American Reunion (2012) – 3/5

A goofy, somewhat unnecessary sequel to the “beloved comedy classic” that is predictable and occasionally quite stupid, but not entirely terrible, and surprisingly not as disgusting or sex-obsessed as its predecessors. That’s not to say it isn’t disgusting or sex obsessed, it’s just not nearly as much so as you’d probably come to expect from this series. Still, it has its moments, and is genuinely funny at times.

The film relies more on its ability to instill you with a deep sense of nostalgia than anything else, really: much of the audience familiar with the series, myself included, watched the original film when they themselves were in high school, so watching these same characters now all grown up looking back fondly on their earlier experiences and lamenting the current state of their lives is a bit depressing, to put it mildly. Granted the film doesn’t dwell on it all that much; it pretends to, but chooses to ultimately go for the easy out, which is understandable given that it’s just a silly, cartoonish sex comedy, but still.

Part of me wished it had gone further with its “fading youth” theme, especially considering how rare of an opportunity a series has to present such a concept to a fan base who not only grew up on its films, but has aged in much the same way its principle characters here have. With better writing, and more ambitious filmmaking, this film could really have been something impressive. Groundbreaking even. Instead, it’s just a run of the mill, slightly better than average sex comedy with only the faintest hints of emotional depth and narrative complexity. Sigh.

Overall, not a terrible film, but nothing special, unfortunately. A missed opportunity, though I doubt anyone associated with the film initially considered making it anything more than a typical teenage sex comedy. And, to its credit, it’s not quite that, just mostly. Well, at least there are plenty of cute half-naked girls in this, especially the one who is inexplicably obsessed with **SPOILERS** having sex with Jason Bigg’s character. Yeah, he was her babysitter so now she wants to have sex with him. A girl that looks like that? Really? Okay, sure. **END SPOILERS** That was a bit of a stretch, even for a movie that plays out like a live action cartoon at times. Oh, and I really could have gone without the close up of Jason Bigg’s penis.

So, umm, watch if you’re a fan of the original film(s) and wish to see your life as it probably is now, or as it will be soon. Or if you like stupid comedies about sex and drinking and half-naked chicks hooking up with nerdy, weird-looking men. That’s the series in a nutshell, really.

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