IT'S HARD TO SAY whether American Reunion, the 13-year anniversary installment of the American Pie franchise, was made more for the benefit of its nostalgic fans or nostalgic actors. All are present for this latest go at gross-out humor and incessant horniness: Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are new parents, Oz (Chris Klein) is a successful sportscaster dating a party-girl model (Katrina Bowden), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is a house husband, Vicky (Tara Reid) a vaguely successful something-or-other in New York, Heather (Mena Suvari) is a doctor, Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) a world traveler, and of course Stifler (Seann William Scott) is every bit the inappropriate, party-loving disaster he was in high school, only now relegated to office temp work.
Despite the hurdles that maturity might present, directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (who wrote and produced the Harold & Kumar movies) have managed a pretty accurate recreation of the original film. Jim and his dad (Eugene Levy) still have awkward conversations about sex and life phases, and the old couplings between Oz and Heather and Vicky and Kevin still have some spark. Oh, and Stifler totally takes a muddy revenge-shit in some young punks' cooler, which is pretty great.
The premise, if it needs to be stated, is that the gang is back in town for their high school reunion (because everyone saves the big party for that 13-year mark). Aaaand, that's it. Everything else unfolds in those familiar arcs of hijinks gone astray, where everyone gets drunk and Jim is put into sexually compromising predicaments, whether it be winding up with a mostly naked teenage girl passed out face-down on his lap or fighting in a suburban front-lawn fistfight while wearing what can only be described as studded bondage lederhosen. And of course, Stifler's mom (Jennifer Coolidge) makes an all-too-brief but crucial appearance. If anything, Reunion strays from the original film's spirit only in its level of sentimentality. There are quite a number of laugh-out-loud moments here, but they're matched by romantic confessions, breakups and make-ups among the bros, and supportive declarations to each other about how whether you're rich or have a stupid job doesn't really matter, you guys, and it certainly shouldn't prevent you from taking that shot and then hitting the dance floor for some Clinton-era radio rock.
Reunion's big achievement is accuracy. Like the original, it's neither the most hilarious nor the least intelligent kid on the block, and like most of the people you went to high school with, it's remarkable how little it's changed.