American Pie came out the year I graduated high school, 1999. It was the beginning of modern film’s r-rated comedy boon that eventually led us to The Hangover and I remember feeling very uncomfortable by the film when watching it… My parents were pretty strict about censoring inappropriate content so it took a few years for me to be unashamed watching things like Jason Segel and his penis getting dumped in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
American Reunion, unlike its predecessor, is not the beginning of a new era. Rather, it is clearly the end. Stale jokes based on objectifying women, masturbating, and parents having sex lives distract from the only part of the film with any resonance, what has happened to these characters as they grew up. You know, like how we grew up and became adults. It’s mildly touching as a “going back to who we were” film, but fails as a contemporary comedy. The plot is too focused on Jim and the kid he used to babysit and on Stifler being a jerk who just wants to be loved. Yes, those are the two most charismatic actors in the film, but it undermines what made American Pie so sweet at its core: the friendships of these young men.
Overall, it’s definitely a rental if you are curious and nostalgic about the Class of 1999. If you want a good time, I recommend passing as I honestly don’t think I chuckled out loud once.