May 7, 2004 | 1h 34m
Within the vibrant and diverse tapestry of the small town of Ojai, California, American Reunion spans the twenty-four hours before the 20th high school reunion of the class of 1981. Five friends, one younger brother and a mysterious photojournalist are brought together through the efforts of the town's high-spirited Latina mayor, Margaret, who is determined to reunite her old core group of high school friends and remember the "good times." Also, responsible for writing the reunion's opening speech, Margaret struggles to formulate the right words, believing she should focus on the trends, fads and cool fashions of 1981. However, by the end of the twenty-four hours, she understands that it is not about memories or moments, but rather about what kind of people they have become, versus who they were then. The tale centers upon the characters' personal reunions with the truths they are facing at this juncture in their lives: Patrick retiring from the Army because it didn't fit his lifestyle; Ty meeting the son he once fled from as an obstacle to his music career; Mindy signing divorce papers for the fifteen-year marriage she never thought would end; Brad, once the Golden Boy, finding peace in his occupation as a simple bus driver; J.C., the coke head younger brother of deceased graduate Brian, now running the pizza place that was Brian's dream; Jeanie, the mystery graduate, revealing her secret to the group, coming to terms with who she was then and who she is now; and finally Mayor Margaret, always the over-achiever, as she forges ahead in an effort to prove her self-worth. Finding humor in the trials and tribulations of our life and the paths we choose, the tale shows how life continues to repeat itself for the next generation, while leaving us with the understanding that sometimes you have to go back to find your future.