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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.92%
Worth A Look58.49%
Average: 4.72%
Pretty Bad: 0.94%
Total Crap: 17.92%

7 reviews, 64 user ratings

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American Wedding
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by Scott Weinberg

"Proof that not all sequel-makers have contempt for their audience."
4 stars

I really dug the first American Pie and had a surprisingly good time with Part why was I dreading this third installment so strongly? Perhaps it was the hiring of a director responsible the stunningly awful How High; perhaps it was because nearly half of the original cast members refused to sign on for a third go-round; most likely it was because...let's face it: how many "Part 3"s are worth a wet slap? Very few indeed. Surprise! This one is!

A friend I hadn't seen for a while called me up and invited me to go see American Wedding. Since it's basically the only movie out that I haven't seen yet (and yes that includes Gigli), I was glad to join him. See, my pal Mike loves the first two American Pie flicks. And since he's now married, has a baby, and works 60 hours a week for some massive corporation, we don't get to hang out much anymore.

So we picked up some drive-thru Value Meals from BK, enjoyed a little pre-movie "recreation" and plunked down our eight bucks for American Wedding. ("Watch it as a movie fan and not as a stuffy-ass movie critic," Mike muttered before the credits rolled, not realizing that they're essentially the same thing where I'm concerned.) After a relatively rocky opening act - a 15-minute intro that had me feeling pangs of "Oh lord this could really suck" - Mike and I laughed long, loudly and often at the onscreen lunacy.

And if a movie makes me laugh long, loudly and often...well damn, that's a good movie.

Sure, sure, this one's not much more than a third helping of the reliable old American Pie formula - but it's delivered with a surprising amount of wit and confidence. The actors have clearly grown comfortable with their respective characters, screenwriter Adam Herz has devised a real knack for well-timed and laugh-out-loud slapstick set-pieces, and the pervasive raunchiness is always tempered with a palpable sense of good-natured fun.

That American Wedding was better than I expected isn't that much of a shock; I'm wrong all the time. But what was fairly stunning was how frequently and effectively the gags had me laughing. And laugh-wise, I'm a fairly tough nut to crack. The plot covers the impending nuptials of Jim and Michelle, the bachelor party, the friends & families...and a whole lot of silly sex jokes.

If there's one guy who deserves the lion's share of the accolades, it's (once again) Seann William Scott as Steve Stifler. This guy's quite simply a force of nature - obnoxious, vulgar, hysterically funny nature. Scott steals all three American Pies whole, and these are movies with lots of funny people in 'em! When I first learned that Mena Suvari, Shannon Elizabeth, Tara Reid, Chris Klein and Natasha Lyonne would not be returning for the third flick my reaction was "Hmph. Interesting. Stifler's on board though...right??" And let's be fair: Lyonne had some slick moments in the original, while the others who went M.I.A. are easily expendable. Herz's screenplay takes the smart route by not trying to 'explain' what became of these characters. Just like in real life, friends lose touch. Let's instead focus on who IS still around.

Biggs and Hannigan strike a cute chemistry, Eugene Levy earns laughs via eyebrows alone, S.W. Scott delivers the goods in just about every scene he inhabits, Eddie Kaye Thomas (as Finch) gets some great schtick, and Thomas Ian Nicholas...well, I guess we'll see more of his Kevin in the DVD's deleted scenes. (He's a nice inclusion though given very little to do.) Newcomers Fred Willard (as Michelle's pop) and the luminous January Jones (as her little sis) capably add some new color to the proceedings.

But make no mistake: this flick is Stifler's Show all the way. And seeing how much nasty fun Sean Scott's clearly having (and sharing with the moviegoer), that's just fine by me.

American Wedding offers five or six "big moments" of inspired slapstick sexuality - and damn if not every single one earns big laughs. On paper, the idea of a "two guys caught screwing two dogs" or of "a pound of pubic hair destroying a wedding cake" may seem a bit sneer-worthy, but Herz and company have by now mastered their own particular style of artistic expression. Knowing how to frame a gag effectively is absolutely essential when creating a slapstick sex farce, and American Wedding does just that with alarming accuracy.

So here's a sequel that's not tired and lazy and generic, and one that actually TRIES to make you laugh by presenting old friends in disgusting new situations. As prepared as I was to yawn my way through "American Wedding", I'm now very pleased to discover that I'm not just some 'stuffy-ass movie critic'. It may not be brilliant, but there's something to be said for a movie that quite simply delivers the laughs. Against all odds the "American Pie" series is now 3 for 3. Let's hope they all decide to quit while they're ahead.

