American Wedding Review

by Steve Rhodes (Steve DOT Rhodes AT InternetReviews DOT com)
September 10th, 2003

A film review by Steve Rhodes
Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes
RATING (0 TO ****): ** 1/2

AMERICAN PIE is a series clearly running out of creative gas, but AMERICAN WEDDING, the third and hopefully last in the series, shows that it still has a little juice left. There may not be enough good jokes in AMERICAN WEDDING to justify the price of admission, but there are a few decent ones, with the best having Seann William Scott, as Steve Stifler, channeling John Travolta's character from SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. The twist is that Stifler's dance competition is an impromptu one in a gay bar where he accidentally finds himself.

Easily the series' most memorable character, Stifler is again his usual obnoxious yet likable self. The movie's secret sauce, however, has always been Eugene Levy, who plays Jim's dad. Levy is joined this time by Fred Willard, who plays Michelle's father. Levy and Willard have been together many times before in various Christopher Guest comedies (including A MIGHTY WIND and BEST IN SHOW). They outclass the younger actors in the movie.

The movie's opening sequence, in which most of the action happens under a restaurant table, is too old a joke to be very funny. Better is a scene in which two dominatrices spice up Jim's bachelor party, thanks to Stifler. Since the movie's title is AMERICAN WEDDING, it will be no surprise to hear that Jim "The Pie Guy" Levinstein (Jason Biggs) and Michelle "The Band Girl" Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan) are finally getting married. The events surrounding their wedding will, of course, be a disaster until it magically comes to a perfect ending. Along the way, the audience gets to enjoy -- or has to suffer through, depending on your preferences -- an A+ gross-out moment. I'll give you a hint. You'll want to consume all of your food before the movie's midpoint, or, otherwise, you may have to throw it away. Let's hope the studio throws away this series. It was sometimes fun while it lasted, but it's past time to bid it adieu.

AMERICAN WEDDING runs 1:42. It is rated R for "sexual content, language and crude humor" and would be acceptable for most teenagers.

My son Jeffrey, age 14, gave it ***. A fan of the series, he liked the choice of jokes this time and thought the movie was funny. He liked the way every character's personality had changed some from AMERICAN PIE 2.

The film is playing in nationwide release now in the United States. In the Silicon Valley, it is showing at the AMC and the Century theaters.
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