American Reunion

 
(i)

 

Raunchy sequel recycles same formula, minus some laughs.
  • Review Date: April 6, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Amid the raunchy humor is the message that friends and couples need to make the effort to maintain relationships, whether it's the occasional night out with the guys or scheduling time for a husband and wife to be alone without the kids.

Positive role models

The characters here are mostly trying to do the right thing -- even if they might try to do it after a few too many drinks. They stick up for their friends (even the most obnoxious ones), and the guys remain devoted to their wives despite many temptations to stray.

Violence

Several people get into a drunken brawl outside a party, with plenty of punches, kicks, and knock-down, drag-out fighting. Some couples get into heated arguments.

Sex

Male and female nudity, including bare breasts, male backsides, and an extended look at one man's penis. Several sex scenes include vigorous thrusting and suggestions of oral sex, given by both genders. Both men and women are interrupted masturbating, and there's a not-so-brief look at online porn (with sound effects). Plus nearly constant talk about sex -- who's having it, who isn't, who wants to, and how -- usually in the crudest possible terms.

Language

Every possible swear word -- from "f--k" to "s--t" to "p---y" and more (including "c--k," "d--k," "ass," "hell," "oh my God," and more) -- is used, multiple times and often in creative permutations.

Consumerism

Apple products make an appearance, as do Chevy cars and online retailer Amazon.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Anywhere the crowd is gathering, there's plenty of drink, including beer, shots, wine and hard liquor. Several scenes feature underage drinking, including a long sequence in which a very drunk high school girl celebrates her 18th birthday. One woman lights up a joint, and another group passes around a bong at a party.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although American Reunion tries to recapture the success of the original -- and equally raunchy -- American Pie, it doesn't quite succeed. What it does succeed at is being extremely crude and crass; there's both male and female nudity (including an extended shot of a man's penis), very suggestive sex scenes, and nearly constant talk of sex. There's also lots of drinking (including a very drunk 18-year-old), some drug use, and nearly constant swearing -- it's easier to try to count the sentences without profanity than to quantify the curses heard here. If teens have already seen the earlier movies in the series and can handle the content, then this won't be a departure; but if they're not, something less over-the-top would be a better pick.

What's the story?

It's been 13 years since the American Pie gang graduated from high school, and they've all grown up and gone their separate ways. Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are still together and have added a kid to the family, Oz (Chris Klein) is a successful TV sports reporter, and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) seems to have dropped off the grid. But the siren call of an AMERICAN REUNION brings them all back home (they were a bit too disorganized to schedule it 10 years after leaving school), and they quickly find themselves rekindling old friendships -- and in some cases wondering whether the fire has truly gone out of some of those old flames. And of course, it wouldn't really live up to the original film's legacy of laughs if the entire weekend wasn't filled with liquor-fueled hijinks, thanks to inveterate troublemaker Stifler (Seann William Scott).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Reunions are meant to remind you of the best of high school, but American Reunion serves as a reminder of a basic life lesson: Leave well enough alone. Though it's nice to see the gang all together again -- they did have amazing rapport in the original -- the bloom quickly falls off the rose, and it's clear that too much time has passed. We discover we don't much care anymore about the group, save perhaps for Jim and Michelle (and even then, it's only a little).

Since the first film was released, a stream of funnier, edgier ensemble movies and comedies has come and gone -- The Hangover, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Superbad -- and they've blazed newer, more memorable trails. The jokes here are tired; the takeaways predictable. (Marriage needs work? You don't say.) And the plotlines are flabby and bordering on creepy -- for example, the one about Jim and his next-door neighbor. It's a little like going to your own reunion and discovering that you're not as nimble, as hardy, or as, well, young as you once were. Only, if it was your own reunion, you'd hope to discover that you were wiser and better and happier. American Reunion, sadly, isn't.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what teens think of sex and what parents think of teens having sex. It's also a good opportunity for parents to answer whatever questions teens may have, both about values surrounding sex and about safe sex.

  • Do you think American Reunion is raunchier than the original? How does it compare to other over-the-top comedies in recent years? What other movies and TV shows reach for a laugh this way?

  • How have the characters changed since their high school days? How are their relationships different? Do you think this is a realistic look at how friendships and marriage change over the years?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 6, 2012
DVD release date:July 10, 2012
Cast:Alyson Hannigan, Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott
Directors:Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship, High school
Run time:113 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, language, brief drug use and teen drinking

This review of American Reunion was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Ultra-raunchy sex comedy is a teen fave -- beware.
  • Super bawdy, super profane -- and super funny.
  • Coarse adult comedy elicits some big laughs.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 9 year old Written bysavedinbama July 13, 2012
 

Wake Up

How can you say it is for 16 year olds and also sy in the review that there is nudity, drinking, drug use and a ton of cussing? This is NOT appropriate for any 16 year old.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byIlovemovies17 July 16, 2012
 

GREAT movie !!

I thought the movie was absolutely hilarious, funniest one yet. I loved it, me and my boyfriend went to see it together and we couldn't stop laughing. Such a good movie, not a kids movie though, it is rated R for a reason but again I am 17 and I went to see it, if you can get I without an adult then it is an alright movie for you to go see if you are not old enough to get into a rated R movie then I suggest that you wait until you can. Strong sexual content, drugs and alcohol use and a lot of nudity. But all in all a fantastic movie (:
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byevolinag May 5, 2012
 

American Pie is back, and improved very much. Still sexual.

In 1999, "American Pie", a very funny teen comedy came out and was a worldwide success. 2001, the first sequel came, followed by a third one, entitled "American Reunion". Although not as good as the first one, they were still pretty funny. 2005, "American Pie - Band Camp" came out. Hardly having everything to do with the original movie, it was very unfunny and stupid. But it became worse, when "American Pie - The Naked Mile" came out. "American Pie - Beta House" was just as dumb as the naked mile, plus crude illegal sexual acts. I will not even bother talking about "American Pie - The Book of Love". One of the worst movies ever made. In 2012, the old "American Pie" cast came back and made this movie something great. Also, the movie was much, MUCH funnier than volume 4 to 7. It is even better than 2 and 3. The movie is highly sexual, features sequences of sex, a picture of full frontal male nudity (nothing sexual, VERY comical, not meant to arouse), a man having hair around his mouth after oral sex, strong sexual references, masturbation, etc. YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE THREE SCENES OF DRUG USE, PLEASE KNOW YOUR CHILD ABOUT DRUGS! I am absolutely against drugs, but i don't know how affected other kids are when they see someone smoke drugs. The movie is very funny, but also the actors are good, the movie deals with becoming mature and growing up, how different generations are, how things change (this is a topic i am interested very much). Also, every actor from the first movie is featured, and i am not just talking about the main characters - even the minor roles have their screen time. I just hope this is the last sequel. Great comedy, suitable for teens and up (note this is not a porn).
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass