Nearly a decade after the American Pie series slipped from going concern to straight-to-DVD curiosity (the tragically game Eugene Levy giving us the goonish come-on from supermarket sale racks every year), the most remarkable thing about this comeback movie is that pretty much everybody has come back, regardless of whether their post-Pie careers have soared (Alyson Hannigan, star of hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother, is not here to pay the bills) or stalled (say hello to Jason Biggs and the boys).
Levy, of course, never left.
So on the plus side the film feels real and full, a proper get-together.
But it also feels clumsily aware of it too, giving each returning face an unsubtle second or two of ‘remember me?’ screen time, and dragging back one-note characters for another sing-along of the old routine (the MILF guys get to say “MILF”, Stifler’s Mom gets to recline on a chaise longue and smoulder ludicrously).
While it’s never less than amiable, only in brief snatches does the film really capture the magic of the very first American Pie, that sense of idiot adventure mixed with emotional intelligence.
Not for want of trying – lessons are learnt, platitudes are espoused, Tara Reid concentrates hard on speaking in full sentences...
But the sentiments are cracker-dry, and clearly exist to balance the bawdier outbursts of balls-and-bowels humour – Seann William Scott interfacing with bodily fluids remains Reunion’s natural mode, and though it’s funny enough, it stops this sequel hitting the original’s heights.