American Reunion: School’s Out Forever

by Ethan Alter April 6, 2012 6:01 am
<I>American Reunion</i>: School’s Out Forever

It might have been easier to feel more enthusiastic about American Reunion if this was the first time we had seen Jim, Stifler and the rest of the American Pie crew since the first movie became a breakout hit back in 1999. Thirteen years on, the original holds up quite nicely; dated soundtrack aside (the fact that both "One Week" and "Flagpole Sitta" are blasted without any hint of irony clearly makes it a late '90s period piece), the jokes still land, the characters remain endearing and there's a genuine sweetness beneath the raunch that gives the film heart as well as humor. A sequel to that movie would be most welcome, in the same way that Richard Linklater took his time following up Before Sunrise with Before Sunset. Unfortunately, in between American Pie and American Reunion, the brand name was tarnished by two mostly terrible sequels (2003's American Wedding was particularly dire) and a line of flat-out awful direct-to-DVD spin-offs (which, to be fair, didn't feature any of the original cast, with the exception of Eugene Levy). As a result Reunion arrives in theaters appearing less like a triumphant homecoming than the last gasp of a flatlining franchise.



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