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American Wedding (R)
Universal
Official Site
Director: Jesse Dylan
Producers: Adam Herz, Craig Perry, Warren Zide, Chris Moore, Paul Weitz, Chris Weitz, Chris Bender
Written by: Adam Herz
Cast: Jason Biggs, Sean William Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jennifer Coolidge

Rating: out of 5


Ugh.

Well they’re back again, at least some of the gang from the American Pie movies have gotten together again to make American Wedding. And the fact that the script didn’t meet the typically none-too-discriminating standards of actors like Tara Reid and Chris Klein should be your first clue as to how bad it is.

First the good, …umm…thinking… Well having not seen the first sequel, I didn’t find this one to be difficult to follow, only difficult to enjoy. Eugene Levy does what he can with material, and at least when he’s on screen you can just ignore the terrible dialogue and watch his hypnotic eyebrows. I also got some perverse enjoyment out of watching Thomas Ian Nicholas as Kevin Myers, (the character who learned how to give the “tongue tornado” in the first one). He has a fair amount of screen time in this film, but almost nothing to do or say. He’s a complete cipher, just standing there in the middle of the screen smiling. He’s almost more of a prop than a character, but it’s sort of fun to watch him up there about to collect one last big paycheck before he joins the cast of Porky’s in oblivion.

As for the rest of the film, it’s mostly just shit and unfortunately some shit eating too. The dialogue is perfunctory and witless, only serving to move along the lamely contrived gross-out gags that are the series’ signature. These scenes dominate the movie in the same way sex scenes dominate porn: Everything else is just a lead up to them. Despite its notably gross veneer the film is so unimaginative that it recycles just about every antique comedy bit with the exception of “Who’s on First?”

The cast is energetic, but hopelessly mired in their two-dimensional characters. Poor Alyson Hannigan! Her character was conceived for a punch line and here her horny flutist is still strictly one-note. Jason Biggs continues as my generation’s pale imitation of Dustin Hoffman and although the movie is ostensibly about the wedding, it’s really more of showcase for Sean William Scott’s idiotic brand of spastic frat-boy humor. This installment calls on Scott’s Stifler to do quite a lot. He has to scheme his way into the wedding, plan the bachelor party, ruin the wedding, eat dog shit, save the wedding, all while trying to bang the bride’s sister. As Stifler, Scott is sort of like a hornier, meaner Jim Carrey, but far less imaginative. That writer Adam Herz and director Jesse Dylan (one of Bob’s less-talented offspring) expect such a limited character to carry a movie reflects the laziness of an established franchise.

And barring a miracle I’m sure they’ll be rewarded for their cynical sloth, as they once again try to prove H.L. Mencken’s gloomy truism about nobody ever going broke underestimating the taste of the American public.

Incidentally, I was going to give this movie half a star for Eugene Levy and his eyebrows, but then they hit me the Good Charlotte song.

—Edward Rholes

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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