Today, the fourth American Pie movie (or eighth, depending on a person's definition of American Pie canon) is in theaters. This version is called American Reunion because all of the main characters attend a reunion. As a service, we answer every question you could possibly have about American Reunion.
Q: If I enjoyed the original American Pie, will I enjoy seeing the older versions of these characters in American Reunion?
A: Well, maybe. Don't forget, you're older, too. And what you found funny in 1999 may not quite resonate the same way with you in 2012.
Q: Are all the main characters back from the original film?
A: Yes. Returning are: Jim (Jason Biggs), his wife, Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Oz (Chris Klein), Paul (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Vicky (Tara Reid), Stifler (Seann William Scott), Heather (Mena Suvari), and Damone (Robert Romanus).
Q: Wait, I think you included a character from Fast Times at Ridgemont High?
A: While trying to think of a way to answer why I purposefully included a character from Fast Times as an attempt at comedic effect, I looked up Robert Romanus' filmography and discovered that he actually is in the straight-to-DVD American Pie Presents: The Book of Love.
Q: Are the direct-to-DVD American Pie Presents: Band Camp, American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile, American Pie Presents: Beta House and American Pie Presents: The Book of Love considered canon?
A: Technically, yes, I suppose. But the events of those films are not mentioned in American Reunion.
Q: Have you seen any of those direct-to-DVD films?
A: No. So, I suppose it's possible that they are all referenced relentlessly in American Reunion and I just didn't realize it.
Q: What are all of my favorite American Pie characters doing in the year 2012?
A: Do you really want me to list the occupations of eight fictional characters?
Q: How about just Oz and Stifler?
A: Oz is on-air talent for an ESPN-type Sportscenter program, but it's not Sportscenter. Stifler is an intern at some sort of financial services company, but he tells the rest of the group that he's an investment banker because he is embarrassed.
Q: So, American Pie came out 13 years ago. Why are these characters attending a reunion?
A: That's kind of an issue, actually. To be fair, the film doesn't fudge the numbers -- everyone here is attending their 13-year high school reunion. In passing, Kevin mentions that the 10-year reunion never caught traction, but that fellow graduates of the Class of 1999 seem really into the idea of a 13-year reunion. Movie magic, everyone!
Q: What will I like about American Reunion?
A: Well, if you can get past the first 45 minutes of the film -- which, frankly, are pretty bad -- "American Reunion" shifts gears, slightly, into something a little more poignant about the aging process of human beings.
Q: Did you just use the word "poignant" in reference to an American Pie movie?
Q: I can see the word right in front of me. I mean, it's right there. Here, let me use the cut and paste feature on my computer to reprint that sentence: "something a little more poignant."
Q: What will I not like about American Reunion?
A: Unfortunately, these poignant moments are too few and few between. For instance, Jim makes a speech about how the destruction of property is bad because there are consequences -- a very adult thing to say. Then, seconds later, the five proceed to destroy two jet skis with no consequences.
Q: Seriously, you just used the word poignant again.
Q: How is the "raunchy" humor in American Reunion?
A: Not that raunchy. But, yes, there is a scene in which a character defecates into a cooler.
Q: Was the character Stifler?
A: The opposite of surprisingly, yes.
Q: So Stifler is embarrassed of his current career path, but not embarrassed to defecate into a cooler?
A: This is the biggest problem with a now 31-year-old Steve Stifler: His shtick isn't funny. It just makes me wonder if he has a serious mental issues. I found myself very concerned for him and I think any reasonable adult would have him committed.
Q: While watching American Reunion who did Stifler remind you of?
A: Tom Hanks in Big. I don't mean that as a compliment. Seann William Scott's vocal patterns were awfully similar to those that Hanks used when he was pretending to be a 12-year-old boy. Only, here, Scott is playing a character that is 31. Stifler used to come off as "cocky," now he comes off as "actor trying tying to play younger."
Q: How effectively did directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg handle these characters.
A: Admitted fans of the franchise, Hurwitz and Schlossberg certainly know the characters. But the aforementioned defecation scene -- and pretty much every other comedic scene in the first half of the film -- comes off as forced. I mean, these two are trying so hard to make an American Pie movie. As in: American Pie has raunchy comedy, so we must gavage this film with raunch. American Reunion is the fois gras of raunchy comedies.
Q: Is American Reunion better than Hurwitz and Schlossberg's last film, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas?
A: No. And that's part of the problem. Hurwitz and Schlossberg may know the American Pie characters, but those two didn't create them. They did create Harold and Kumar and it's obvious how much more comfortable the directors feel with those two. Whereas American Reunion attempts to be a homage, of sorts, to American Pie, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas actually presented a much better look at what happens when characters begin to mature. (Yes, I'm serious.)
Q: In American Reunion, do we finally get to see that much-anticipated full-frontal Jason Biggs nude scene?
Q: What's the worst thing about American Reunion?
A: Tara Reid. She could have spoken her dialogue, as she did, or run her nails across a chalkboard, or convinced a rabbit to scream -- all three of these things would have had the same effect on my ears. Thankfully, her time in the film is relatively short.
Q: Who is your favorite American Pie/American Reunion character?
A: Paul Finch. Only because he refuses to sit on any public toilet and I, sadly, can relate.
Q: What's the best thing about American Reunion?
A: The scenes between Jim and his recently widowed dad, Noah (Eugene Levy).
Q: Were they poignant?
Q: Will you now admit that you used the word "poignant" to at least partially describe American Reunion?
Mike Ryan is senior entertainment writer for The Huffington Post. He has written for Wired Magazine, VanityFair.com and GQ.com. He likes Star Wars a lot. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter