Thursday 20 October 2011

Movie Review: American Wedding (2003)

Too much Stifler. Not nearly enough sizzler. American Wedding, the second sequel to American Pie, attempts a withdrawal from the account of bankrupt ideas, and emerges with a stained handful of excrement.

Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are planning to get married. Before he gets to the big day, Jim has to overcome two main hurdles: impress Michelle's parents (Fred Willard and Deborah Rush), and keep his vulgar friend Stifler (Seann William Scott) as far away from the wedding as possible. Nothing goes according to plan, with Jim embarrassing himself in front of his future in-laws at every opportunity, and Stifler forcing himself into the wedding planning arrangements and proceeding to instigate or fall victim to one disaster after another.

In the meantime, Michelle's game sister Cadence (January Jones) attracts the attention of both the boorish Stifler and the relatively more suave Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), while Jim's hapless dad (Eugene Levy) doles out his dorky advice when it's least needed.

American Wedding huffs, puffs, and works up a smelly sweat to create a series of set-piece comedy tableaux, to place either Jim or Stifler in the most contrived and awkward situations possible. So Jim is contorted to appear as though he is shagging a dog when he first meets Michelle's parents, and Stifler has to endure both eating dog poo and having intercourse with a hideous grandmother in the dark. The comedy stubbornly stays at this sewage-dwelling level throughout, and it's clear that writer Adam Herz ran out of  clever ideas a couple of scripts back. And if director Jesse Dylan inherited any creative genes from his father Bob, he certainly did not display them here.

American Wedding aims for the lowest common denominator and still manages to under-deliver.

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