The “American Pie” series developed a cult following by serving up steamy, seamy helpings of juvenile angst, adult insecurity, sexual humiliation and outrageous potty gags, always leavened with forgiving dollops of sweet sentimentality on top.
But “American Reunion,” the fourth slice in the unabashedly cringe-inducing franchise — after “American Pie 1 and 2” and “American Wedding” (plus four tepid direct-to-video spinoffs) — tips the scales perilously toward gross comic gluttony. Unfortunately, the ingredients of this “Pie” are mostly stale.
Sticking to the series' pattern of following a core group of nerdy pals from East Great Falls High School — Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) — as they make a prom-night pact to lose their virginity, as they party-hearty at a summer resort and as the sexually awkward, pie-loving Jim finally weds “band geek” Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), “American Reunion” is just what the name implies.
It's time for the gang's high school reunion, and the friends, family and significant others return to their picturesque Michigan burg lugging along groaning loads of adult baggage.
Jim and Michelle are now parents of a rambunctious, thumb-sucking boy and the magic — read that: sex — seems to have gone out of their marriage (not to mention the fact that Jim still has a thing for Internet porn and tube socks). Oz has a cool job as host of an L.A. sports talk show and a buxom bimbo girlfriend (“30 Rock's” Katrina Bowden), but he still carries a torch for down-to-earth Heather (Mena Suvari). Kevin, sporting a weaselly beard, is a whipped, soap-opera-loving househusband with a successful working wife and a lingering longing for boring classmate Vicky (Tara Reid). And Finch arrives on a sleek motorcycle, a mysterious world traveler whose pompous tales of adventure mask some really mundane secrets.
Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott. (Crude and sexual humor throughout, nudity, language, brief drug use and teen drinking)