Movie Name: American Wedding
Studio: Zide/Perry Productions
Release Date(s): August 1, 2003
MPAA Rating: R
Jim (Jason Biggs) has finally popped the question to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). The wedding is on and the families are coming together. Jim must meet Michelle’s family and impress them. When Stifler (Seann William Scott) meets Michelle’s sister Cadence (January Jones), he suddenly finds himself in a competition with Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) to win Cadence…and Stifler could ruin the wedding!
Directed by Jesse Dylan, American Wedding is the third film in the sex-romp American Pie series. Following American Pie 2 in 2001, the movie received a mixed reception but a strong box office return.
I’m not a huge fan of the American Pie movies and I think that this is the weakest entry in the big screen versions of the films. Unbalanced and unsure of its direction, American Wedding is all over the place.
The movie might as well be called Stifler’s American Pie. The movie seems to be all about Stifler and the fact that it is supposed to be the wedding of Jim and Michelle is lost for the majority of the movie. There are moments with Michelle trying to find how to say her vows that show some thought, but much of the film is hijinks surrounding Stifler’s mistakes and trying to one-up other sex jokes in the series…which is starting to feel out of place due to the characters’ ages.
Both Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan are played down in this movie as a result of upping the Stifler ante. The movie also scales back the cast by not having most of the crew from the previous two movie return (except for the MILF loving John Cho and Justin Isfeld). Even former “star” Thomas Ian Nicholas barely registers in the film as a character with Seann William Scott and Eddie Kaye Thomas taking most of the scenes…a fresh-faced January Jones is virtually unrecognizable as Michelle’s sister when compared to her Mad Men look.
While the American Pie movies looked like they had a budget, this movie feels like a direct to video movie both in look and style. Despite having a nice wedding location, it seems cheap. With a poor script and dull cast, American Wedding feels pretty played out.
The American Pie series is on a cliff at this point. The characters are too old to be goofy and horny teens, but the franchise is built around this. The movie feels the most unbalanced of all the series and it doesn’t seem to have much direction. The movie was followed by the direct-to-DVD spin-off sequel American Pie Presents: Band Camp in 2005 and a true sequel in 2012 with American Reunion (which does feel a bit more adult than this entry).