American Wedding Reviewby Jerry Saravia (faust668 AT aol DOT com)
March 4th, 2004
AMERICAN WEDDING (2003)
Reviewed by Jerry Saravia
RATING: Two stars and a half
I suppose I should have hated "American Wedding" but I couldn't, no matter how hard I tried. Actually, I didn't try because I still believe in the concept of vulgar comedies created to offend the conservatives, and to make the rest of us laugh. Sometimes, they really do manage to offend, as in 1971's sharply hilarious black comedy "Harold and Maude" or John Waters' "Pink Flamingos." Sometimes they fail because the vulgarity is all there is, as in "Van Wilder," the most profanely unfunny gross comedy ever made. But the "American Pie" series falls somewhere in the middle - they may be gross but their humor has some air of wit, and the characters are likable. "American Wedding" ups the ante on the gross-out meter but, again, the characters are still appealing and fun to watch and listen to.
The movie begins with Jim (Jason Biggs) about to propose to Michelle (Alison Hannigan) at a restaurant when he realizes he forgot the wedding ring! Jim contacts his father (Eugene Levy) to bring the ring. But then Michelle gets under the table and, well, if you have seen the other movies, you pretty much know what to expect. The plot has Jim and Michelle planning their wedding while the loutish, boorish Stifler (Seann William Scott) plans a bachelor party with strippers posing as a Swiss maid and a police officer. There is also Michelle's younger, sweet sister, Cadence (January Jones) who takes a liking to Stifler, if only because he tries to pass himself off as an intellectual. There is also a truly funny dance contest at a gay bar with Stifler dancing his way around the stage to different songs including the Eurythmics. We also have Jim's grandmother involved in an unfunny predicament with Stifler. The jokes about the dogs abound with bad taste, though they are diverting and will make you wince. Jim's pubic hair scenario may make you wince a lot more, but again, what did you expect in this age of trying to top the Farrelly Brothers gross-out standards?
What there is to enjoy may not be much for the average intellectual, but it is passable for a light evening of entertainment. After it was over, I chuckled a few times, occasionally laughed out loud and turned away with only mild amusement a few dozen times. I appreciate the zany, energetic shenanigans of Seann William Scott's Stifler ("I am the Stiffmeister.") more than Jason Biggs's glum Jim, who is given less to do than in the other films. Overall, the first two "American Pie" movies were funnier and more spirited (and I do miss the absentees: Tara Reid, Chris Klein and Mena Sevauri). Still, if there is another sequel, the filmmakers would be criminally insane not to have Stifler as the main attraction.
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