American Pie: The Wedding (2003) starring Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Eugene Levy, Seann William Scott, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Deborah Rush, Fred Willard directed by Jesse Dylan Movie Review

American Pie: The Wedding (2003)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Eddie Kaye Thomas as Paul Finch in American Pie: The Wedding

It's Wedding Pie Time

Despite often bordering on the gross I enjoyed the first "American Pie", I even thought "American Pie 2" was okay, but I have to say that the third instalment "American Pie: The Wedding" or "American Wedding" as it's also known is a disappointment as it sinks lower than ever when it comes to trying to be funny. It's not all bad as it attempts to step away from just being a carbon copy of what had been done before in the previous movies but it feels slightly lacking and at times quite laboured.

Having eventually fallen for each other the romance between hapless Jim (Jason Biggs) and band geek Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) has blossomed and they are preparing to tie the knot despite Jim messing up his attempt at a romantic proposal. Jim's old buddies Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) are on hand to help with the preparations but are joined by the eternally obnoxious Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) who takes the opportunity to have a crack at Michelle's lovely younger sister. Of course thing's never run smoothly as wedding preparations proceed and all will certainly not go to plan, well we are talking about Jim.

Deborah Rush and Seann William Scott in American Pie: The Wedding

Part of the trouble with "American Pie: The Wedding" is that the first two movies set high expectations for the third to try and live up to. But where as "American Pie" and "American Pie 2" were both funny and delivered a semi decent message, "American Pie: The Wedding" fails on both accounts. It certainly is a case of the franchise having run out of steam before this third instalment came along. And what this means is that the humour stoops to new lows of grossness to try and make you laugh whilst any message is completely lost amongst all the frivolity.

The storyline is a natural progression for the series and I honestly believe that if "American Pie: The Wedding" had been more successful we may have seen an immediate fourth instalment of the original franchise with Jim and Michelle having children and settling in to married life. But instead we ended up with American Pie lite or as it is officially known "American Pie presents" which fails to even get close to the standards of the original. But the storyline to "American Pie: The Wedding" does try to step away from what we had seen in the first two movies and in doing so is not that bad. With Jim rushing around to make the wedding perfect for Michelle as well as impress his future in-laws there is plenty of decent scenes which deliver the intentional hilarity we associate with the hapless Jim.

But the problem is that "American Pie: The Wedding" struggles to be really funny. More and more of the jokes in "American Pie: The Wedding" verge on the ridiculous and gross, often going past the line of being humorous and falling into the realms of being cringe worthy. I don't mind gross out humour but more and more of the jokes here left me feeling sick rather than entertained. It's not all bad and there are some amusing set pieces including the boys ending up unintentionally in a gay night club where Stifler enthrals us with a cheesy but hilarious dance off. But for the most many of the jokes are mainly crude and unimaginative, failing to really deliver as they did in the first two movies.

"American Pie: The Wedding" also seems to lack that meaningful message which the first two movies delivered. At the end of "American Pie" and "American Pie 2" the group of friends had learned something about life, but any attempts to do the same in "American Pie: The Wedding" are lost completely and so it makes it feel like it is missing one of those key ingredients which made the previous movies more rounded.

As for the characters and cast well only about half of them return and this does put a bit of a damper on things. Without the likes of Chris Klein as Oz, Mena Suvari as Heather and Tara Reid as Vicky it just doesn't feel the same. Thankfully those characters which do return do a good job, with Jason Biggs still making a complete fool of himself and Seann William Scott doing a marvellous job of being vile. Plus of course we see Eugene Levy become more prominent as Jim's dad Mr. Levenstein who gets funnier every time I see him.

On top of the original characters we get introduced to a few new ones, mainly those in Michelle's family. This means we get to watch the pairing of Fred Willard and Deborah Rush who go someway to make up for the lack of the original characters.

What this all boils down to is that sadly "American Pie: The Wedding" is nowhere as enjoyable as the first two movies. It lacks the fun and meaning of "American Pie" and "American Pie 2" and ends up relying too heavily on outrageous gross out comedy to try and get laughs, often failing because they push the boundaries of taste too far. In reality it's not a fitting end to the original series of "American Pie" movies and although I was disappointed I'm looking forward to the reunion movie when it hits the big screen.