(2003)2Tracie CooperThe young and horny high schoolers of American Pie, after a brief stint as the young and horny college students of American Pie 2, have settled in as the slightly older, vaguely lost, and perpetually horny young adults of American Wedding. Granted, palpably absent former co-stars Natasha Lyonne, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari, and Tara Reid have apparently moved on to bigger and better things (though it's hard to say for certain, being that their absence doesn't get so much as a fleeting mention), but the rest of the group, as well as the movie itself, seems almost desperate to go through the motions. Sure enough, Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) have decided to consummate what began as a prom night bet into a lifelong commitment. The marriage itself, however, serves as more of a vehicle for Seann William Scott than it does as a central plot device. Sadly, Hannigan's screen time is only slightly more than a cameo appearance, popping up now and then to remind audiences that there's a wedding being planned, while Biggs' primary concern is to woo his future bride's WASP-y parents, despite two more embarrassing incidents involving baked goods and his crotch. Scott, as Steve Stifler, is arguably the star of American Wedding, but his good-hearted Neanderthal act is significantly more believable as a supporting performance than it is as a lead role. Scott's knack for slapstick and physical comedy is undeniable, however, and the funniest moments of the movie can, indeed, be attributed to his character. Still, simply put: his shtick is old. Even Eugene Levy's famous fatherly advice seems a little strained, though his performance is easily the highlight of the film. In short, American Pie's formula was unique enough to stretch over two movies, but after three it's reduced to a mirror of the film's characters -- a little older, a little wiser, but without the charm.
Jesse Dylan's American Wedding rounds up the characters from the American Pie films for a trip to the altar. Jim (Jason Biggs) proposes to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). Hoping to make the wedding day as special as possible for his bride, Jim enlists the help of his friends Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), and the always obnoxious Stifler (Seann William Scott) to help him convince a dressmaker to create the perfect gown, make a good impression on his future in-laws, and assist him in getting out of the embarrassing situations in which he so often seems to find himself. Stifler and Finch battle for the attention of Michelle's younger sister Cadence (January Jones), Jim's Grandmother objects to the wedding because Michelle is not Jewish, and Stiffler's poorly timed surprise bachelor party are just some of the obstacles that must be overcome before the happy event can transpire.