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American Wedding

Year: 2003
Studio: Universal
Director: Jesse Dylan
Cast: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nichols, Eugene Levy
Whenever poor Jim (Jason Biggs) tries to whack off to a porno, perform a strip tease for the hot exchange student over the internet or seduce a hot chick at college (all of which we've seen), his well-meaning Dad (Eugene Levy) will invariably bust him at it.

By now you might have seen the trailer for American Pie: The Wedding. Jim's realised Michelle's the only girl for him and takes her to a fancy restaurant to propose. Thinking he's asking for more kinkiness in their sex life, she slides under the table and Jim has trouble keeping his... excitement down. In the middle of it all, his Dad walks in, sits in Michelle's chair and proceeds with one of his fatherly chats.

From that moment you know American Pie: The Wedding won't disappoint - not if you loved the first two, anyway. And as before, the trailer isn't the half of it - Jim ends up in one over the top and embarrassing situation after another, often helped or hindered by his old pals Finch, Kevin, Michelle and crowd-pleaser Stifler (Scott).

It's light on the plotting; following the lives of the main characters over the lead-up to the wedding and its inherent headaches and stress. Only this time the headaches are American Pie style; attracting the attentions of the hot bridesmaid, tracking down a dressmaker in a gay bar, hiding two exotic dancers from Michelle's very Republican parents.

The producers somehow managed to get everyone from the original back for the second film, but some of those big names are AWOL from The Wedding. Thankfully it's the unimaginable predicaments Jim and friends find themselves in than make an American Pie movie, and there are enough major characters left to provide the comic (and at times emotional) tension you know and love about the franchise. Sometimes - in an effort to retain the low-level teen movie appeal amongst characters now portraying twentysomethings - Stifler gets the lion's share of the lines and action.

Early on, the flow of the story feels disjointed, as if the editor went on leave, and there's some camerawork that looks like it's come out of the 'indie-est' of arthouse movies (and as such breaks your concentration, standing out like a sore thumb). Both negatives might be attributable to the Weitz brothers (busy now with serious projects like About a Boy) hanging up their megaphones this time and bringing in unknown director Dylan - the guy behind reefer comedy How High and son of music legend Bob.

A few icons from the franchise provide continuity - like Stifler's mother and her 'relationship' with Finch and Jim's Dad with his homegrown, often unwelcome advice ('Your mother can still make me squeal like a pig'). But it does advance the story of the same bunch of friends we've known for the past few years, even if the script is more an excuse to shunt the audience from one comic interlude (often you'll only laugh because of how disgusting it is) than a story.

So if your idea of a solid laugh is seeing the staunchly hetero Stifler in an 80's-inspired 'dance-off' with a gay pimp named Bear, then don't miss it.

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