5 Ways to Reignite the American Pie Franchise
The newswires say that Thomas Ian Nicholas, who was great in Nicole Holofcener's Please Give last year, is returning to the American Pie franchise for its umpteenth installment, American Reunion. The prospect is a little depressing, but it really shouldn't be: The original cast is what made the first film great in '99, and since the majority of that ensemble is returning for the reunion, perhaps the chutzpah will return as well. Just in case it doesn't, though, here are five ideas that could help reinvent the series and make it relevant (or at least funny) in time for its April 2012 release date.
1. Go sexier
Horndoggery is still the point of American Pie, but instead of going the immature, wank-centric route of the previous films, I'd prefer American Reunion give us some grown-up grinding. I don't want to watch another one of Jason Biggs's crosseyed O-faces from 1999; let's see some slower, hotter schtupping -- the kind of flagrante delicto that will make viewers feel slightly grown up. Less hyperventilation, Alyson Hannigan!
2. Make Stifler straight-laced
Of all the things we don't need exhumed for American Reunion, Seann William Scott's irrepressible raunchiness as Stifler tops the list. Get him some Zoloft or a priest's collar; I'd appreciate a little subtlety in my American Pie update. It mitigates the desperation!
3. Make fun of the lamer elements of the series
In American Pie 2, we watched helplessly as Jim (Jason Biggs) masturbated with superglue and ended up with a musical instrument in his rectum. Sure, they're not the series' classiest moments, but I wouldn't mind if Jim solemnly reflected on those experiences with a dismissive quip like, "It's not as stupid as anything in Twilight," or by singing a few bars from 3 Doors Down's music video for "Be Like That (American Pie 2 Edit)."
4. Mention Tara Reid in passing
Mysteriously, original cast member Tara Reid is not a part of American Reunion's cast, even though Mena Suvari and Alyson Hannigan are both signed on. I'm hoping Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) laments his failed romance with Victoria (Reid) and sighs, "She's been too good for this reunion ever since The Big Lebowski 2 made her a superstar."
5. Recruit Eugene Levy's SCTV buddies
Levy's inclusion in the American Pie saga has always felt like an experiment in dadaist casting. His deadpan approach to the role of Biggs' father is funny, but you're never quite sure he belongs in the movie. If he had fellow SCTV alums like Catherine O'Hara, Rick Moranis, and Dave Thomas to flank him in the next installment, the word "reunion" would enjoy a fun double-meaning and lend the film some much-needed comic legitimacy. I pick O'Hara to play the Michigan high school's new administrator.