The American Pie movies were like my Porky's. I could identify with the characters, even Stifler. While I never went to parties as out of control as Stifler's parties and while I didn't fuck a friends mom or even fuck at my prom, I could still place myself right alongside the characters in American Pie. I am sure if I went back to it now, I would be a cynical asshole and say how Jim fucking a pie is just dumb and not funny or how Nadia would never be hung up on a guy who prematurely ejaculated twice. On camera. For the whole town. But instead I have my memories of laughing at the antics of the four kids trying to get laid and their asshole friend that we all have in our lives as well. American Pie is thirteen years old. That was then.
Like the characters in American Reunion I have grown up. I have a job. I don't go out every Friday to party it up til dawn. Some of my best friends I only communicate with through Skype or the occasional actual phone call. I was the best man at my best friend's wedding. My life has changed and not nearly in the direction I had planned when I was a kid. (I wanted to be a lawyer...so long, dreams) So once again as I saw the familiar faces of the American Pie cast now dealing with things that I've dealt with, it was like going back to the start again. At the start of the movie I did not know what to think. There were poor excuses for jokes such as when Oz is sexually assaulted with a gyrating man ass in a thong and Jim somehow not knowing how to shut off his laptop without slamming it on his lil' Jim. But once the characters were reintroduced and the setup firmly established, I started to come around. It was right around the time that the gang has to awkwardly explain to Stifler why he was not informed of the old gang getting back together that I began to understand what kind of movie this was. It is a movie made to prey on people like me. People who grew up in the 90s with these characters and the sounds of LIT and Chumbawumba. "Isn't classic rock the best?" asks the representation of today's youth as she listens to 'Wannabe' by the Spice Girls. I was the only one in the theater that laughed at that part. On the surface it is a pretty lame joke, but I laughed. And then I looked around at the other people in the theater. They had to be at least fifteen years my senior. They had probably been out of high school and college thirteen years ago. They would not get it. Sure, they laughed at Stifler shitting in a cooler of beer, but not at seeing Antoine Dodson on the poster for the movie's fake Dancing With the Stars poster. But I did.
It might be arrogant to say that this movie was not for them, but it is kind of true. This movie was not made for them.
It was made for me. For people like me. For people who went around yelling MILF at every attractive older person they saw. For people who endlessly said "This one time at band camp...". For people who see Eugene Levy and go "Holy shit, that's Jim's dad". (Admittedly, this is not me, but roll with me here).
Someone with no prior history with the American Pie movies (discounting the DVD releases) this movie would no doubt seem creepy, especially considering the subplot involving Jim and a newly 18 year old girl he used to babysit. But to me, American Reunion was like finally shutting the doors on my youth. As the characters mused about high school kids today and how they were different, it clicked. Those guys on the screen could easily be my friends. Just like they could've been thirteen years ago. And it is because of that, that rush of nostalgia and...reunion that I enjoyed this movie. Not because of the jokes or the insanely ridiculous situations that stretch the limits of plausibility, but because it was like seeing old friends again after a very long time.
And you know what? That's a feeling worth enjoying.