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originally posted: 08/03/03 15:15:31
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User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell funny finale 4 stars
3/25/10 Dane Youssef Aworthy finale. Great to see they found a way to make it all end on the best possible note. 5 stars
1/27/09 wes realy funny and cool 5 stars
8/03/08 Tyler THE BEST OF THE BUNCH! AWESOME FILM! 5 stars
10/18/07 Beau this is an average sequel to the previous ones, not the best but had moments 'FOCUS FOCUS' 3 stars
4/02/07 fools♫gold The high point of the trilogy (the three that matter). 4 stars
10/30/06 AJ Muller "Fucking right, doggie - that's a good flick!" So sayeth Stifler; so shall it be. 4 stars
3/12/06 JM Synth They're not even trying anymore 1 stars
9/27/05 Daveman A waste of everyone's time. Hardly watchable. 1 stars
8/25/05 Eden I really enjoyed the first two but this is crap. Would never watch it again 1 stars
7/23/05 Clubber Lang It is what it is, and it's very funny. Second best of the series, after 2. 4 stars
4/10/05 Cheryl Mayfield Probably tops first two, even if Stiffler has to stuff dog shit in his mouth to do it. 4 stars
1/19/05 Charlène I saw this film and I think it was unapologetically witty and gleeful 5 stars
11/18/04 Chris Belldo I've taken funnier shits. Imagine American Pie ass-raped w/out lube or a reach-around. 1 stars
10/25/04 hudson wow! 5 stars
10/23/04 ODH Stifler steals the show, very funny 4 stars
9/10/04 jeff pretty funny for a teen movie. 4 stars
9/04/04 Ghetto Smurf Jason Biggs' acting got better while everyone else's got worse. Still, good movie. 4 stars
8/03/04 Anthony G fuck this 1 stars
7/23/04 Samuel As good as the first two, if not better. 5 stars
7/21/04 Littlepurch Won't be liked by all but I loved it. Some real cringingly hilarious moments! 4 stars
7/08/04 Denise Duspiva No where near as good as the first two 3 stars
7/03/04 J HILARLIOUS!!! Stiffler is funny but a mental a**Hole!!! 5 stars
5/26/04 Daveman Fucking shit. The worst film I saw in 2003. 1 stars
4/26/04 eve dont take it 2 seriously! how old r u anyway? 5 stars
4/12/04 cinkcool awesome 5 stars
1/08/04 KICK ASS OR DONT COME HOME! practically the whole movie was on stifler and jim and michelle were barely in it,still fun 4 stars
1/03/04 Gray needed Chick for finch other than MILF 4 stars
1/03/04 A F They were trying a little too hard. Stiffler is getting a little played out. 4 stars
11/14/03 orangefactory Best among the American Pie series! 5 stars
11/10/03 Long River surprisingly dumb 1 stars
10/31/03 Natasha Bly Awesome if they do part 4 to pair Finch with someone better than S's mom; average otherwise 4 stars
10/31/03 Barry End of fuckin story? Character most like me stuck with Stiffler's mom? Gross!!! Bogus!!! 3 stars
10/22/03 Cheryl Mayfield Probably tops first two, even if Stiffler has to stuff dog shit in his mouth to do it. 4 stars
10/10/03 I've Got Worms The movie didn't show entirely what I wanted to see Lezys 3 stars
9/10/03 snowconehead falls somewhere between heh and meh. 4 stars
9/01/03 Jimmy James too forced, too unfunny. and i wanted to like it :( 2 stars
9/01/03 hando surprisingly funny! 4 stars
8/31/03 Marc The best movie ever 5 stars
8/25/03 Jimmeh Johnez HBS used to not suck. Now popups and BS all the time. 3 stars
8/24/03 I Would In the grand tradition of American Pie films, it's formulaic, it's dumb and it's not funny. 1 stars
8/21/03 Jack Bourbon Stifler is my hero 4 stars
8/18/03 Koitus Agree, that it has 5-6 scenes that are GREAT! Nikki Ziering topless also helps! :-) 4 stars
8/17/03 Lord Chu Hilarious and, incredible as it seems, just as sweet and heartfelt. 5 stars
8/16/03 Croweater I really liked it, it was sooooo funny ;-) 4 stars
8/16/03 Roundman Terrible. So far over the top that it didn't even seem to be an American Pie movie. 1 stars
8/14/03 mcw more zany than ever 4 stars
8/12/03 LoudChris 2nd best movie of the year! 5 stars
8/10/03 Ahnold Sucked. Series of lame gag-situations and gross-out scenes. Horrible. 1 stars
8/08/03 j lo jiggle that ass 1 stars
8/08/03 LoLo This is BY FAR the best out of the American trilogy! I laughed so hard I was almost crying! 5 stars
8/08/03 Winternight I laughed my ass off. 5 stars
8/08/03 JJ from da block Another freakin teeny bopper flick...I'd almost rather watch JLo's jigglin ass in jigli 1 stars
8/06/03 Frank Riccilli BULL DYKES FOR LIFE 5 stars
8/05/03 Bam Margera Laugh Out Loud. 'Nuff Said. Stifler indeed stole the show yet again. 5 stars
8/05/03 Desperado A great ending to a perfect trilogy 5 stars
8/05/03 I FUCK PIE NeVeR Say LALLA! 1 stars
8/05/03 Tyler Funny 4 stars
8/04/03 FrayLo actually entertaining, i expected less, got more. 4 stars
8/04/03 Joman fucking awsome 5 stars
8/04/03 Nicole Pretty funny, though starting to get a bit old 4 stars
8/02/03 Jason Kallelis Huh. Actually pretty damn good. Was surprised. 4 stars
8/02/03 Doug Totally lost the 'feel' of the first one, but still good 4 stars
8/02/03 bob mckenzie a worthy conclusion to a funny trilogy 4 stars
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  01-Aug-2003 (R)
  DVD: 02-Jan-2004



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