Film (with rating): American Reunion (R)
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
the original “American Pie” characters return to East Great Falls for
their 13th high-school reunion, spending the weekend reconnecting,
drinking, pooping in coolers and talking about sex.
admit it. I really loved the first “American Pie.” It was just
brainless, crude, funny and likeable enough to make its mark on cinema culture.
Who can forget that it spawned the “MILF” saying? For this fourth installment
in the franchise, all of the same actors return to reprise their roles. This is
a huge strength. I mean, most of us who like the “American Pie”
movies do so not just because they are crude and center around tube socks and
ways to violate baked goods. At the core, we like these movies because the
characters, as lame and gross and just downright stupid as they can be at
times, are rather endearing. So bringing everyone back to the table is
brilliant. And I mean everyone. We’ve got Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann
William Scott, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari, Shannon Elizabeth, Tara Reid, Jennifer
Coolidge, Eugene Levy (Jim’s dad!) and Natasha Lyonne.
The movie revolves around everyone gathering together at the
high school reunion. Of course, life has changed. Jim (Biggs) is married to
Michelle (Hannigan), as we saw in the third “American Pie.” But now,
they have no sex life and a toddler. Kevin is married, but not to Vicky (Reid),
and Finch still longs for Stifler’s mom. Speaking of Stifler (Scott), he is the
one who has not changed; he’s still the horndog juvenile.
There are plenty of laughs, usually surrounding some sort of
immature sexual subject. But really, are you surprised? Lots of flashbacks
paying homage to previous films in the franchise will delight fans, but you
don’t have to have even seen the first three to enjoy this one. Despite some of
the jokes being overdone and some of the plot running thin, “American
Reunion” holds its own. I credit this, again, to the likeable characters.
Despite how embarrassingly lame they may be at times, we root for them. This
movie doesn’t have that same youthful flair that attracted us to “American
Pie,” but hey, we all get older and saggier and lose some of our spunk as
the years pass. Doesn’t mean we can’t still rock it every so often, right?
Well, at least we can try.
What to serve for dinner: How about a chicken and apple pot pie? (Too much?
Well, what did you expect?) Courtesy of www.rachaelrayshow.com.
2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, white or dark meat,
diced into bite-sized pieces
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 Empire, Gala or Honey Crisp apples, peeled and chopped
3-4 small ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup apple cider
1 cup chicken stock
1 sheet store-bought puff pastry dough, defrosted if frozen
1 egg, beaten with water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat EVOO in a large skillet
over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown 7-8 minutes then remove to plate.
Add butter and melt. Add apples, celery, onion, bay, thyme,
salt and pepper, and cook to soften, 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, stir 1
minute then whisk in cider and stock. Slide chicken back into pan and simmer a
few minutes to thicken sauce.
Place in casserole dish or individual casserole dishes
arranged on baking sheet to catch drips. Cover with pastry, brush with egg wash
and bake until golden. Serves four.
What to talk about over dinner: Do you still hang out with your high school
friends? Did you go to your reunion? How was it? Any surprises? Who is your
favorite character in this film franchise and why? Anyone else loving “How
I Met Your Mother?” What made
“American Pie” such a hit? Which sequel did you like the best?
Was it hard to watch supposedly “grown up” people act like stupid
high schoolers? What was your favorite blast from the past in this movie?