You know, Shannon Elizabeth, Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne, Chris Owen, Tara Reid, and Mena Suvari really had nothing to be concerned about. They're the ones that declined to reprise their roles in this third film of the "American Pie" franchise.Did they all feel like they were above all the gross-out humor and sexual tomfoolery now? Were some of them just too busy? The latter I can understand, but any way you slice it, these people missed out big time, because this film is just as good and just as hysterical as the other two.
With half the key players gone, American Wedding centers on the nuptials of Jim (Jason "The Pie Fucker" Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson "Don't Call Me Willow" Hannigan). Also in the ceremony are Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas). Stifler (Seann William Scott) isn't invited but crashes the whole ordeal anyway - and throws one hell of a wrench into the wedding plans. Jim's dad (Eugene "Finally, SCTV Is No Longer My Career High" Levy) makes his return and is more full of advice than ever. We also get to meet Michelle's parents (Deborah Rush and Fred Willard), as well as her sister Cadence (January Jones), who Finch and Stifler lock horns over. Stifler's Mom (Jennifer Coolidge) makes a cameo appearance, and so does Nikki Schuyler Ziering as a bachelor party dominatrix.
With the primary focus on the wedding, the premise of the previous two films - a bunch of guys all trying to hook up and get laid - is abandoned, save for the efforts of Stifler and Finch to win Cadence's heart. But writer Adam Herz manages to pull some fresh gags out of a wedding situation that rank right up there with the best of Pie 1 and Pie 2. A bachelor party crashes headlong into a meet-the-parents dinner. A wedding ring is swallowed by a dog and the efforts to retrieve it may well induce vomiting in half the audience. A wedding cake is ruined by airborne hair. Jim gets caught with his pants down more than once. And this may or may not surprise you - Stifler has a gay side.
Jesse Dylan, whose only previous directorial effort was How High, takes the helm and doesn't lose the screwball spirit of the franchise, which is rare for a cinematic series making a third go-round. The acting is solid all throughout, and the story only falls kinda flat at the end, with a closing scene that just seems awkward and really unnecessary.There probably won't be a Part 4 to this story, and rightly so. American Wedding finishes off the Pie trilogy in true form, even if half the people involved couldn't dig in again. (And I can finally ditch these tired pie-eating puns.)