Movie review

American Pie: The Wedding
Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott,
Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kaye Thomas

Director : Jesse Dylan

American Pie: American WeddingThere are certain things you expect from the crude franchise that is the American Pie series. House parties, blondes, The Sherminator, Oz and his long-term girlfriend, Nadia the cheeky exchange student, Vicky and her friend Jessica, Stifler's younger brother, that hot dog place and those red paper cups full of beer. None of these are in the third instalment of the overly successful series, and it's a shame . . .
    We are brought back to the world of gross-out humour in a restaurant, as Jim (Jason Biggs) is about to propose to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). Jim has forgotten the ring and his father is on the way to give it to him. Michelle thinks Jim is going to ask her to spice up their sex life, so crawls under the table and . . . well you can guess. Jim's dad walks in, makes Jim stand up and discovers his pants are round his ankles and everyone is laughing. Multiply by five, subtract the humour and you have the recipe for a disappointing ending to a brilliant teenage saga.

The first thing you will notice is the lack of cast, and no effort is put in to at least make up credible stories as to why half the characters we have grown to love are missing. Are Oz and Heather still seeing each other? What happened to Vicky? Is Nadia in love with Sherman? The fact that only four of the series' main characters remain (Jim, Kev, Finch and the notorious Steve Stifler) opens up a city sized void of emptiness that instantly dispels the whole foundation the series is built upon: Teenage unity and friendship.
    Although amusing, the set pieces cry out for originality. In one scene, Jim attempts to prise a dog from Stifler's cake-covered groin as he prepares to meet the parents of his future wife. The door swings open, Stifler is on the floor with the dog licking his groin region, while Jim stands behind looking rather perverse. Get used to this, it happens a lot. The first and second films brought with them a sense of spontaneity and a sense of improvisation. With American Pie: The Wedding you can see what is going to happen a mile away.
    Okay, there are a few very funny moments dotted through this flawed instalment. Stifler turning nice and beginning to like his friends is an ironic spin on the character, while Finch turns into an anti-genius, arse-baring nutter in an attempt to pull Michelle's younger sister. When Stifler tells Finch he hates not hating him, Finch, with a sly smile on his face, replies; "Well, I did fuck your Mom." But the more serious moments bring the film down immensely. Stifler accidentally destroying the flowers for the wedding brings a look to Michelle's tearful face that would be better suited in a tragedy film, while Jim's Grandma rejecting the band camp geek because she isn't Jewish is also far too trivial and serious for a film of this type.

I pray to God that there is a fourth, just to revive the series itself. If you're after the sun-drenched teen mayhem and sexual hilarity that made American Pie what it is today, go look somewhere else. Not even The Stifmeister can save this from just below mediocre.

:: Graham Drummond

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