I’ve seen all the movies, and the guys in this movie aren’t (character-wise) that much older than me. They graduated high school 5 years before I did, so it’s not that big of a gap. And I’m also in that stage in my life where everyone I went to high school with is married, getting married, having kids, and I’m just watching it all wanting more. This film picks up on the guys’ 12-year high school reunion (the 10th was missed). Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are of course married, and they have a young child; unfortunately, their sex life has basically come to a halt… causing some not-so-good situations to arise when Jim’s former neighbor who he used to babysit (Ali Cobrin) shows a little interest in him. Oz (Chris Klein) is the host of a sports talk show, but is mostly famous for a reality dance show he was on; he also has a model girlfriend who wants him to be a little more adventurous than he is, which really creates conflicts when he meets his old flame, Heather (Mena Suvari). Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is somewhat happily married, hoping he’s not getting into a rut, and things get a little interesting when he bumps into his old girlfriend, Vicky (Tara Reid). Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) lets the guys know he’s been traveling the world and expanding his horizons, while Stifler (Seann William Scott) is stuck in a dead-end job as an intern with a boss that hates him. And all of this comes to a head as they party it up in the days leading up to the reunion. Of course, all the other favorites show up throughout, as well (Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge, John Cho, etc.).
What I was immediately struck by is how much more adult and emotional the film was. It could have easily fallen into the trap of just being the same movie with the same lessons and the same gags where they all act like teenagers despite the fact they’re in their early 30s. Instead, the film really tackles the idea that these guys are all adults now and they’re trying to make the best of it, even if some of them are stuck in ruts. They are all in very real situations and try to handle them in very real ways. I mean, of course, none of us have been on reality TV shows and none of us have probably had to go through an elaborate scheme to sneak a naked teenager into her house without her parents seeing them. But the other stuff. I found connections with most the characters in one way or another.
Though because the stakes were considerably higher this time around, the situations the guys found themselves in was considerably more uncomfortable. During the aforementioned scene where they have to sneak in the naked teenager into the house, I was more focused on Jim and worried that he was going to get caught and everything was going to be disastrous for his family life rather than being brought in to the humor and whimsy of the scene. And a scene later on has Stifler get his just desserts for his immaturity, but he’s shown off to be so pathetic and worthless by that point that I just felt bad for him (though considering what happens shortly after, that might have been the intention). In other words, I think this movie can be seen on different levels depending on what your current age is. If you’re younger, you’ll be attracted to the comedy immediately. If you’re my age or around the age of the characters, you might empathize with the guys too much and be more uncomfortable than jovial. But regardless, Jim and his dad still have the best moments of the movie as always, and those moments were so relatable… as I’ve actually been, in more than one occasion, in the situation where my parents would start talking about sexual things and it’s like “Whoa, OK, don’t wanna hear this!”
All things considered, though, it’s still a great, well-made movie. The acting was good, the humor was good, the heart was definitely there. I even loved the soundtrack; I don’t think there was one song in there I don’t love (or at least like). It’s really entertaining, and I’m pretty sure I only looked at the time once. And when I did, I was shocked to see the movie was almost over. You really feel for the characters, and it was great seeing practically every single character back again. And it ties every little story, relationship, and joke up quite nicely. If you’re a fan of the films, this one won’t disappoint. One of the best in the (original) series.