So far in the American Pie flicks we’ve watched the main characters lose their virginity and get married. Eventually I’m guessing we’ll get to see them sitting around in rocking chairs in American Rest Home, reminiscing about the time they attended their 13th high school reunion in this fitfully funny but ridiculously redundant third sequel to the 1999 original.
It sends original flick friends Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein, who skipped film No. 3), Stifler (Seann William Scott), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) back to their hometown for the title get together, older, unhappy, and engaging in the kind of R-rated hijinks that would have the Porky’s guys blushing. Also back are Alyson Hannigan as Biggs’ wife and Mena Suvari and Tara Reid as Klein and Nicholas’ old high school girlfriends.
Per usual for the series, the first half sees Biggs once again suffering sexual humiliation, this time via laptop computers, bondage gear and a hot teenage girl (Ali Cobrin) he used to babysit. I was generally turned off by most of it, and certainly could have done without gross-out stuff like Scott taking a dump in a teenage jerk’s cooler, though Scott still makes for an entertainingly profane horndog.
In the second half the laughs predictably taper off so the characters can learn their life lessons, at which point this 112-minute comedy really starts to drag, as directors/writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg seem to require that each main male character apologize to his respective love interest at length, or find true love, before heading off for mandatory third-act sex.
So nothing really new happens here. In fact, the film fairly revels in nostalgia, constantly reminding us how Finch slept with Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge) and showing us the embarrassing first-flick video of Biggs. What’s more, save for Klein and Suvari, I didn’t really care all that much about anyone or their situation. (This is most likely the result of me being well beyond the target demographic of any of these films.)
In reprising his role as Biggs’ dad, Eugene Levy is easily the best thing about the movie. He’s still hilarious giving Biggs candid sex advice, but also surprisingly touching in his reactions to a family member’s passing. I also laughed at Klein’s comically awful performance on a celebrity dance competition, and I loved it when a teen girl referred to the Spice Girls song “Wannabe” as “classic rock.” Take that, anyone who was a teen when the first Pie came out of the oven. – [DVD] [Blu-Ray]
DVD Release Date: 7/10/12