John Hanlon Reviews


American Pie: A Look back at the Characters

Posted in: Characters: Then and Now  |  By: John Hanlon  |  April 6th, 2012

It’s been thirteen years since the vulgar teen comedy American Pie exploded onto movie screens at the end of the 90’s. Since then, approved two sequels– featuring many of the original characters– were released in theaters, this and a few wannabe Pies were sent directly to DVD.

Arriving in theaters today is the eagerly-anticipated sequel American Reunion, which reunites most of the original cast. It’s the first film in nearly a decade to feature the immature and mischievous motley crew. With that in mind, we decided to look back at these characters over the past films and discuss how they have matured or–in Stifler’s case–failed to grow up over the span of years.

Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs)

Lovable lug Jim started this series of films as a sexually-inexperienced teenager whose encounters with foreign exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) and an apple pie proved to be embarrassing escapades. But all worked out in the end, as Jim ended his long lonely nights with Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), an annoying fellow student who had an unbridled affection for her days at band camp.

In American Pie 2, Jim was still sexually-inexperienced but more mature. Still a loser, though, he experienced an unfortunate incident involving superglue but ultimately came to his senses and realized how much he loved Michelle. In American Wedding Jim made it official, marrying Michelle after awkwardly dealing with pre-wedding jitters and a marriage proposal that was anything but romantic.

As American Reunion opens, Jim and Michelle are still married and the parents of a young boy, but aren’t having much fun as a married couple…

Oz Ostreicher (Chris Klein)

Oz started out in the American Pie movies as an immature athlete hoping to score a girlfriend. In a bid to find a mate, the lacrosse player joined the choir and ended up falling head over heels for Heather (Mena Suvari), the good girl who took Oz under her wing.

Oz spent much of the second film away from Heather as she was traveling in Spain at the time. Although their sexual encounters over the phone failed, the two reunited briefly at the film’s conclusion.

Not appearing in American Wedding, Oz makes his reappearance in Reunion, where he’s now settled into the life of a semi-successful sports newscaster. But for some female fans, this older Oz is more well-known for his failed bid on a televised celebrity dance competition than he is for his athletic prowess…

Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas)

Kevin proposed the sexual pact in the original film, and was the only one who started the series with a steady girlfriend. At the time he was dating Vicky (Tara Reid), a nice girl who was unwilling to take the next step in their relationship. The two ended up sleeping together in the end, with the assistance of a book on sex ed provided by Kevin’s older brother.

After his break-up with Vicky in the original, Kevin spent the sequel pining for his former girlfriend and retrying to rekindle the romance. But it was all in vain, as she ended up staying with another guy, leaving Kevin as heartbroken as ever.

In the third film, Kevin played a minor role as a groomsmen in Jim’s wedding. Jim’s bachelor party got out of control – and Kevin ended up tied to a chair because of it- but he had little else to do in the film.

Kevin begins Reunion as a married man who now spends his nights watching Real Housewives. He is also a desperate man, who longs to spend a weekend with the boys.

Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott)

In the original American Pie, Steve Stifler was a jerk. Constantly pranking and embarrassing his friends, he was a cocky, arrogant, womanizing know-it-all whose outrageous behavior left him alienated from his own best friends.

In the sequel, Stifler continued his hijinks as he tried to get with his two female neighbors, who seemed to be carrying on a relationship with each other.

In American Wedding, Stifler seemed to mature. While playing the role of an upstanding gentlemen to impress Michelle’s sister, Cadence (Mad Men’s January Jones, FYI), his lack of maturity was inevitably revealed. But with one grand gesture, Stifler showed that he had some decency after all.

In Reunion, Stifler is a slacker temp who is as obnoxious and crude as ever – but has he changed after his Wedding romance? One has to see the new movie to find out.

Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas)

Paul Finch, despite his fear of using public restrooms, was always more mature than his friends – this cappuccino-sipping cad was an intellectual. A high school romance wouldn’t work for him, and he ended up sleeping with Stifler’s Mom, much to his frienemy’s dismay.

