Saturday, April 7, 2012

American Reunion (2012)


R, 1 hr. 50 min.  Directed By:  Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg.   Release Date:  Apr 6, 2012.

In 1999, one of my fraternity brothers took me to see the original American Pie as part of a larger outing that marked the end of my last year of college, and my first year as a “real” adult.  Every time I watch anything with the words “American Pie” stamped on it, I always think of that night spent at the movies, where I, pretty much completely in the bag, laughed all kinds of body parts off.  I’ve never thought they were so hysterical when sober, but the reminiscence of that night always brings a smile to my face.

Even with that “legend” to live up to, I never go in to any part of the American Pie saga with any expectations, although each has moments of comedy gold (never the kind of thing you WANT to be laughing at, but I laugh when the guy gets shot in the back seat of the car in Pulp Fiction, too, so sue me), none are really good movies in the technical sense.  They are however, an enjoyable two hours, almost always.  Do I have my favorites?  I do, and American Reunion is likely to be in the top three. 

This is actually the first time where I’ve been able to empathize completely with the cast of these four movies (I’m going to leave out the straight-to-vid madness, which I treat like guilty pleasures).  Until now, the four years separating me from Jim, Finch, Oz, Kevin, and Stifler have been big ones, and most of my affection comes in the form of nostalgia.  Now, I feel for them.  They’re at that age when everyone is getting married, or engaged, or having kids, or all three.  They’re starting to drift apart because of their lives, not because their friendship is any less real.  And, they’re still young enough to want the glory days back, the days when there were no responsibilities, no stress, no problems that couldn’t be solved in 90 minutes.  God I miss those days.  In the grand scheme of things, I'm not old, but I sure feel old every once in a while.

Despite that, my favorite part BY FAR was the soundtrack, which was a mix of rehashed entries from previous Pie soundtracks and 90s classics.  Someone, namely me, will be doing some iTunes shopping this weekend to see if the soundtrack is available.  For about two hours, the boundless joys and irresponsible irreverence of the 90s was brought back to life for me, in song and in deed, and that feeling is heady and priceless to me.  

Do I wish that the guys could grow up a little?  I do.  Poop jokes only take you so far, and Sean William Scott is way past that point.  Could I have done without seeing Jason Biggs’ weiner?  Hell, yes.  Was it also kind of cool to see a group of (mostly) washed up actors again that I kind of came of age with?  Hell, yes.  I thought this was a fun movie, but not a good one.  I’d see it again, but I won’t be holding my breath come the Oscars next February.  

Oh, if you’re interested, there’s some dialogue about having regular “reunions” in the future.  See you there.