Jim and Michelle are back in what appears to be the last of the American Pie movies, this one titled American Wedding. As the title suggests, the horny, nerdy couple are getting married, but not before more gross-out situations occur.
American Pie reenergized the teen genre back in 1999 with witty humor and some surprisingly gross out stuff that had audiences squirming with laughter and even the critics nodding their head. American Pie 2 followed in 2001, and while it was not nearly as sharp and funny as the original, showed that it still had a lot to offer. Aside from those two films, theatres have been plagued with what seems like hundreds of similar clones that all seem to suffer from the same symptom: no one cares about the characters. Luckily, American Wedding has established, likeable characters (Eugene Levy as Jim's father) and a different kind of "teen" story (a wedding), but, of course, the film's success relies on its ability to make audiences laugh a third time around. Audiences have been subjected to almost all levels of toilet humor; can this movie find a spot that was missed?
The answer is yes. American Wedding is humorous from beginning to end, bringing back Jim, Michelle, Finch, Jim's Dad, and, of course, Stifler to fall into their typical roles. The real stars of the show are Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Stifler (Seann William Scott), the modern day odd couple that are given many great scenes to play with. Stifler is extremely annoying at first and seems a bit over-the-top even compared to the previous movies, but he settles down and essentially becomes the focus of the film.
Of course, like most sequels, American Wedding is not nearly as good as the original; the first half hour or so, while having many funny parts, seemed muted; there wasn't anything special. However, the movie picks up the pace eventually and throws in one or two classic scenes, namely the chocolate shit scene that had half the audience gagging (of course, this scene involves Stifler, who in the previous two movies has drank semen and been pissed on, respectively).
While the movie was the right length, some scenes could have been shortened and others lengthened. Director Jesse Dylan (whose only other directorial credit is attached to the terrible How High comedy) seems to know little about comedy, as he fails to follow up certain scenes when he should (wouldn't a scene of Stifler puking or trying to clean out his mouth been funny?) and throws in other when he shouldn't. The editing is also shabby at times; near the end, Jim's Dad is giving Michelle some "helpful" advice, and within a few seconds he is standing out on the coast with Jim, engaged in the middle of a conversation. These two scenes were literally meant to only be minutes apart, yet realistically their closeness makes little sense. That is not the only example of the poor workmanship in the movie.
American Wedding is a funny finale to the American Pie movies, even if it isn't nearly as good as the original. It'll be interesting to see whether the cast members are ever able to make careers outside of this movie.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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