The fourth cinematic slice of Pie sees Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan and the original gang back together for more libidinous shenanigans at their high school reunion
There aren't many actors for whom a full-frontal nude scene (wherein the goods are unceremoniously squished up against a saucepan lid) could seem a totally natural moment of character progression. But for Jason Biggs' hapless Jim, this is exactly that. Ever since Shannon Elizabeth first caused him to messily embarrass himself on webcam in 1999's American Pie, this has pretty much been on the cards.
In the years since the original American Pie broke the crust of teen sexuality, we've embraced Biggs elsewhere and seen a few of his co-stars slip into obscurity, but they're all back here (yes, the whole lot - even the "MILF" blokes). Fortunately, far from dredging the depths of "what else can we shock 'em with?" comedy, Reunion still manages to feel reasonably fresh and perky. Despite featuring what might be the series' crudest moments (and that doggie "chocolate" scene from American Pie 3 took some topping), this is a film that will touch you more than you might expect. And not just in the naughty places either.
Of course, Jim is far from a virgin this time around - now he just wants a better sex life with the woman he loves. Around this sweet core is woven a tale that swings from one mad cap scenario to another, as the ensemble cast rekindle old flames and even older insecurities, finally coming of age after developing over three films.
Crucially, it's also very, very funny. Appealing more to those who were teens when the first Pie came out of the oven, it's full of snarky nostalgia and carefree tomfoolery. Speaking to those late-twenties/early-thirties adults who aren't quite ready to grow up, it's an open invite to be juvenile without resorting to being obnoxious or boorish (as some recent sex-comedies have tended to be). Here are a group of men who are struggling with adult life but managing to be fairly decent human beings - everyone except Stifler, of course. And it's his reluctance to embrace adulthood that drives the plot - even if it is a little contrived. Some of the cameos do feel a little forced, and the humour is relentlessly crude, but this is a film driven by its heart - it's just a heart that happens to be pumping a lot of blood south of the border.
A weirdly touching, totally vile, nostalgic treat. If you were never a fan of the original, you won't find anything new here, but if you grew up wincing and guffawing at Pie's unique brand of sophomoric glee, you'll love this final slice.