MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
While not as fresh and original as the first “American Pie,” “American Wedding” actually attempts to tell a decent story. And that’s a huge step up from the quite weak “American Pie 2.”
Now that Jim and Michelle have grown to adults, they get engaged, and the two families must come together to plan the wedding. Of course, with Stifler in the mix, things get a little crazy, from the raunchy bachelor part to his attempts to get it on with Michelle’s sister.
Noticeably missing from this film is Oz, which most likely is explained by the fact that Chris Klein was being groomed for a big star back when this film was being shot. Fortunately for “American Reunion,” his star had fallen, and the entire gang comes back for the fourth film. But that’s a different movie entirely.
Like the first “American Pie,” “American Wedding” is about a milestone in someone’s life. This time, instead of facing the challenge of getting laid before graduation, Jim and Michelle face the challenges of a lifetime of marriage. And while it’s a wedding move in essence, “American Wedding” is also about facing change. This adds the heart back into the mix that was missing from the first sequel.
After “Bridesmaids” became a hit last year, raunchy wedding movies are now seen as a viable movie option by studios, but “American Wedding” showed that was possible eight years prior. But beyond the edgy subject matter and the dirty jokes, “American Wedding” also takes the characters to different places.
Maybe it was the absence of Oz in this film that allowed the story to stretch beyond the confines of the previous film, or maybe it was a true attempt to grow the characters more. Either way, “American Wedding” works for what it is. It’s not as good as the first film, but it’s a definite step up from the previous installment.
The newly released Blu-ray includes all the bonus features from previous releases: deleted scenes, outtakes, two commentary tracks, a look at Stifler-speak, a cheesy wedding video, “Kevin Cam: A Day in the Life of an Actor,” “Nikki’s Hollywood Journal,” “Grooming the Groom” and “Enter the Dominatrix: Inside the Bachelor Party.” The only new features is a look at the new film “American Reunion.”
Additional features include an enclosed DVD as well as access to the pocketBLU app and BD-Live.