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American Pie: The Wedding (15)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: Two

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Enter The Dominatrix - Inside The Bachelor Party; Stifler Speak; Grooming The Groom; Deleted scenes; Outtakes; Cheesy Wedding Video; Two feature commentaries with cast and directors; Regions 2/4.

THEY'VE done everything from pie shagging to going too far with superglue, all in the name of coming-of-age, so I guess the logical next step was taking it up the aisle!

American Pie: The Wedding is the third film in the gross-out comedy series, and, contrary to initial scepticism, is a worthy way to finish the trilogy.

Set a couple of years after the events of the second film, the movie picks up as Jim (Jason Biggs) proposes to his 'band-camp' sweetheart, Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), prompting all manner of sexual deviance in advance of the big day.

With best friends Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) doing their best to make things run smoothly, and Stifler (Seann William Scott) doing his best to ensure things go wrong, the ingredients are in place for another highly funny slice of mayhem.

Spicing things up, as well, is the rivalry between Finch and Stifler for the attentions of Michelle's younger sister, Cadence (January Jones), who just happens to be a virgin.

And not forgetting Jim's dad, of course (played with customary aplomb by Eugene Levy), who is always on hand to deliver his pearls of wisdom.

Much of the charm of the American Pie series lies in its ability to stay just the right side of bad taste, for while many of the set pieces push the boundaries of some fairly risky subject matter, there is an inherent sweetness to proceedings which makes the excesses more tolerable.

 

Here we have a group of characters that are genuinely worth rooting for, not least because so many of their traits, and embarrassments, are so identifiable.

And so it is the case with American Pie: The Wedding that, as gross as things get, the underlying story - of coming of age and being in love - is so well told, that the blend of raunch and sweet finds just the right sort of balance.

Of course, the film does succumb to the limitations of being the third in the series, occasionally feeling tired and desperate for laughs (or relying, too easily, on past gags), and it can be a little too sentimental for its own good.

But when the overall tone is one of such unbridled enthusiasm, and the big set pieces deliver as many belly laughs as they do groans of disgust, you can forgive some of its smaller failings.

This time around, we have a bachelor party to contend with, as well as a visit to a gay bar, and some personal grooming mishaps.

Of the characters, it is Scott's Stifler who, once more, steals the show; whether it's attempting to act the perfect gentleman for the benefit of Cadence, or doing the unthinkable with 'a chocolate truffle', he shamelessly romps through all of the comedy scenes.

While Levy, as Jim's dad, is as well-meaning and affecting as usual, particularly in his touching scenes with Biggs' Jim.

If the girls are a little under-used (there are fewer of them this time), this is no bad thing, as true fans of the series will probably be having too much fun to notice.

Those who criticise it for being too rude or too crass are probably wasting their time, for this delivers as consistently as it always has, helping to ensure that its fans will want to say 'I do' for one final fling before the much-loved characters wave goodbye for the final time.

 

 

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