American Wedding
2Ω out of 5 starsaka American Pie: The Wedding
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
american wedding The American Pie gang is back for a sharper instalment than the second movie, but that's not saying much. It's still very silly, with long unfunny stretches and far too much sweetness at the end, but there are some inspired moments.

As the title suggests, Jim (Biggs) has finally plucked up the courage to ask his perky girlfriend Michelle (Hannigan) to marry him. Now his friends Finch and Kevin (Thomas and Nicholas) are helping him get ready ... with a lot of interference from good-time boy Stifler (Scott), who gets even more involved after meeting Michelle's babe-a-licious sister (Jones). Meanwhile, Jim's dad (Levy) continues to offer far more advice than is strictly necessary, while Michelle's parents (Willard and Rush) stumble into every embarrassing situation imaginable.

This is a slicker, more realistic movie than Part 2--Herz's script is full of extremely witty comedy, even though director Dylan never cranks up enough energy to make them come to life. Much of the film falls flat, with stilted set pieces (the bachelor party farce doesn't work at all) and two too many syrupy musical montages.

It only works because the cast have settled into these characters comfortably--they are much funnier as people now, simply because there's more to them now. Sure, the stereotypes are still there, but at least they have some fun with them. Both Biggs and Hannigan go for a more mature performances--still funny, but much more interesting characters, even though poor Biggs spends most scenes with trousers around ankles. Scott (who's over-the-top as usual) and Thomas have fun swapping personalities to compete for a girl's affections. And Levy continues to be the only cast member with expert comic timing (the other pro, Willard, is virtually wasted).

There's also an intriguing layer of gay subtext that the filmmakers seem afraid to explore; endless innuendo, a camp new character (Kramer) and a hilarious sequence in a gay bar all hint at much more than the script seems willing to go with. Maybe next time....

cert 15 adult themes, language, vulgarity, innuendo 12.Aug.03

dir Jesse Dylan
scr Adam Herz
with Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, January Jones, Eugene Levy, Molly Cheek, Fred Willard, Deborah Rush, Eric Allen Kramer, Jennifer Coolidge
release US 1.Aug.03; UK 15.Aug.03
03/US 1h36

Stifler to the rescue: Hannigan, Biggs and Scott.

jones levy willard

See also:
American Pie 2 (2001) American Reunion (2012)

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... american wedding Laurie T, Minneapolis: "Much has been said about this - I know some critics did not like it, saying you could not do the same jokes over and over. I disagree - this movies does the same jokes over but adds some new ones. We laughed out loud, had a good time and were entertained. Gee, I wonder if they are planning an American Baby. I think if you liked the first two, you will like this one." (30.Aug.03)

Felipe Figueiredo, Rio de Janeiro: 2Ω out of 5 stars "The first was good, the second was bad, but this third one is not as good as the first one and not as bad as the second. Good jokes but the plot isn¥t that creative." (23.Nov.03)

© 2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall