Ah, love and marriage. The merging of two all-American homogenized meat patties. Itís like this. The first one (American Pie) sucked. The second sucked beyond all that is lame. And thereís no surprise here. This oneís so horrible that thereís not even a category for it. This one tries to be sentimental, but then it throws in a cartoon softcore strip tease a la Threeís Company smack dab in the middle of the flick as if it forgot the franchisesí roots.
Itís such a stretch to believe that the Pie Fucker and the Flute Frigger are in love with each other. I mean, they had more chemistry in the first movie. Oz and his girl would be more appropriately consistent. But Oz is out of the picture like the first-season character, Chuck, on Happy Days [the Cunningham's had no memory that he ever existed] --so that wedding is out of the question. Whoís left but the Flute Frigger and her geek? Granted, the franchise does what it can to juice up the characters like embalming fluid to a corpse, but we never even see the happy couple expressing themselves to each other, except for the blowjob in the restaurant. Itís like the wedding is a set-up for a bachelor party that isnít there.
The hero of the movie this time around is Stifler. Of course it probably all has to do with Seann William Scott on the brink of becoming a movie star, but thatís okay because he was the only thing that was funny about the Pie films altogether. Itís Stifler that causes the problems and itís he who saves the day over and over and over again while the others sit around and whine. Stiflerís big issue though is that heís more animated than in the first two flicks which actually gets annoying at some point. He does have moments when he is cornered into engulfing a clump of poo for the sake of the wedding ring he was sworn to protect. And he has another moment where he jumps into a gay bar to try and win over a dress maker to make Michelleís wedding dress. I mean, Stifler saves the day and yet Jim and his lame friends are so ungrateful that they donít even invite him to the wedding? This is one of those things I just donít understand about any of the Pie flicks. How do you not like Stifler when heís there for you at every turn? I mean, thatís a friend. Someone who takes the bullet for you. What do Kevin and Finch do but complain about this and that and back-knife Stifler every chance they get?
This flick lacks heart. You would think that a movie about a wedding would indulge itself in some syrupy emotional arc. Thereís isnít even a connection with the Pie Fucker and his so-called friends. Kevin, the star of the first movie, is a mere background bit character only lacking activity. Interesting. Even in the second movie he was more proactive, but yet he wasnít featured on the movie poster. Heís on the poster this time, but he doesnít do anything in this movie. Finch, the one who keeps fucking Stiflerís mom, has nothing to do but accompany Stifler on his misadventures. Maybe he does help set up a pseudo triangle with himself, Stifler and Flute Friggerís sister, Cadence. In the second movie there were some attempts to bond Jim and his father, but now it seems like heís there just because he was in the first twoóas would be the case for most of the cast. The filmmakers just did not care this time around.
The bachelor party. As soon as Stifler mentions bachelor party, eyebrows sprout up. Okay, this is where itís all supposed to go down. This is supposed to be the reason weíre all on board with the American Pie franchise in the first place. Naked chicks, absurd misunderstandings and large-type sexual humiliation in front of the masses. But the only people attending this bachelor party is Kevin, Finch, Stifler, two strippers and their new gay friend. The reason for this anorexic meat party is probably due to the producersí budget cutbacks and decided to save all their money on the wedding and its extras. However, there is some funny stuff in this scene, but you just spent an hour with all these people and finally something amusing happens. Why do we wait so long? Lack of imagination and apathy, I would guess.
Another interesting choice was not having a bulk of the original cast. This happens from time to time. Actors get discovered and move on to do other flicks and work with more qualified directors with bigger budgets. Even as bad as the second flick was, they made time to slip in Shannon Elizabeth and Tara Reid even though they were on the periph. And then, sometimes actors refuse to get on board just because the script isnít working. I mean, they really need to kick Adam Herz out of the Writerís Guild for this one. This movie is clearly not about writing, but how well the actors could adlib. While heís in the middle of heart surgery the WGA prez should come down and say, ďYouíre outta here, dude!Ē and heave him out of the hospital with a gaping chest wound. And as far as Jesse Dylan is concerned, watch those pints and quarts, Stifler isnít gonna be around all the time to save you.
Youíre probably better off waiting for the DVD. I mean, the Pie DVDs are great and offer a lot more than just a lame flick. Chock full of gimmicks, featurettes and uncensored stuff. But the danger there is that American Wedding could bomb and leave the DVD package stale and standard. In the end, itís all about change. The audience for the Pie flicks in 2003 is not the same as it was in 1999. These are late thirty-something professionals pretending to write for that turn-of-the-20s audience. The math just doesnít add up any more. This really needs to be the last one. The characters arenít growing. This movie serves no purpose other than making sure Thomas Ian Nicholas and Eddie Kaye Thomas keep working. What else have they got? Well, they need to get real jobs because theyíre day jobs just arenít working out. And this movie would be a great way to put this dead horse out of its misery. Itís been a long, slow death, but hey, it finally happened. I just hope that American Divorce or American Pie: The Next Generation isn't on the horizon.
Okay, letís talk about some of the good things in American Wedding. UhÖ letís seeÖ wellÖ there wasónope that sucked. But there was this one timeóno, that was lame too. Uh, hmÖ there mustíve been something. Oh, fuck it. It just sucked.
American Wedding (1 out of Four)
R, 2003, 96 min., Universal Pictures.
Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, January Jones, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Seann William Scott, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Music by Christophe Beck, Produced by Warren Zide, Craig Perry, Chris Moore, Adam Herz and Chris Bender, Written by Adam Herz and Directed by Jesse Dyan.
Love and the All-American Come Shot:
The Sure Thing, Secret Admirer, About Last Night, Fast Times At Ridgemount High, Drive Me Crazy, Sheís All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Cruel Intentions, Not Another Teen Movie, The New Guy, Thereís Something About Mary, Say It Isnít So, Me, Myself & Irene, Porkyís, Porkyís 2: The Next Day. Porkyís Revenge, Illegally Yours, The Pick-Up Artist, Bachelor Party, Worth Winning, Skindeep, 40 Days, 40 Nights, Old School, The Good Girl, Seniors, Chasing AmyÖ