When the first American Pie film became a surprise smash in 1999, the film's creators thought that they had re-invented teenage sex, and the photogenic young cast was poised to be ruling sovereigns of the new Hollywood. Now, the crew returns a decade later with perhaps one decent film career between them. Things did not go as planned for the likes of Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari and Chris Klein, though their career swoons seem trivial stacked beside the sad, drugged-up antics of co-stars Natasha Lyonne and Tara Reid. So the gang returns, not so much in triumph as in cash-grabbing shame, running through the motions and trying not to embarrass themselves too badly. Not that the Pie franchise has a proud legacy to uphold, having lowered the bar for dozens of ever-filthier comedies following in the debut's wake.
After a string a of sequels — including some loosely connected straight-to-video clunkers — the original gang all heads back home to East Great Falls, Mich., for their 13th high school reunion, because they just couldn't get it together in time to make it for their 10th. Poor schlub Jim (Biggs) used to fret that he'd be the last of his friends to get laid, and, now that he's married to nice Bandcamp freak Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) and with a toddler, he's worried that he'll never get laid again. Meanwhile, jovial jock Oz seems to be living the dream, working as a cable sportscaster with a cool house and a hot model girlfriend, but he longs for a more honest lifestyle. The other dudes are struggling, but pretending to have a good time in adulthood, especially manic party machine Stifler (Scott) who toils as low-level drone in a soulless financial firm.
As for the ladies, who cares? Certainly not the screenwriters, who can barely be bothered to give them a scene together, or any dialogue that doesn't directly relate to either punishing or pleasing the guys.
Faring slightly better is Eugene Levy, the comedic glue that barely holds this patchwork franchise intact, and he's dependably goofy as Jim's dorky, lovelorn widower dad. Ace improviser Levy finally gets to riff with his Christopher Guest ensemble mate Jennifer Coolidge, as Stiffler's perpetually lustful mom, and together they deliver the movie's biggest laugh, but you have to wait for the credits.
Getting to the end involves wading through a slog of drinking, puking, flabby man butts, S&M gags, nudity, wanking jokes and a grown man taking a dump in a beer cooler. Even worse are the almost a dozen lackluster subplots that the movie insists on playing out, including a pseudo romance with bland Kevin (Thomas Ian Nichols) and Tara Reid's Vicky, whose eyes are as vacant as a marlin flopping around on a boat deck. Poor Lyonne gets relegated to a cameo, probably because she's even more erratic and uninsurable than Reid. One hopes this modestly amusing installment should sate the nostalgia needs of whoever still cares — we can safely leave the partying and panty raids to tomorrow's horndogs.