Thirteen years after “American Pie,” the adolescents from the worldwide hit movie are back for a fourth helping, still tempted by the juicy bits despite having grown up, somewhat, in the meantime.
Released in 1999, the original was the latest to tap into US movie-goers’ huge appetite for adult-rated comedies, harking back to 1978’s “Animal House” and more recently demonstrated, arguably, by the “Hangover” films.
Famous for a scene in which Jason Biggs pleasured himself with an apple pie, the movie and its two sequels went on to make more than $700 million at the box office around the world.
Universal, makers of the franchise, then made a series of direct-to-video follow-ups, but have decided to come back to regular theater distribution with “American Reunion,” released Friday in the United States.
And while the actors remain mostly the same, the studio chose new filmmakers in co-directors Jon Hurvitz and Hayden Schlossberg, whose previous credits include the “Harold and Kumar” comedies.
The pair insist that taking over an already-huge franchise wasn’t a problem.
The original movie’s characters were adolescents, and the decision to bring them back together for a high school reunion seemed the obvious storyline.
Each of the characters has grown up, personally professionally, but the reunion throws them up against their adolescent emotions, and lots of the laughs come from that confrontation.
The Dominican Republic-born actress is the only new character in the movie, bringing a Hispanic touch to the franchise which wasn’t there before.
This type of movie, which was perhaps relatively rare when the original “American Pie” was served up, is increasingly common — “Bridesmaids,” and the “Hangover” films are recent examples.
The makers of “American Reunion” say they hope their movie doesn’t go too far into the excesses of the genre, even if it has its fair share of dirty jokes, full-frontal nudity and scatological references.