Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott
Director: Jesse Dylan
Running Time: 96 mins
American Wedding is an American film and the third in the American Pie series. Now getting married, Jim invites most of his friends to the wedding, although when Stifler arrives on the scene, things begin to get wildly out of control.
I have never had the strongest affection for the American Pie movies. For whatever reason, I’ve found their brand of raunchy, juvenile humour just a little too much to stomach, and both of the series’ first two films proved far more annoying to me than in any way funny.
For the most part, American Wedding continues that theme, although it is the first film in the series that feels a little more settled. Much like the characters in its story, gone are the trivial antics of college life, and in are a more mature and level-headed bunch of people.
Now, nobody goes into an American Pie movie expecting (or even wanting) ‘mature’ and ‘level-headed’, but I do think that the slightly mellower nature of American Wedding really plays to its advantage. There’s still all the sex-fuelled comedy fans of the franchise will want – most of it provided by Stifler – but this third film feels a little more accessible for wider audiences.
Jason Biggs is a lot more confident and likable in his role as Jim, while there are some really nice supporting performances from the likes of Alyson Hannigan and January Jones, both of whom take away from the hyper-boys’ club atmosphere of the first two films.
Again, the American Pie movies have a very defined audience, and I know that I’m not a part of that audience, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with how much I didn’t dislike American Wedding. That may not sound like the biggest compliment going, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Saying that, I still didn’t find this movie particularly funny. Yes, it’s not a painfully irritating watch, but the jokes are beyond predictable at this point, and no longer in a funny, familiar way. The movie plays out through all the beats you’d expect even if you’d never seen the first two American Pie movies, and there’s relatively little character intrigue to be seen.
The energetic performances of the film’s cast do go some way to rectifying that, but the fact still remains that American Wedding doesn’t quite manage to endear or entertain to the full, as I found was the case with the series’ first two entries.
So, despite feeling like a step in the right direction, I still wasn’t overly enamoured by American Wedding. Mellower and more likable it may be, but it’s still a largely predictable and unfunny comedy, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.0.