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American Reunion Movie Review

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Reunion movies, as with sequels, are faced with assorted challenges that go beyond avoiding a disconnect between who the characters were some time ago, and where their personalities have drifted in a continuum into the present time. Likewise a dramatic necessity, is both satisfying fans of the series with sufficient memory lane nostalgia, and breathing life into a completely new story for the uninitiated. Whew.

But since I've been either spared or disadvantaged as a film critic, by not having seen any of the original American Pie trilogy movies, this review delves solely into the Reunion followup as a brand new grossout experience. Which frankly, plays out as some kind of exclusive fan club meetup, to which I was not too privy. And basically more like eavesdropping on a bunch of bawdy pals, than sharing as a spectator their goofy get togethers with them.

reunion
Photo: www.rottentomatoes.com

Directed by Harold & Kumar's Jon Hurwitz this time around, American Reunion picks up where the Pie series reportedly last left off. It's a little over a decade later, and the juvenile jerks have returned to East Great Falls, Michigan for their high school reunion. The most clearly drawn character of the bunch is Jim (Jason Biggs), now married to his high school sweetheart Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) and raising a toddler.

But marriage is already a sour state of affairs for both mates. Parenting has taken its toll on their sex life big time, and driven them into so to speak, mutually exclusive erotic self-entertainment. Hoping to rekindle their joint faded libido during the trip back to where their hot relationship first ignited, the couple checks in at the home of Jim's widower dad Mr. Levenstein (Eugene Levy). And Levenstein happens to be wallowing in his own chronic funk, still a grieving hermit following the death of his wife years ago.

As for the other characters and many additional story threads, it was an exhausting process distinguishing them. Not only because they were exceedingly thinly drawn as personalities and much too rapidly alternating episodically, but the array of bottle blonde bimbos were bland enough to be nearly identical to one another. Even if they happen to include Tara Reid and Mena Suvari.

And in effect stealing the show as an intended secondary personality, is Levy. As he grabs laughs doing his own personal memory lane thing, high on clandestine reefer and hallucinating the lunacy and lingo of the Woodstock generation. You go, Dad.

Universal Pictures
Rated R
2 stars

Trailer of the American Reunion:

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

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