"American Reunion" comedy grows up

As the next installment in the “American Pie” franchise, “American Reunion” (to be released April 6, directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg) has a lot of comedy gold to live up to.

Not only does the new film continue the series’ trademark brand of sexual innuendo, hilarious situations, and genuine comedic gags, it also displays a welcome consciousness for the reality of its protagonists.

James Levenstein (played by Jason Biggs) is now married to Michelle Levenstein (played by Alyson Hannigan); Kevin Myers (played by Thomas Ian Nicholas) is also married and works as an architect, Chris Ostreicher (played by Chris Klein) works as a sportscaster on an NFL show, and Paul Finch (played by Eddie Kaye Thomas) is also now an adult. All these guys were best buds during high school.

The only one out of them that’s stuck in his high school past is Steve Stiffler (played by Seann William Scott), so when the opportunity to attend their high school reunion – class of ’99 – comes up, Stiffler and the guys decide to live it up like they used to in high school.

This sets up the context for the traditional hilarity that ensues in any American Pie film, only this time, the driving force behind the comedy is actually a serious concern among the guys about realizing they’ve grown up and that high school is well past.

James and Michelle, for example, are worried because the sex life of their marriage is faltering. James’ dad, Noah (played by the lovable Eugene Levy) has experienced the death of his wife and is convinced by James to come out with him and Michelle to Stiffler’s party to live it up a little and maybe find someone else. The fact that this linkage between something as genuinely sad as the loss of a wife and something as incontrovertibly exciting as a “high school” party is made goes to show that the movie isn’t just about guys trying to get laid, but instead about adults who genuinely enjoyed and now miss their former lives or partners, the latter of which is also true with Ostreicher and Myers.

“American Reunion” hits the very sweet balance between being a treatise on a real life issue and being a choice comedy film of the month. If you want to LOL and feel genuine emotion at the same time, “American Reunion” is the movie to watch.

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