It's been almost 10 years since the very first American Pie movie was released back in 1999. The film would go on to practically change the way American teen comedies were made. There had obviously been dozens of films that were a precursor to the American Pie films; Porkys, American Graffiti, Grease etc, the list goes on! But it was American Pie that really upped the ante in terms of crude, childish and downright disgusting behaviour, it was the dawning of a new age for teen comedy and from the moment we saw Jim doing the nasty with an apple pie the films have picked up a huge and loyal cult following.
Now here we are in 2012 with American Pie: Reunion, after a trilogy that ended back in 2003 with American Pie: The Wedding, and perhaps less notably a string of straight to DVD spin offs, but we'll ignore them, the entire cast from the first film have returned 10 years later and if there was any doubt that Jim and his cohorts, Kevin, Oz, Finch and Stifler had matured in any way..well, you're very much mistaken!
Like the previous films, the storylines have never really been too complex in American Pie, in the first film they tried to get laid, in the second film they continue to try and get laid, in the third film Jim and Michelle finally get married. But it's their simplicity that makes these films brilliant, with a core narrative in place the rest of the film relies on a series of crude gags, slapstick, cringe worthy situations, a whole host of bodily functions and hilarious characters from the main cast all the way down to the peripheral characters like the Milf guys, Sherminator.. and even Stiflers mum and this has what has made the series so success.
American Pie: Reunion delivers exactly the same of what you expect and frankly the film is better off for that. The humour may seem slightly dated but in a good way because there's a real sense of nostalgia for fans of the film franchise, it's almost like this film was made in sequence with the first three rather than 10 years later.
Newcomers to the series may be slightly wary of all the fart gags and nudity but I think this is where the film remains deliciously fun as if it was made deliberately in a throwback fashion. Having said that though, there are still plenty of laugh out loud moments particularly when Jim ends up with a unconscious, naked 18 year old in his lap and has to get her back to her room while the rest of his friends distract the parents all the while trying to avoid his wife in the house next door! It's only the kind of scrape Jim would find himself in and if you're a fan of the series or not you can't help but laugh and watch through your fingers as things just escalate from bad to worse.
Much like the first films, Reunion has a big heart at its centre and for all the knockabout comedy and crass humour, there are a few moments that might surprisingly cause you to dab a hanky in your eye, not me obviously!
Some of the situations and characters seem incredibly far fetched even by American Pie standards for instance a scene where they boys take vengeance on a bunch of stereotypical jocular high school kids for nabbing their girlfriends bikinis, but again its just all part of the fun.
I've always had my doubts about some of the cast, particularly the characters of Oz and Kevin who I never really thought offered much in the way of acting chops, rather their characters always felt wooden and way too sincere for their own good and here they display much of the same sensitivity and seriousness. Eugene Levys character doesn't seem quite as embarrassing as he used to, but perhaps that's because we've become accustomed to such things in 2012, although his inevitable encounter with Stiflers mum does prove both funny and touching.
In the last few years the teen comedy genre continues to thrive although in slightly varied formats such as the indie teen comedy like Brick and Thumbsucker and the more mainstream such as Mean Girls and Easy A. Superbad to my mind has been the only real teen comedy in recent years that bares the unmistakable stamp of the American Pie legacy. So it's somewhat refreshing in a nostalgic way to be reunited with the American Pie team, especially with more current and smug films like Project X being released. Frankly I'll take Stifler defecating into a cooler box any day!