing American Pie the very night it came out on July 9 of 1999 at the drive in. Me and the people I was with laughed our asses off. It was something miraculous to me that movie. What I found really unbelievable, however, was that part two made me laugh even harder, and American Wedding even harder than that. I love that trilogy. It should have been left a trilogy, however. Some producers simply shun the very notion of quitting while you’re ahead, so it seems. You know the expression “squeezing a lemon?” Well, unfortunately, the makers of the American Pie franchise tried to squeeze one for American Reunion and all that came out was pulp. SPOILERS AHEAD!
It’s not surprising, though. It’s exactly what I was expecting. What surprised me was the audience, however. People were actually laughing. I couldn’t believe it. Most of this stuff would have been considered boring and lame in the mid-90s. It doesn’t normally take much to make me laugh, if the comedy is half-decent, no matter what kind of humour it is. Yet, I was sitting there the entire time asking myself, ‘What are these people laughing at?’ I sometimes worry that it will become exceedingly difficult to make people laugh, due to desensitization and the humdrumness of hearing the same stale jokes over and over again. But, after sitting in the theatre of this excruciating movie, I know that comedy writers have little to worry about. Hell, people even applauded at the end. I couldn’t wait for it to end. I almost applauded because it finally did.
The inevitable finally happened, by the way, and that is that we finally see Jason Biggs’s penis. The moment is one of the very few parts of the movie where I actually laughed. Alyson Hannigan’s confused, dumbfounded, five-year-old way of delivering Michelle’s insipid lines, as if she’s in need of a soothie or something, has become so very played and annoying to listen to. Finch, aside from his fabulous entrance onto the screen, was a dead character, which I think is a real shame, since I always found him hysterical and a fountain of comical potential, both on a crude and intellectual level. Stifler is still a joy to watch, and Seann William Scott is brilliant, but most of his lines just weren’t on the mark. The highlight of the movie, however, was probably Stifler finally getting his ultimate revenge upon Finch. I won’t spoil it here. Eugene Levy was his usually talented self, but in order to bring his character into the game, a part of the story was that his wife, Jim’s mom, had passed away three years prior. It seemed too sad and gloomy for the movie, but something they put in so that Jim’s dad could hook up with Stifler’s. It’s a sweet and fitting coupling up, I suppose. Thankfully, the still ridiculously gorgeous Shannon Elizabeth (whom I thought was great in the first installment of all this) only makes her appearance as Nadia near the end. Her horrible East-European accent seems to get worse with age, and I hope it is the last time we ever have to hear it again.
Finally, a major problem with the movie is that there are way too many sappy and slow sequences in it, as if it were taking itself and life way too seriously, especially for a franchise that revolves around sexual obsession, pie-humping, having sex with an acquaintance’s mother, and ejaculate. A little bit of that would have been okay, of course, but I think that the moment a movie becomes corny, is the moment when it tries to go out of its way, over and over again, to remind you that there are other people in the world who share your anxieties and conflicts. It’s like, “Yeah, I get it, life is rough, relationships are complicated, now shut up and make me laugh.” What makers of such movies need to understand, however, is that when it comes to making people laugh, crude does not necessarily equal funny. I completely sympathize with the negative reviews American Reunion has gotten so far, but how it’s possible that (as I write these words) it currently has a 7.7 rating on IMDb, while American Pie, only has a 6.9 is beyond me. It’s absolutely, positively bizarre. *shaking head* Just what’s this world coming to, anyway? I’ve seen the future, and it’s people being so desperate to laugh away their problems, stress and confusion that they sit in darkened theatres and laugh at things that generations before them would have found quite played, stupid and bland.
I give it one star out of five. Now put this slice of Americana to rest…PLEASE!