AMERICAN PIE: THE WEDDING
Jim the “perv” and Michelle the “nympho” from past “Pies” have been going together for three years and Jim thinks it’s high time to join together in unholy wedlock. The lovebirds (Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan) cannot risk the crass and crazy Stifler (Seann William Scott) spoiling their big day and so decide not to invite him. And Jim’s Dad (Eugene Levy) is still giving well-meaning but clueless advice to his son and future daughter -in-law. When Michelle’s stunning blonde sister Cadence (January Jones) breezes in and takes an immediate shine to the supercilious Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Stifler decides that he’s got to be the chameleon…pretend to be real nice to woo her away from Finch and worm his way to the wedding.
Review by Keith Lofthouse:
In the original sin Jim violated a piece of pie and kids everywhere chorused, “cool, dude!” I hated it. In the even stickier sequel, Jim had a trumpet rammed up his behind, while Stifler copped a mouthful of pee and kids chanted, “ace, awesome!” I deplored it. In instalment three, just as Jim is about to propose, Michelle goes down under the table in a busy restaurant to “pop his cork” and I thought, “oh, no…here we go again.” Once upon a time, they used to say that “sarcasm is the lowest form of wit”…but that was before toilet humour gurgled up from the S-bend and teenagers lapsed into apoplectic laughter the first time a fart thundered from the screen. For more sophisticated folk, the good news is that The Wedding is a rites of passage tale that rises above the ribaldry of its ancestors with a script that’s the strongest of the three…and even offers Stifler some redemption. Jim has graduated from college and is determined to prove his worth as a future son-in-law to Michelle’s snooty parents and now everyone has matured enough to know that Steve Stifler is a stuff-up. Make no mistake, disgusting things still happen when Stifler horns in…he wants to put on a “dildo show” for Jim’s bachelor night and in one foul moment (when trying to impress Michelle’s folks) he is forced into a close encounter with a fresh load of pooch poo! Somehow, William Scott, as the guy you hate to love, makes all of this seem palatable. He’s game for anything and his stretch of facial expressions is as elastic as Steve Martin’s or Jim Carrey’s. The focus is on Stifler this time round and the film is funnier and more energetic for it. There’s a memorable moment in a gay bar when Stifler, his masculinity emasculated by a hulking mince, is forced into a dance-off to a medley of toe-tapping disco hits. Briggs too has a presence. He genuinely seems embarrassed when he has to drop his pants and Hannigan, with a face that makes one think (for those who remember) of Imogene Coca and Olive Oyl, cooks up a fine balance of apple pie and tart. Nothing much really has changed: “I’m still a nympho,” she says. “And I’m still a perve,” he says, but they’ve grown, and we’ve prospered.
Review by Louise Keller:
Crass, inane, badly scripted and without a single fresh idea, American Pie: The Wedding is one decidedly unfunny film that is well worth avoiding. With a new music video and commercials director Jesse Dylan in the saddle (or in the kitchen, as it were), not only is the script a rehash of old ideas, but the characters have lost their reality. Directing comedy and actors is a quite a different thing to directing video clips. Scriptwriter Adam Herz, in his very first script, penned a runaway winner with the first American Pie movie. It bubbled with attitude and irreverence as it explored sexuality on campus and pushed the boundaries of good taste. Herz had some help (or hindrance) with the script for the second movie (that never made the distance), but this time, Herz must take all the blame for every badly judged gaffs, the profanities that become monotonous and the comedy that lacks any humour. This is a film that could easily carry the slogan ‘love is shaving your balls’. Don’t get me wrong, I can laugh with the best of them at crude humour – as long as it is in context and there’s some innovation or merit in the set up or execution. Here, there’s an abundance of panties around the ankles, cream cakes on crutches, dogs eagerly lapping up the cream, excrement disguised as chocolate truffles, mistaken identity in a gay bar, overhearing what you shouldn’t hear in the toilets, plus a razor, pubic hair and a wedding cake that has to be trashed. Poor old Jason Biggs’ Jim, whose raucous energy propelled the first American Pie movie, is relegated to being a boring sod who has lost his sense of fun, while Seann William Scott overacts so badly that it is embarrassing. Of course, director Dylan should take the blame for this poor judgement, but Scott who is an actor going places, will surely be keen to bury the evidence that he ever had anything to do with this dismal embarrassment. The only actor who remains unscathed through this schemozzle is good ol’ Eugene Levy’s Dad, a well-meaning father-of-the-groom who gives more information than required, remains true to his character. (“Your mother can still make me squeal like a pig,” he confides to his son). The scene that involves big breasted Officer Chrystal, Fraulein Brandy clad in French maid gear, bondage, a gay waiter in cheek-less leather pants, a panting youth with chocolate sauce smeared all over him, falls flat as a tack – which is a real shame, because it could have been fun. I am grateful, however, for the fact that the filmmakers restrained from bringing out another apple pie. But there’s little to recommend the film. If the characters appeal to you, get a taste of pie with the original – even if it is obviously a one-hit wonder.
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AMERICAN PIE: THE WEDDING (MA)
CAST: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, January Jones, Eugene Levy, Molly Cheek, Deborah Rush, Fred Willard
PRODUCER: Chris Bender, Adam Herz, Chris Bender, Adam Herz, Chris Moore, Craig Perry, Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, Warren Zide, Craig Perry
DIRECTOR: Jesse Dylan
SCRIPT: Adam Herz
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lloyd Ahern
EDITOR: Stuart H. Pappé
MUSIC: Christophe Beck
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Clayton Hartley
RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 7, 2003