The grown-up stars of “American Reunion.”

The grown-up stars of “American Reunion.” Credit: The grown-up stars of “American Reunion.” (Hopper Stone)

In "American Reunion," opening Friday, the older-but-not-necessarily-wiser "American Pie" crew gets back together for a high school reunion, some 13 years after we first met Jim, Stifler and their respective parents.

That got us thinking: reunions are cinematic staples, having provided the fodder for a wealth of memorable (and not-so-memorable) movies. We've dug through the subgenre's past to offer our picks for the five most notable high school and college reunion movies:

'Return of the Secaucus Seven'
The movie that catapulted filmmaker John Sayles to prominence, "Return of the Secaucus Seven" helped introduce the model for college reunion flicks, as old friends gather in a New Hampshire vacation home to get reacquainted and remember the good old days.

'The Big Chill'
A seminal '80s movie, "The Big Chill" is essentially "Return of the Secaucus Seven" with bigger stars (Tom Berenger, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, et al.) and that classic, joyous after-dinner dance scene set to "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by The Temptations.

'Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion'
This is probably the first film that comes to mind when you think about reunion movies, so in one sense it's an obvious, passé pick. But the film, about unaccomplished 28-year-old best friends facing their 10-year reunion, is unabashedly entertaining and fun, and among the shining moments in the careers of its stars Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow.

'Grosse Point Blank'
Troubled personal and professional worlds collide when John Cusack's depressed hit man is sent on a mission that coincides with his 10-year high school reunion in this black comedy, which is memorable in no small part because of the spectacle of Cusack and Dan Aykroyd playing rival assassins.

'Something Wild'
Director Jonathan Demme's kinky 1986 comedy introduced the world to the great Ray Liotta. The scenery-chewing thespian offers his full-on psycho best when his ex-con Ray Sinclair shows up at his wife Lulu's (Melanie Griffith) high school reunion, which she's attending with her lover Charlie (Jeff Daniels).

Latest video