Thursday, February 9, 2012

American Wedding

American Wedding (2003)
Director: Jesse Dylan
Writer: Adam Herz
Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Eugene Levy
Rating: R (times a million)
My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I had to get up early a couple of days this week, and since I finished Psych until the end of the month (the 6th season mid-season premiere), I had a double feature day. Feature number one? American Wedding. I heard it was the worst of the original American Pie trilogy, but I felt compelled to complete it since A) I own it and B) I felt it was necessary before the premiere of American Reunion this summer.

The Premise: Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs; My Best Friend's Girl) finally works up the courage to ask now long-time girlfriend Michele Flaherty (Alyson Hanigan; How I Met Your Mother) to marry him. And through an awkward, inappropriate, slightly sexual way that somehow involved Jim's Dad (Eugene Levy; The Man), he asks and she says yes. They soon begin plans for their wedding.

The Problem: Aside from the fact that Jim has yet to meet and make and impression on Michele's family (and you know this will be disastrous), the problem can be defined in two simple words. Steven. Stifler. (Seann William Scott; Road Trip) He's in town as a football coach and gets wind of the marriage. Despite best efforts of Jim's actual "best men" Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas; Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas; Rookie of the Year), Stifler does not stay out of the wedding plans, as Michele had hoped.

That's as much as I'll say about the plot. I'm sure you can guess the rest. Anyway, here's what I thought:

The movie overall was pretty decent. Some of it was really unnecessarily raunchy, setting the stage for the "new" American Pie films, while other parts of it were simply in classic Pie fashion. The American Pie films often thrive on comedic yet awkward situations, and that was definitely still the case, but the awkward was almost all sexual, and didn't give way to any genuinely funny scenes (like the trombone scene from American Pie 2). I have to admit though, there are some laughs to be had in this film, nonetheless.

The other of my favorite parts was what I like to call "The Redemption of Steven Stifler". Of course you can probably make your own inferences (if you haven't seen the movie) but I really liked the way that they can take that sort of abrasive, overly inappropriate character and still make him lovable, redemptive, and caring. This was a really big step in the life of Stifler, and although he hasn't showed a side to him that I have faith that (almost) every human being has.

What I didn't like in this movie (aside from the gut-wrenchingly awkward, sexual scenes that I would be downright ashamed to watch with my mother even home) was the exclusion of lovable characters from the first two films, like Oz, and the Sherminator. Because of the kind of humor presented in this movie, it seems that the writing (albeit, creative) was lazy. It also set the stage for those awful, awful spinoff movies like The Naked Mile, Band Camp, and Beta House. Most of which, I've seen, and most of which are slightly funny but even more excruciating to watch.

All in all, I simply wish that the writers had taken more care to make this movie more like the first two. Even thought the first two had just as much inappropriate humor in it, the genuinely funny and not at all raunchy scenes made them worthwhile. Only watch this movie to round out the trilogy to get ready for American Reunion.

Thanks for reading if you did! Please comment!