American Wedding Reviewby Susan Granger (ssg722 AT aol DOT com)
August 4th, 2003
Susan Granger's review of "American Wedding" (Universal Pictures)
Is this third helping of the zany, ribald "American Pie" really any better than its predecessors - or does it just seem that way after enduring "Gigli"? Honestly, I'm not quite sure.
The story begins as Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) have graduated from college. Even before the titles, there's a humiliating sequences as he pops the question in an elegant restaurant - and his clueless dad (Eugene Levy) shows up at a most inopportune moment. After that, plans for the traditional nuptials begin, which reunites Jim's buddies - genial Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), brainy Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and trouble-making, over-sexed Stifler (Seann William Scott), who is determined to throw a wild bachelor party and bed Michelle's gorgeous kid sister (January Jones). Stifler's disco dance-off in a gay bar is one of the highlights. And, of course, there are the inevitable family problems. "As the future protector of my first-born, you have a long way to go," Michelle's ultra-conservative father (Fred Willard) warns Jim, who is continually mortified by the irrepressible Stifmeister's antics.
Screenwriter Aaron Herz knows that the original "American Pie" audience has grown up, if not matured, so director Jesse Dylan (Bob's son) keeps the pace fast and funny, taking full advantage of the crude, raunchy moments. Accidentally decorating the wedding cake with pubic shavings is bad enough but Stifler's eating a doggy-doo truffle is over-the-top disgusting. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "American Wedding" is a crude, gross-out 5. We're told that this is the series finale. "All the characters have gone from A-to-B," says Herz, its creator. "There is no more journey for them to take." No "American Baby"? "American Divorce"?
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