This rather unlikely sequel in the American Pie franchise finds us catching up with the characters from the 1999 teen comedy as they reunite for a high school reunion. The film is dominated by Jim (Jason Biggs) and Stilfler (Seann William Scott) who were also executive producers on the film. That’s a shame because the actors with the greatest comic abilities (Alyson Hannigan and Eugene Levy) are given little screen-time.
The main plot of the film revolves around Michelle and Jim, and their lack of sex life following the birth of their son. The sexually charged Michelle can’t seem to rekindle the amorous attentions of Jim, who finds temptation in the form of the ‘just turned 18’ girl next door that he used to babysit.
There is no character progression at all and the male characters are especially pathetic – there is nothing endearing about a group of thirty something men leching after teenage girls. Only the female characters, especially Hannigan’s Michelle seem to have grown up and they come off in a far more sympathetic light than their male counterparts. Through much of the film, Jim is out drinking (with high-school girls!), leaving poor Michelle to look after their child.
What could have been a touching film about the passage of time, with some nostalgic references to teen years, is instead an empty film, lacking in humour.
The 1999 American Pie was an enjoyable comedy that had memorable characters and moments of insight into the teenage condition that raised it above the level of simple ‘gross out’ comedy.
For a purportedly ‘raunchy’ sex comedy, the film is also remarkably conservative – the inference being that whilst sexual curiosity is normal, the correct thing to do is to settle down in the safest relationship possible.
I think that the Jim/Michelle situation could have provided far more comedic opportunities if the writers had adopted a more mature approach and instead highlighted the likely sexier realities of altered libidos and changed erotic interests. The clichéd light bondage that Michelle instigates to try to spice up her love life would surely be a trifle ‘vanilla’ for such a sexually liberated character.
From a technical standpoint, the film is lacking in visual flair and the direction is workman like.
The film is fitfully amusing, with some well observed gags, the relationship between Jim and his dad is always comedy gold. Eugene levy is constantly amusing and provides the only real belly laugh, which comes in the end credits! Overall though, this is a disappointing and lackluster film.