By the time a comedy franchise gets to a third sequel, you wonder.
But in the case of "American Reunion," a high school class reunion of the characters from "American Pie," this solid-R gross-out sex comedy is as funny as it is coarse.
And it's really disgustingly coarse and low-brow, just like the 1999 original.
You can fault it on plausibility. (A 13th anniversary reunion? What's up with that?) You can talk about the thin premise.
But chances are, if body fluids and sexual humiliation and juvenile behavior by 30-somethings doesn't repulse you, you're going to laugh. A lot.
At East Great Falls, Mich., the old gang gathers to remember the good times and create a few new ones, but they have their problems.
Jim and Michelle (Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan) haven't had much of a sex life since their 2-year-old was born. The next-door girl he used to babysit now is a troublesome, flirty 18-year-old.
Oz (former Omahan Chris Klein), a sportscaster with the opposite problem, is tiring of his open relationship. He finds that seeing Heather (Mena Suvari) again makes him think of becoming a family man.
Kev (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is a little bored as a domesticized, stay-at-home architect. His ex-girlfriend also proves a temptation.
Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), the quiet brain, suddenly appears with wild tales of continent hopping, but he's hiding something.
The guys decide not to tell wild man Stifler (Seann William Scott) about the gathering. They're tired of the fallout from his profane and crazy antics.
He shows up anyway, of course, escaping a lousy temp job and an abusive boss.
Jim's dad (Eugene Levy) is still dispensing sexual advice, but also is on the receiving end as a widower who needs to move beyond his grief.
Stifler's mom (Jennifer Coolidge) is still up to no good. And was that Rebecca De Mornay in an uncredited cameo at the end? Lots of ancillary characters return as well, riffing on the past.
All these slightly dissatisfied people will, of course, solve their problems neatly by movie's end, but that's not what you stick around to see.
Jason Biggs still has warm, fuzzy nice-guy appeal, even as he again cavorts half-naked in the kitchen. Alyson Hannigan is still the slightly naughty girl with charm to spare.
Seann William Scott retains his demonic leer, committing to the smut-minded anarchy of Stifler with relish.
And the script is surprisingly clever in staying true to the spirit and characters of the original while coming up with some pretty good twists on past story lines.
If you come ready to laugh and leer, you'll probably go away smiling. And watching the original to refresh your memory will enhance the experience.
Contact the writer: