American Pie: The Reunion is a really enjoyable film, as enjoyable as the others, and a fine send off (one imagines…) for the characters, American Pie : Mid Life Crisis pending. What is also is though is one big ruse. The film goes well out of its way to convince us that these people, who we grew up with, who we related to, who we felt for, are now experiencing the same sort of issues that we are. It wants to convince us that we have all grown up together. One of the key aspects of the appeal of the American Pie movies was the absolute absurdity of the scrapes the characters find themselves in, but also that those same storylines contained just enough truth that it was easy to relate to them. So, as all the key characters reprise their roles in The Reunion those original problems, girls, boys, getting caught masturbating, problems in the bedroom have ostensibly transformed into the issues of a set of friends who have moved on with their lives. A good example of this is the issue which ties the film together, now, supposedly, the ‘we’re not having enough sex because we have a child’ issue. A grown up issue. Except, its not, really, the problem is actually just still ‘we’re not having sex’. I am not arguing that this is a problem which ruins the film, I’m willing to suspend disbelief in the name of fun, however it seems incongruous to go to such great lengths to establish the characters in such a way that they still retained a sense of being at least a little like you, then to have them accidently attend parties with eighteen year olds and generally behave in ways which mark them as more problematically immature than in the other films. Moreso in that the issues which people experience in college or high school are usually relatively benign and, in hindsight, quite silly. The issues the American Pie guys are facing though are less so, a potentially failing marriage, a loveless relationship, a deep seated unhappiness with where one has found oneself, the list goes on. To treat these issues with the same throw away silliness as the ones encountered in the other films is one thing, but to present, at the finale of the film, easily attained solutions to each of them is to denigrate them to the same level as being caught masturbating by an unwitting parent. One can only hope it is so simple in the real world.
American Pie : The Reunion