This Rotten Week: Predicting American Reunion Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2012-04-01 08:41:11discussion comments
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This Rotten Week: Predicting American Reunion Reviews image
Fairly slow week this time around with nothing much going on except a high school reunion no one really wants to see. In fact, in the spirit of Katniss and company, I kind of wish we could watch the dudes and dudettes from American Pie battle it out in a Hunger Games-style fight to the death. Now that would be interesting.

*Quick note: I won’t be making a prediction for Titanic 3D because Rotten Tomatoes isn’t delineating between this re-release and the original. So unfortunately you won’t be getting three paragraphs on how I never have seen Titanic, and don’t ever plan to.

Just remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they'll end up on the Tomatometer. Let's take a look at what This Rotten Week has to offer.

American Reunion
In a normal week, a movie like American Reunion would get a couple hundred words, a few jokes, and we’d move on to a more substantial and “noteworthy” film. But since nothing else is happening, Stiffler, Jim, Oz, Finch, that weasel-y guy who starred in Rookie of the Year (and now has a creepy looking beard to make him look older than 19), and the rest of the American Pie crew are going to get way more attention than they deserve. Here goes:

Some movie franchises (or just certain movies) hold a place as cultural reference points or at one time existed somewhere in the zeitgeist. And while American Pie doesn’t seem like the kind of flick that would qualify in terms of “art” or even really that “good” there is a little bit of the movie tucked back away in the minds of many 27-35 year olds out there who at one point enjoyed watching a dude bang an apple pie on his parents’ formica countertop. Wasn’t being young great?

American Pie, in some ways, was the last hurrah of Generation X, a film that ushered out the nineties, and introduced us to what life was like growing up at the advent of the technological frontier. It offered one of the first glimpses into how a connected world would affect how kids “grew up” and if they did it by web-camming a naked Shannon Elizabeth so be it. Above all, American Pie captured pre-millennial youth in their perfect combination of insanely stupid and increasingly self-aware.

But therein lies the problem with a flick like American Reunion. Namely, who the hell would want to see it? Dudes like me, who’s timeline runs fairly parallel to the characters’ “lives”, have little desire to see how the Jim’s and Stifflers “grew up” to be become cliche’d versions of their younger selves. And for the same reason no one ever clamored for a “Where are they Now?” version of Animal House, watching these guys get older is more sad than funny.

I understand that American Reunion is just a much needed paycheck for many of the players and I’ve probably taken the franchise a little too seriously (remember what I said about it being a slow week?), but there’s a lot to be said about movie characters existing outside of place and time. It’s fine if we don’t know what happened to everyone and if I wanted a reminder of past exploits, I’d just go watch the original. Celebrating the past by trying to relive it is what mid-life crises are made of. Something these characters will no doubt experience on screen in the next installment American Divorce.

And yet for some, almost inexplicable reason (confounding to me really outside of the original), the American Pie movies have always scored just a tick above average with critics. American Pie (60%), American Pie 2 (52%) and even American Wedding (55%) all landed on the plus side of the Tomatometer. Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s a winning formula of reoccurring and predictable embarrassment for Jim and sexual harassment from Stifler. Or maybe there’s just something to be said for familiarity and sophomoric repetition (even well into old age). Whatever it is, let’s keep the prediction right with the others. The Rotten Watch for American Reunion is 50%.
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Recapping last week I’m rarely supremely confident with a prediction, especially when working without any inside information or a random review here or there. But I was with Mirror Mirror (Predicted: 56% Actual: 50%) even saying as much in my write-up last week.

Reviews like that usually put a film in a particular score range. I’m confident with this one.
I got a little scared when it jumped out of the gate strong to start the week, but then it dipped and dipped some more. Felt good to get that one right.

Meanwhile, Wrath of the Titans (Predicted: 30% Actual: 24%) was right in range making it a strong week overall.

Next time around Larry, Moe and Curly get Stooge-y, Guy Pearce gets locked out and we head to a cabin in the woods. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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