In the sequel, Finch longed to be reunited with his cougar of choice. Early on, she fails to show up at the cabin on the lake the boys are staying in – but she does eventually show up and they continued their affair.

In American Wedding, Finch only plays a minor role, but once again he ends the film meeting up with Stifler’s mom for yet another dalliance.

Ever the eccentric, Finch arrives in Reunion on a motorcycle, talking endlessly about his years spent traveling the world…

Michelle Flaherty Levenstein (Alyson Hannigan)

Michelle has come a long way since American Pie.

In the sequel, Jim and Michelle were just friends and he looked to her for advice in preparing for a romantic date with Nadia at the lake. His plans were in vain, though, and he ultimately realized how much he loved his band camp-attending paramour.

The third film found Jim and Michelle getting married. Despite the problems that plagued their nuptials, the two began a new life together at the end of the film.

In Reunion, Michelle and Jim are still married but have little time to spend with one another. Their romance has faltered, as their young son stands in the way of the couple’s romantic bond.

Vicky Lathum (Tara Reid)

Vicky, Kevin’s girlfriend, was hesitant to take “the next step” with him in the original. But once they did, she broke off the relationship before the two separated for college, leaving him discouraged and alone.

The sequel found Kevin pining for his former love, but his feelings were unrequited. Vicky had another boyfriend when she arrived at the lake, and she broke Kevin’s heart once again.

Although Reid didn’t appear in Wedding, she does return for Reunion. And although Kevin’s married, the sparks between the high school couple fly when the two are reunited…

Heather (Mena Suvari)

Heather started out the American Pie films as the good girl. A member of the high school choir, she kept an open mind when sensitive jock Oz joined the group. While others laughed at him, Heather was eager to learn more about her new choir-mate.

Although Heather spent much of the second film away from the gang as she traveled through Spain, she reunited physically with Oz at its conclusion. Their romance– after hitting some stumbles– continued unabated.

Like Oz and Vicky, Heather was absent from the wedding, but she arrives back in town for Reunion. Oz is with another girl now, but his former love has not forgotten him, despite the fact that she’s dating another guy….

Stifler’s Mom (Jennifer Coolidge)

Stifler’s Mom. Viewers never get to see much of her in these films, but her role is an important one. In the original, she appeared briefly as an older woman who romanced Finch. In the sequel, she returned to reunite with her young mate and the two continued their affair right where they had ended it in the original.

In Wedding, Stifler’s Mom returned once again, limber as ever. Unsurprisingly, this blond cougar found hersef in Finch’s arms yet again.

In the trailers for Reunion though, it looks like Stifler’s Mom has struck up a friendship with Jim’s Dad. Does this mean that her relationship with Finch has ended for good?

Jim’s Dad (Eugene Levy)

Naive but lovable, Jim’s Dad spent the first film trying to teach his son about the birds and the bees – but instead walked in on him at the most awkward moments.

Jim’s Dad continued his streak of bad timing in the sequel, when he walked in on his son sleeping with a fellow college student. As the father of the groom, Jim’s Dad attempted to support his son prior to the nuptials in Wedding. Of course, his advice continued to embarrass poor Jim as much as it helped.

In Reunion, Jim’s Dad has been widowed for several years, and now his son is the one offering the relationship advice. But as the trailer suggests, Jim’s Dad might have found a new woman when he finally meets Stifler’s Mom…

American Pie Characters: Then and Now

The boys are all back in American Reunion – and so are the girls. And so, of course, are the parents. They’ve come a long way since Pie but the questions remain…Will Stifler be more mature than he was a decade ago? Has Jim and Michelle’s romance survived a long marriage and the birth of a child? Is Finch still longing for Stifler’s Mom?

All of these questions and more will be answered in American Reunion . Thirteen years later, we’ll find out if this Pie is as fresh as ever.

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