The immature girl in me gave into temptation and as a result, I went to see American Reunion. While there was nothing really new about the movie, it was strikingly better than American Wedding and tied the first film as far as laughs and actual human emotion. Reunion reunited the original cast, brought up some 1999 nostalgia and captured how a lot of people deal with the now distant memory of a decade long gone.
But enough about that. Stifler pissed me off… yet again.
In American Pie, Steve Stifler was the typical a-hole jock/bully that everyone hated. Seann William Scott nailed the role so well that you actually cheered when Finch slept with his mom at the end. He was the perfect secondary character, and that’s where it should have stayed. But because audiences liked his one-liners, he was invited back for American Pie 2 and given a substantially bigger role. He also mellowed out (a bit). He still chases hot girls, hates Finch and enjoys seeing the four friends get into trouble, but he was somewhat still likable – even as a the resident jerk.
But it was American Wedding that ruined Stifler for me. Not only is he back and again, with a much larger role, he is suddenly a good guy. He teaches Jim how to dance, he saves the wedding and actually cares about what a girl’s feelings. We could have done without all of that. But just imagine how upset audiences would have been had Stifler not shown up. Without a doubt in my mind, the writers made every effort to give the Stifmeister all the best lines and gags in a otherwise horrible sequel.
Stifler had officially sold out.
Following Wedding, Stifler became so “popular” that when the direct to DVD spin-off movies were made, they focused on other members of his family (cousins and brothers) and gave wannabe actors a chance to do really bad Seann William Scott impressions in hopes of collecting a paycheck.
Naturally Scott reprises his frat-boy persona one last time in American Reunion, and in some ways, brings Stifler back to his roots, but as he has done before, ends up being somewhat of a good guy complete with glimpses of a young Stifler hanging out with the four guys.
Thing is, in the first film, the four main characters (Jim, Oz, Finch and Kevin) never liked Stifler and he certainly didn’t like them — and that’s what worked. They went to his parties, but he treated them like something he scraped off his shoe. You laughed at his jokes and found him amusing, but that’s where it ended. He was raw, funny and unapologetic when it came to saying what was on his mind. Seeing him watered-down was nothing short of a disappointment.
The promised “final slice” of the Pie series (at least for the original cast members) was tainted with a final scene that has the five friends toasting each other and saying “until next time”, which I hope doesn’t happen. And if it does, the Stifmeister is more than welcome to sit that one out.