1999 saw the birth of something special, something new, something (I believe) to be truly amazing.
1999 saw the birth of something special, something new, something (I believe) to be truly amazing. No, not the birth of the Eurozone, the launch of one of the longest running series of comedy films of the modern era. The people of Britain flocked to the cinema in October 1999 to see the beginning of it all… American Pie.
For the very few of you that somehow missed out on seeing it, American Pie depicts the story of four friends from Michigan who make a pact to all lose their virginity before they graduate from high school. The friends go through a series of, let’s say, misdemeanours while attempting to keep to their pact, the most memorable of which involving Jim (Jason Biggs) and an apple pie.
However, American Pie was more than just a laugh-out-loud comedy. The commercial success of it was almost unbelievable. The modest $11million budget was made into 95 minutes of excellent comedy and grossed an impressive $235million worldwide. It saw the re-birth of the ‘teen comedy’ genre, as films such as Road Trip and many more playing off the success, including the two sequels and four spin-offs. As well as bringing life back to the genre, it launched Seann Williams Scott’s, who plays the character of Steve Stiffler, career. Williams Scott has gone on to play huge comedy roles, setting the world of ‘teen comedy’ alight.
It has been thirteen years since we have seen the likes of Jim, Stiffler, Kevin, Finch and the rest of the gang hit the big screens, but May 2012 sees the Pie boys return to a cinema near you. But what can we expect from American Reunion? Are we going to see a truly hilarious film, like the original trilogy, or are we going to see a flop? Is this just a desperate attempt to bring a dead film series back to life?
There’s plenty to suggest that either could happen. Having watched the trailers (about a million times), we could be seeing teen comedy back to it’s best. With the boys reminiscing about old flames, their time at high school and getting up to the same stupid things as when they were 18, American Reunion does seem to have some potential.
But, while it is funny to watch teenagers doing stupid things and acting immaturely, is it still funny to watch grown men do the same? I have a nagging feeling at the back of my mind it will be like those moments when you have seen people your parent’s age drunk. Instead of finding it funny, you just get embarrassed for them. In the trailer, we see Stiffler defecating into what looks like a cool-box. Is that funny? I’m not so sure, but I hope it is funnier in context of the film.
American Reunion hasn’t received the greatest of reviews. With a score of just 43% on Rotten Tomatoes and this review: ‘It’ll provide sweetly nostalgic comfort food for fans of the franchise, but American Reunion fails to do anything truly new or interesting — or even very funny — with the characters’, maybe American Reunion won’t be providing us with the same entertainment we are used to.
However, what is guaranteed, is another amazing performance from Eugene Levy. As the only character to appear in every film, Noah Levenstein, AKA Jim’s Dad, will sure to put in another performance to set him apart from the crowd, making those awkward comments nobody would want their own dad to make. With every indication that Jim’s dad will end up with the elusive ‘MILF’ that is Stiffler’s mom, he is set to make the film single-handedly.
With the series falling in popularity, with many of the spin-offs going straight to DVD, this could be called a desperate attempt to make the kind of profits seen from the original movie. I would like to kindly disagree with those critics though. American Pie fans are finally being given what they want; the opportunity to have their favourite characters back on the big screen. For many of us who were not old enough at the time, we are being given the opportunity to see these characters in all the glory of the cinema for the first time. Even if it hasn’t had the best reviews, or been as well received by some, I don’t care. American Reunion is right at the top of my list of films to see this May, and I’m sure all fans of the series will be heading out to get the latest ‘slice of pie’.