Monday, April 23, 2012

American Reunion

American Reunion – 113 min – R

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of crass humor. Being vulgar for the sake of being vulgar never entertains me. I enjoy intelligent humor. Witty goes along way with me. I get entertainment from a great story and character development. When I am faced with a movie that has made its money with a character named the “Stiff-Meister”, I am not planning for a good evening. I sat down, opened my note book and tried to keep an open mind. I was completely surprised that it was not as bad I was anticipating. It was not a good film but it was not a complete loss. I would go as far to say this was a yellow light film because of the work of two actors.
The original cast is back for their 13th year reunion (I thought these happened on the 10, 20, 30 year mark). Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are still married and going through a reinvention of their relationship. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is married and a house husband. OZ (Chris Klein) is a famous sports announcer. Stifler (Seann William Scott) is a big shot business temp, and Fich (Eddie Kay Thomas) is the most interesting man in the world. They all went their separate ways and at this reunion they all merge back to town to meet up and catch up on what’s been going on.
Jim and Michelle stay with Jim’s Dad (Eugene Levy) and this is important because one of the kids that Jim used to baby sit for has grown up to be a teenager. Kara (Ali Cobrin) has the ability to act on the crush she was harboring for Jim all those years ago.  Perfect ingredient for awkward relationship moments.
Aside from Jim and Michelle’s story it seems like no one has grown up. Everyone else seems to be stuck in the same plot lines they have been wrestling with from high school.  The problem with this script is that it tries, like an aging high school star, to recapture its youth. Out of all of the characters we see, the only one who should still be the same was Stifler and thankfully he was. The “Stiff-Meister” has not really changed for him and that works.
The main problem with the story was the Fitch story line. It was like they did not know how to fill out his time away from the group.  They completely did him a disservice by trying to pigeon hole him into a type of person you normally see at a reunion. It was not written well and I blame Adam Herz because he knew better. Mr. Herz was with this franchise form the beginning. He was the there when this series was a fresh Idea.  He has to have a better sense of what was going on with Fitch’s life and not succumbed to a stereotype that does not really fit that character. I want to one day ask him what he was thinking, and was he happy with the choices he made for this character.

Eugene Levy is a comedic genius. His performance is one of the two actors who pushed this red light movie up to a yellow. His sense of comedic timing is spot on and his grasp of the character are truly enjoyable to watch. Even the tired shtick of Jim and his dad having an uncomfortable conversation is made enjoyable by him. The connection between those two characters is genuine and makes it fun to watch even if it’s a bit time warn. His interaction with Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge) at the end of the movie was HI-larious. It was a great uncomfortable interaction and slow build up to the delivery of the line “Great movie”. The Popcorn tub’s motion had me laughing so hard I could not breathe.

The other person is Sean William Scott. His character is gross, rude, sexist, and shallow. But he is our gross, rude, sexist and shallow character. This may be because he was written this way but I liked how that is one character that has stayed the same through all of the films.

What do you think of this franchise? Has it run its course or do you think there are still stories to be told here?

1 comment:

BTA Jonathan said...

One of your best reviews. What you said in the spoiler section is spot on about those two characters.