Millennial nostalgia still feels mighty weird—and not quite the stuff of comedy—in this latest, half-limp sequel to American Pie (1999). Shortly into the running time, our now-married hero, Jim (Biggs), fondles an old magazine that warns of Y2K; jokes about Chumbawamba and Terminator 2: Judgment Day only partially detonate; and the whole enterprise lurches bizarrely toward sentimental self-pity. Aren’t we supposed to be getting intimate with pastries already? American Reunion is, unavoidably, about aging and decay (that’s not a veiled reference to Tara Reid); as a decade-since-high-school romp, the movie was always going to serve as a reminder of lost youth.
Call it a strange and unintended benefit, then, that many of these generic characters work better as awkward adults than as teens. Seann William Scott’s obnoxious Stifler now plays—entertainingly—as a desperate denier, squirming as he’s hugged by his old lacrosse bros. (“I thought they were wrestling,” says Stifler of the proudly out couple, through tears.) Subplots involving cooled passions and the “mouth that got away” are tired; better is the film’s savage portrayal of the younger generation as sex-and-drug-crazed banshees who have never heard of pants. Last month’s nihilistic Project X is a far more revealing document; American Reunion, meanwhile, is for an audience that wants to turn its trash into treasure. Like a ’90s-era Baby Bottle Pop, it’s way too sweet, but might be confused for mother’s milk.
Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf
|Release date:||Friday April 6 2012|
Cast and crew
|Director:||Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg|
Seann William Scott