Thirteen years ago we all met and fell in love with the quirky teenagers of American Pie. In my early twenties at the time, I joined millions of other moviegoers and watched the group of young adults as they frantically fluttered about, preparing for their senior prom. Would they all find a date? Would any of them lose their virginity? Would this night be a night to remember, forever?
American Pie was a huge box-office hit, and the success continued once the movie was available on DVD despite critics claims that the film was lewd and shallow. Regardless, the American Pie film franchise has now grown to include four films starring our favorite characters and another four films following other groups of teenagers.
But for the sake of today’s post, we’re only focusing on the “real” American Pie favorites:
The original, American Pie;
The sequel, American Pie 2;
The official consummation, known as American Wedding;
And the most recent theatrical release, American Reunion.
One thing that I truly appreciate about the American Pie films is that the story follows a group of teenage boys; it’s not the usual girl drama of most YA films. While there are female characters crucial to the storyline (Michelle, played by Alyson Hannigan; Heather, played by Mena Suvari; Vicky, played by Tara Reid; and Nadia, played by Shannon Elizabeth), the movie tells the tales of five male friends as they move throughout life: Jim Levenstein, played by Jason Biggs; Kevin Myers, played by Thomas Ian Nicholas; Chris “Oz” Ostreicher, played by Chris Klein; Paul Finch, played by Eddie Kaye Thomas; and Steve Stifler, played by Seann William Scott.
Another thing that I applaud is the fact that the franchise kept the original actors throughout; even when a particular star couldn’t return or wasn’t written into the sequel scripts, the casting remained the same. We recently splurged and treated ourselves to a Sunday afternoon date at the AMC Cinema Suites where we sat back and enjoyed juicy hamburgers and parmesan fries while we witnessed the crew (the ENTIRE crew) come back together for their twelve year high school reunion.
The American Pie franchise keeps true to the comedic moments, with each movie featuring at least one outlandish and hilarious scene (usually featuring Jason Biggs). In the original, Jim “makes love” to a warm apple pie after he’s told that’s what “third base” feels like. In American Pie 2, Jim superglues a pornographic VHS tape to one hand, and his other hand to his you know what after he mistakes a bottle of lube with the super sticky adhesive. Jim’s up to his old tricks in American Wedding when he decides to “manscape” before his nuptials to Michelle, and he disposes of the remnants a bit too close to a vent which of course blows the hair all over the wedding cake. American Reunion doesn’t disappoint, but for those who haven’t made it to the movie theater these past two weeks to see it, we don’t want to give anything away.
Another great aspect of the American Pie films has to be the pranks. For what seems to be true of most young boys, the American Pie movies are filled with boys playing pranks on one another. For example, we have the famous scene of Finch blasting a massive bowel movement in the high school bathroom in the original, courtesy of Stifler (or the “Stifmeister” as he likes to be called); and we have the forever famous and ultimate payback when Finch has sex with Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge).
Heck, our generation owes the American Pie franchise for introducing us to the word MILF — meaning Mom I’d Like to…Fondle (so that’s not the actual word, but you have to fill in the rest; sorry, we like to keep The Ooo Factor as clean as possible).
And speaking of parents, let’s not forget to mention Jim’s awkwardly awesome dad, Noah Levenstein, played by the great Eugene Levy. Mr. Levenstein is actually the only character in all eight films credited to the American Pie franchise.
But back to what prompted us to write this post in the first place — American Reunion. It’s too early to give a summation of the movie, but know this: it does not disappoint. My guy and I never go to the theater, but I was dying to see this film. Instead of ignoring my constant pleading, my guy agreed to go with me (usually he asks that I attend “my movies” with my girlfriends). And let me just say — he laughed, and laughed, and laughed. While the credits were rolling, he actually said how fun it was.
Did American Reunion exceed our expectations? No — but seriously, it did NOT disappoint either. The story was very well done, and the fact that every single one of the major characters (and a few of the minor) shared the screen at one point or another deserves a standing ovation.
To quote a friend of mine, “everyone who saw the original American Pie in the theater, owes it to themselves to take a trip back to the movies to see American Reunion.” I’m going to take it a step further and add that this rule applies to anyone who has seen any of the American Pie movies in the theater. Actually, let’s go even further — this rule applies to everyone who has ever seen any of the American Pie movies — anyhow, anyway.
Have you seen American Reunion? What are your thoughts on the entire American Pie franchise? Which movie and/or character is your favorite and why? I’d love to hear from you!
For another review of American Reunion, click over to my friend Jillian Dodd’s blog. It seems she and I agree that it’s a must see!