Thursday, May 3, 2012

PCP in Theaters - American Reunion

Over the weekend of April 6th, for the first time since the birth of my son, I was finally able to see a movie in theaters.  Despite the box office juggernaut that is The Hunger Games that was dominating the country then, my wife and I went to see American Reunion instead.  We left our son in daycare and caught a matinee on a Friday, which we'll probably do a couple more times this summer for some other flicks like Dark Knight Rises.  It was nice to return to the theaters for the first time in over 3 months, and it was also nice to do so with a nostalgia trip like American Reunion.

American Reunion - 2012, Rated R.  113 minutes.  Starring - Everyone from the original American Pie movie plus a few newcomers.  Too many people to list here and frankly I'm feeling lazy.  My rating:  8 out of 10.

The first American Pie came out all the way back in July of 1999, which for me was the summer between my junior and senior year.  As the characters in the film were seniors in high school at the time, this movie franchise actually synched up nicely with where I was in my life.  In 2001, they reunited after some time in college, while I was in college.  In 2003 they had the wedding, and I was married in 2004.  Now in 2012 they are having the reunion movie, 13 years after they graduated from high school.  The characters are older, wiser, and starting families, again in line with where I am in my life.  Because of the timing, the American Pie franchise has always felt to me like it was the defining teenage movie of my generation, much like John Hughes movies were for the generation before.

As having a 13-year reunion is not typical for obvious reasons, they even lampshade it a bit in the script by having the characters in the film comment on how they couldn't get things in order at the school to do the reunion at the 10 year point (referring to difficulties in getting the whole cast back together and available at the same time).  The entire cast of the original movie returns, some in 1 scene cameos (Shannon Elizabeth, Natasha Lyonne), some with bit parts (Tara Reid), and some with full length appearances (everyone else).  Some new blood is injected in to the series as well, but I do hope that this is the final one in the series.  The film tells the story of the guys getting together for their reunion, and how for many of them their lives are not what they expected at this point in time.

The emotional core of the film continues to be the relationship between Jim (Jason Biggs) and his Dad (Eugene Levy).  This time it's a bit of a role reversal though, because while Jim's Dad is helping Jim out with advice on a post-child sex drought he's having with wife Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), Jim is also giving his dad advice on getting back in to the dating world after the death of Jim's mom in the intervening time between the last film and this one.  The sequences between Biggs & Levy are some of the best in the film, as are Jim's Dad's adventures with Stifler's Mom (not a spoiler, they meet in the trailer). 

All in all, the characters learn life lessons during the film, while rekindling old relationships or building new ones.  As befitting an American Pie movie there's also gratuitous nudity, sex, and some gross out humor.  It is an enjoyable trip down memory lane one last time with these characters I grew up with.  If you're a fan of the series, go see this movie.  If not, then you probably won't miss anything by missing the movie.  My wife and I enjoyed this though, and recommend it to everyone of our generation.

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