Opening 26 Apr 2012
American Pie, the adventures of high-school senior boys with all their yearnings, insecurities, and baby-steps into adulthood, came out in 1999. In 2001 and 2003 two more films followed, including one which features the wedding between Jim and Michelle. Now, 13 years after the first American Pie, Jim, Michelle, Oz, Kevin, Vicky, Stiffler, Heather, and Finch, are back, a bit older and wiser, but still gung-ho to go back to East Great Falls, Michigan, for their high school reunion. They are still able to jump from one bed to the next, on purpose or by accident, drink, and brag, but maturity has seeped in so that they take time for some serious discussions. There are slow, retrospective moments of awareness, especially when they watch the 18-year-olds, who act as they once did, and who now appear terribly immature. We over thirty-year-olds can relate to the guys, as they look at their old Playboy magazines, and reminisce about their goals listed in the high school yearbook (“to have the love life of Ricky Martin”). Jim and Michelle have a small child and marriage problems; Oz is rich and famous; Finch is not the man he pretends to be. Only Stiffer has stayed in East Great Falls; he attempts to keep up the high-school façade, but even he has grown older. In a side story, Jim’s widower dad and Stiffler’s blond, buxom, call-girl mom connect, after Jim has a serious conversation with his dad about loneliness; perhaps these two will be the “problem generation” in the next American Pie.
This is an easy film to enjoy. Amazingly all the original cast members have returned for their same roles: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jennifer Coolidge, and Eugene Levy. All of them look fantastic; the 13 years have passed over them with no obvious signs of aging. For some reason, while the cast stays more or less the same, the directors change from film to film. This time Jon Hurwitz and Jayden Schlossberg were responsible. I saw the film in German and was quite surprised at the good translation. Normally, I have to run out to find an English version, but this is quite good as it is – if you are dependent on German for understanding. The soundtrack keeps up the tempo with more than 40 songs. (Becky Tan)