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American Reunion (6/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 105 minutes.

Not for children.

This is a  modern screwball comedy. Unfortunately, that means that it's diminished by some disgusting sexual scenes and full frontal male nudity. But it also contains some laugh out loud scenes that are reminiscent of director Alan Dwan's classic screwball comedy, Up in Mabel's Room (1944).

Directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, the six guys who played in the original, American Pie (1999), and the two sequels, American pie two (2001), and American Wedding (2003), Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Chris Olan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nichols, and Eddie Kay Thomas,  return to attend their high school reunion. The story centers around Biggs (Jim Levenstein) and his wife, Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), who are having marital problems, naturally. But the other guys have their problems, too. They all get together and circumstances naturally create their own problems, mostly with former girl friends, played by Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth, and Mena Suvari. The entire cast returns from the previous films, so it really is a reunion.

The highlights of the film are provided by Scott, who plays Steve Stifler, the bad boy who never grew up. Scott gives a wonderful performance as a character who needed talent to be portrayed. When he's onscreen, the film really picks up. He reminded me of two people I know. Maybe everybody has known someone like Stifler.

But there are other good performances, most notably by Hannigan as the unsatisfied wife. Levenstein is the glue of the film and carries it off well, especially when he gets entangled with gorgeous Kara (Ali Cobrin), Jason's father's (Eugene Levy) next door neighbor for whom Jason used to baby sit. Kara is now a shapely 18 and wants Jason. His problems with her provide the movie with its funniest parts, approximately 2/3 of the way through. It doesn't hurt when she do and him and him ffs her shirt, either.

There are some raunchy parts that are more disgusting than funny that could have been left out, like Stifler defecating in a box and another about oral sex that is too disgusting to even describe. But all in all, the funny parts outweigh the raunchy parts and the feel good ending is appropriate, if hackneyed.

April 2, 2012