Remember 1999? A more innocent time, before iPods and Pads, the War on Terror and One Direction, social media and sexting.
The biggest achievement of this latest instalment in the phenomenally successful franchise (this is Pie number eight if you include four charmless straight-to-DVD spin-offs) is that nostalgically harkens back to that wide-eyed pre-millennial year.
The gang may be all grown up and de-virginised, but other than Jim and Michelle’s sex-destroying parental headaches, the problems are comfortably teenage.
Oz (Keanu Reeves-alike Klein) is a low-rent sportscaster with girl trouble courtesy of wild hottie Mia (30 Rock’s Bowden), while still pining for Heather (Suvari). Kevin (Nicholas) is happily married, but holds a candle (and more) for first love Vicky (Reid). Finch (Kaye) remains debonair and detached. And Stifler is still looking for the ultimate party, having swapped school for office blanditude.
But, Harold and Kumar scribes Hurwitz and Schlossberg know a tangy taste makes the Pie go down. Kitchen based nudity returns (with Biggs giving Shame’s Michael Fassbender a run for his money in the trouser department), bodily-function and “self-pleasure” gags stand triumphantly to attention, and a multiple laugh out loud set-piece sees all four boys sneaking a semi-naked girl back into her parents’ house.
It’s more charming than it sounds.
Yet, the biggest giggles arguably go to Klein with a “Dancing with the Stars” clip up there with David Brent for butt-clenching embarrassment.
Lip service is paid to the passing of time – Stifler is baffled by how slutty high-school kids have become, a ruse is almost scuppered by the invention of mobile phones - but American Reunion works because unlike many reboots and remakes, it’s surprising how warm and fuzzy it is to hang out with these guys again. That includes Jennifer Coolidge and Eugene Levy, always bringing seasoned comedy value as Stifler’s Mom and Jim’s Dad.
In fact, all the main players from Pie Part 1 return for at least a cameo, which cannot have been too hard on the budget; Hannigan and Scott aside, none of these guys are lighting up the IMDb.
American Pie laid the groundwork for all gross-out comedies since, from the highs of The Hangover to the low lows of Miss March. Enjoy this helping and here’s to seeing the gang back again when they’re 50, suitably crusty and crumbly.