Known simply as American Wedding in the United States, American Pie 3: The Wedding marks the trilogy and supposed end of the American Pie series. The film opens with Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) getting engaged much to the delight of Jim’s Dad (Eugene Levy). From there we are treated to the tried and true formula of the previous two films focusing on the planning of their wedding while throwing in all the shenanigans that go with it.
This time around though the cast we know and love is largely gone from this sequel. Sadly this includes Chris Klein’s Oz character who has been one of the four leads in the previous films. While people in life do grow apart and in that sense it’s fair that a large proportion of the cast has been gutted the lack of Oz’s character felt out of place. However, with less previous characters to focus on we are instead treated to a host of new characters such as Michelle’s parents (Debroah Rush and Fred Willard) as well her sister Cadence (January Jones). All of these inclusions fit the theme of the movie and replace the high school friend circle for the parental generation without losing the essence that is American Pie.
In this slightly more grown up piece of the puzzle Steve Stifler (Sean-William Scott) returns to drive the comedy forward in his quest to win over Cadence as a love interest. The majority of laughs come as a result of Stifler’s more childish behaviour contrasting with the rest of the now more mature cast who are tired of him and his antics. Stifler unwittingly ruins the day and then saves the day on multiple occasions including antics with the ring, the dress, the bachelor party and grandma focusing most of the laughs on his character while giving the audience an arc showing Stifler’s more loyal side. Elsewhere, other laughs come from Jim and then Jim’s dad who can’t quite believe his son still has these teenager problems and who both still connect on-screen brilliantly.
One positive to take from American Pie 3 is becoming much more of a Stifler show in terms of comedy is some sentimental scenes are brought back into the mix. This brings back the charm and character development of the first film to tie up the loose ends while maintaining Stifler’s outrageous character to bring in the laughs.
As such American Wedding aims to showcase the conclusion to the story of Jim, Michelle and their friends in a way that mimics the original’s coming of age attitude. Moving the characters from horny teenagers into young adult life while retaining the parts fans love most. While some may be disappointed by the return of sentimental scenes (or the choice of losing some of the cast!), they are weighed out with over the top laughs.
This installment of the American Pie franchise is not the strongest in the series but it certainly isn’t bad. The focus of American Pie 3 is different to the previous movies and serves a different purpose, fans of the previous films will appreciate the humour and the 90’s generation will enjoy the closure to a group of friends they have grown up with.