Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on February 22nd, 2004
The third and hopefully final entry in the American Pie series, American Wedding keeps with the sweet charms and gross out comedy of the first two movies, but can’t live up to the humor of the original or its sequel. Average Joe Jim, (Jason Biggs) and former band geek Michelle, (Alyson Hannigan) are now engaged to be wed and must decide whether raucous Stifler (Seann William Scott) should be invited to the wedding. Shenanigans ensue involving a night out at a gay club, a bachelor party, pleasing the in-laws, and pubi… hair on a wedding cake.
Sure, Stifler eats dog poop and does for curse words what bullet time did for special effects, but missing characters and lack of novelty cannot lift this one into the rare category of sequels being as good or better than the previous installments. While it offers plenty of funny moments, most courtesy of Stifler, the movie just seems tired and worn out. The filmmakers should excuse themselves from the table after this. No more pie for them.
As with previous editions, there is little difference between the “rated” and “unrated” versions. The “Extended Bachelor Party” version is what the title states, more of the bachelor party, including some more nudity, a staple of the teen comedy. While you may be a little disappointed if someone gets you the theatrical version as a gift, it won’t be as bad as getting the fullscreen version of The Matrix when you wanted widescreen.
Unlike the previous two movies, this disc does not contain a DTS track. It really doesn’t matter, as the movie mostly consists of dialogue and some soundtrack tunes, which the Dolby Digital track handles well. There is no static or crackling, which is to be expected from a brand new movie by a major studio. While the movie sounds good, it won’t be your new HT demo disc. After all it’s a romantic comedy.
The American Pie movies have all benefited from being shot in sun-drenched California, which stands in for East Lansing, Michigan. This means that the discs always look great, and this one is no different. The colors are full and crisp as always. The final scenes during the meeting on the beach and the wedding will make you feel like you are a part of Jim and Michelle’s wedding party. Universal prides itself on A/V quality and they haven’t disappointed here.
As with the great audio and video, the American Pie series has always offered a smorgasbord of extras. This time around we are treated to the following:
- Two Commentaries – one featuring Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kay Thomas and Thomas Ian Nicholas, and another with Seann William Scott and director Jesse Dylan. You’ll learn while watching the commentary with most of the cast, that this was the first time viewing the movie for many of them, which is probably why there are several long moments of silence. They occasionally hit on an interesting point. The commentary with Scott and Dylan is better, with Scott offering some good jokes and insight into the character of Stifler. Dylan mainly adds some technical points.
- Deleted Scenes – There are about 20 minutes of clips that were deservedly cut from the film. Each scene contains an introduction from writer Adam Herz and Sean William Scott.
- Outtakes – some flubs and goofs amongst the cast.
- Enter the Dominatrix: Inside the Bachelor Party – A ten minute clip shows the anatomy of the bachelor party scene with insight into what made it work, such as improvising and props. In my opinion, it’s too bad the bachelor party scene wasn’t good enough to warrant the extras devoted to it.
- Jim & Michelle’s Wedding Video – a compilation of cheesy wedding footage shot for the movie. You’ll feel like you were there yourself.
- Nikki’s Hollywood Journal – Officer Krystal, or as she’s know in real life, Nikki Ziering, allows us to follow her to the gym and when she goes clothes shopping for the movie’s premiere.
- Speaking Stifler – Writer Adam Herz opens up about writing for the character that we all love to hate, or just love.
American Wedding proves that the third time can still be a charm, but the charm will most likely wear off if the filmmakers continue chronicling Jim’s proud moments, as well as his embarrassing ones. Seann William Scott as Stifler steals the show and elevates this movie from sequel purgatory. A purchase is warranted if you enjoyed and/or own the first two installments, and while it might not cause you to laugh until it hurts like the previous movies, this one won’t disappoint. It’s like McDonald’s apple pie, not as good as homemade, but still worth the money.
Special Features List
- Outrageous Deleted Scenes
- Hilarious Outtakes
- Enter the Dominatrix: Inside the Bachelor Party
- Speaking Stiffler
- Jim & Michelle
- Grooming the Groom, From Script to Screen
- Feature Commentary with Stars and Filmmakers
- Option to view the theatrical(rated) version