American Pie 3: The Wedding

Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Thomas Ian Nicholas. Directed by Jesse Dylan.
Running Time: 89 mins
Rated: MA 15+

I didn't like American Pie I and II very much, so it was always a good bet that the third, and the producers promise the final, chapter of the " American Pie trilogy" was not going to please me.

I tried to keep an open mind, but when after the first 10 minutes we got the usual run of appalling toilet jokes and sexual farce, it was clear that American Pie: The Wedding is the least appealing film in a series that has been an inexcusable waste of time and talent.

In this installment Jim (Biggs) proposes marriage to Michelle (Hannigan). She accepts and they begin to plan the wedding. As the families meet and the friends reunite to celebrate the big day, there is one slap-stick set-up after another as the groom helps the bride hunt for an elusive dress designer, the hapless groomsmen fall in lust with the bride's sister, Michelle's parents are rightly less than impressed with Jim and his friends, and the wedding looks being called off.

At its best this film is a further exploration of the adolescent need to explore the abject. For most viewers, however, it's a dull and lame comedy with something to offend just about everyone. It's sexist, classist, ageist, homophobic and fetishist.

Technically there are problems too. The time-line in the story is a mess. It feels like there is a week between Jim proposing and the wedding ceremony happening. That would make the wedding illegal, which might be just as well. The editing is choppy and there are several continuity mistakes when we cut from wide shots to the close-ups.

The five producers of this film brought in a new director for the project. Jesse Dylan says his challenge was "to update and breath life (into) this third instalment of the half-billion dollar American Pie franchise for Universal Pictures."

Apart from not being able to rise to the challenge he set himself, Dylan tells us everything we need to know about American Pie: The Wedding, it simply cashes in on what has been a deteriorating product. And this film is the weakest of them all.

Fr Richard Leonard SJ is the Director of the Australian Catholic Film Office.

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