Film & TV

"American Reunion" Offers a Durable Recipe for Routine Comedy

This latest episode in the ongoing American Pie saga, handled by the Harold & Kumar writer-director team of Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, reunites the full original cast at their 13-year high school reunion, as the anticlimactic disappointments of the 30s have begun to sink in. Onetime band-camp nymphomaniac Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) is married to Jim (Jason Biggs), but their sex life has gone dry since having kids; B-list talking-head celebrity Oz (Chris Klein) is mismatched with a party girl, a mistake that becomes glaring when confronted with old flame Heather (Mena Suvari); Stifler (Seann William Scott) is in white-collar clip-on-tie purgatory, still pining to party like it's 1999. After some strained "Remember the time . . ." callbacks to decade-plus-old gags, American Reunion gets comfortable and funny as Hurwitz and Schlossberg hit familiar marks from unexpected angles, while the ensemble interplay is "routine" in the best sense of the word. The recipe is so durable, and the sustained character work—more arrested development than development—so second skin by now, one can imagine the Pie films keeping with the dramatis personae through middle-age and into the problems of geriatric love. American Midlife Crisis? American Retirement? American Funeral? Let's go!

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Nick Pinkerton
Contact: Nick Pinkerton