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Welcome to the reunion of the Class of 1999 from East Great Falls High. In the comedy American Reunion, all the American Pie characters we met a little more than a decade ago return for their high-school reunion. In one long-overdue weekend, they will discover what has changed, who hasn’t and that time and distance can’t break the bonds of friendship.
It was summer 1999 when four small-town Michigan boys began a quest to lose their virginity. In the years that have passed, Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) married while Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and Vicky (Tara Reid) said goodbye. Oz (Chris Klein) and Heather (Mena Suvari) grew apart, but Finch (Eddie Kay Thomas) still longs for Stifler’s Mom (Jennifer Coolidge). And Stifler (Seann William Scott) remains the same as he ever was.
Now these lifelong friends have come home as adults to reminisce about—and get inspired by—the hormonal teens they were. Completing the core group returning for the long-awaited American Reunion are comedy legend Eugene Levy as Jim’s Dad, Natasha Lyonne as the sexually-wise Jessica, John Cho and Justin Isfeld as the world’s biggest MILF enthusiasts, Chris Owen as The Shermanator and Shannon Elizabeth as Jim’s first on-screen tryst, Nadia.
They are joined by a supporting group of actors new to the series: Dania Ramirez as Selena, the East Great Falls ugly duckling whom no one thought would become so gorgeous;
Katrina Bowden as Mia, Oz’s vapid model girlfriend; Chad Ochocinco as himself, playing Oz’s on-air co-host; Jay Harrington as Dr. Ron, Heather’s pompous cardiologist boyfriend; Ali Cobrin as Kara, Jim’s sexy next-door neighbor; and Chuck Hittinger as AJ, Kara’s idiot boyfriend.
The reunion takes off
Producers Craig Perry, Warren Zide and Chris Moore have been with the American Pie films since day one and were determined to give fans another glimpse into the lives of the characters we have grown to love over the years. “Six years ago, I started coming to Universal every six or nine months to pitch some version of the movie,” says Moore. “Finally, the reunion idea caught on, and with the project greenlit, the challenge was to see if all of the original cast members would be on board.”
“One of the great things about the American Pie franchise is that it speaks to moments everyone can relate to,” reflects Perry. “We’ve come to know and love this specific group of characters because they’ve gone through situations we can all identify with, but the outcome with them is always much funnier and more outrageous. I think that’s the reason these movies have always been fan favorites and have become something of classics.”
The filmmakers agreed that the only way to do justice to East Great Falls was to ensure that the entire group returned for the reunion. Cast member after cast member jumped at the chance to reunite with old friends. “It’s hard to believe that we first met these characters 13 years ago,” notes Zide. “It’s a testament to how beloved they have become that all of our actors returned to revisit these career-defining roles. I’m as excited as the rest of the audience to see them back together again.”
Once the American Pie family started to fall in place, the next thing the studio had to do was to secure a writing/directing team willing to take on a sequel in an already established franchise. “The issue with making a third sequel,” says Moore, “is that it’s hard to get people who want to come to do it, because the characters have already been created.”
Fortunately for the producers and Pie fans across the globe, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg were more than up for the challenges. In fact, they were adamant about getting the job. The writers of all three films in the Harold & Kumar series (and directors of the second one), Hurwitz and Schlossberg were chomping at the bit to re-create the world of American Pie while bringing their trademark stamp to it. Both admit that they have been die-hard fans of the series since their first viewings.
They have lost count of how many times they saw the first film when it came out in 1999. “There were a lot of youth comedies then, but they were all PG-13,” Schlossberg explains. “Jon and I always liked more outrageous comedy, and American Pie was the first movie of our generation that had young people acting and talking like young people in a real, risqué sex comedy. That was totally up our alley, and we loved it.”
Schlossberg and Hurwitz have been close friends since high school and have a shared sense of humor. Offers Hurwitz: “We went to high school in a similar time as these characters. For a lot of people our age, we feel like this was our high school. What we loved about American Pie is the ensemble.
It felt like you knew each and every single one of these people, and we were able to connect with each character in a different way.” The filmmaking partners believe that the secret to the series’ success is the balance of big, outrageous comedy with relatable moments, all experienced by real characters.
Adds Schlossberg: “The first film had a bunch of really dirty things, and yet, while that’s happening, Chris’ and Mena’s characters have a love story. Tara’s character was consumed with her ‘first time’ and waiting until her boyfriend says, ‘I love you.’ That’s what high school is. You have guys obsessed with sex, but then everyone is consumed with relationships and love.”
“I get people who will say, ‘I’m the Jim in my group of friends’ or ‘I’m the Stifler’ or ‘I’m like Oz,’” adds Moore. “American Pie defined this coming-of-age in 1999, and that coming-of-age was much more emotional than just hijinks.”