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Movie Review

Jim Levinstein has a conundrum. Several of them, in fact. He’s just proposed to his girlfriend of three years, Michelle, and more than anything in the world he wants their wedding to be perfect. But first he has to ingratiate himself with his future in-laws whose demeanors make glaciers seem balmy. (Note to Jim: It’s always wise to introduce yourself to your fiancée’s mother and father before she becomes your fiancée.) Then there’s the wedding dress, the flowers, the cake and all the other details that go into one’s nuptials. To make "perfection" even more impossible, Jim’s potty mouthed, sexually obsessed “pal” Stifler is determined to snag a major role in the ceremony. Not because he’s interested in holy matrimony, mind you, but because he’s dying to deflower Michelle’s hot-to-trot, virginal sister, Cadence. Jim had better find some solutions quick, because before he can say “raunchy sex comedy,” it’ll be time to walk down the aisle.

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Positive Elements

More than one would expect from a movie that has American Pie and American Pie 2 in its pedigree. Michelle’s parents insist Jim provides for their daughter and he spends most of the film trying to live up to their expectations. When Michelle gushes over her idea of the perfect wedding, the groom-to-be goes out of his way to make her dream come true. Also, some of Jim’s friends try to help him by doing all they can to smooth out rough spots in the wedding.

Michelle comes to the conclusion that love isn’t just a feeling; it involves treating others with kindness and consideration. Jim praises his father for always being available when he needed counsel. When Stifler almost destroys the wedding by accidentally killing all the flowers, he goes to ridiculous lengths to rectify the situation. And although the despicable lech pretends to be a complete gentleman in order to jump into the sack with Cadence, his deception is found out in the end. (The strength of his correction is mitigated when Cadence offers herself to him almost as soon as he apologizes.)

Spiritual Content

As an exotic “performer” unexpectedly yanks off her shirt, Michelle’s shocked mom crosses herself. Jim’s grandmother initially rejects Michelle because she isn’t Jewish.

Sexual Content

Unremitting. Puerile gags involve erections, sodomy, fellatio, orgasms, bestiality and pubic hair. Michelle sneaks under a restaurant table to perform a sex act on Jim (when he’s forced to stand up by a patron, the camera glimpses his bare rear). Stifler rearranges the letters on a cake to spell out a crude sexual term. Later, he unknowingly stumbles into a gay bar and unintentionally attracts the attention of a number of men while flirting with a woman. When reality hits he concludes it’s all okay since “everyone wants a piece of the Stifmeister.” He then begins to dance—with writhing hip thrusts and crotch grabs—to demonstrate just how attractive he can be to both sexes. (During the scene various homosexual couples passionately kiss.) Cadence dumps her frumpy boyfriend because he refused to have sex with her and concludes that she doesn’t have the same regard for chastity that her parents do. At one point both Stifler and the camera ogle her underwear-clad form. A bachelor party features topless strippers who gag and blindfold a guest, smack others with a riding crop and joke about sex toys. In a twisted series of events, Stifler accidentally has intercourse with Jim’s grandmother and one of Jim’s friends has a sexual encounter with Stifler’s mom. A song by Matt Nathanson vividly describes a nocturnal rendezvous.

Violent Content

While trying to dance with Michelle at a bar, Jim accidentally throws her into a waitress. After cracking a crass joke, Stifler punches a man in the crotch.

Crude or Profane Language

Over 50 f-words appear along with about 60 other profanities. There are more than 20 abuses of God and Jesus’ names. Around 25 uses of slang terms for male and female genitalia show up, as do about 15 uses of slang terms for sex. Characters make a number of obscene gestures.

Drug and Alcohol Content

From formal receptions to bachelor parties to casual conversations at home, alcohol flows freely at this Wedding. Champagne, beer and wine appear in just about every other scene.

Other Negative Elements

A number of Jim’s friends ridicule marriage as being overly confining and not as pleasurable as their swinging singles’ lives. Stifler filches champagne. A man eats a “truffle” that, in reality, is dog feces. When Michelle’s parents question her virginity on her wedding night, Jim’s dad lies about her encounters with his son in order to assuage their fears.

Conclusion

“It’s more of the same,” actor Jason Biggs, who plays Jim, says of American Pie’s third incarnation. “We stuck to the formula.” For those unfamiliar with the “formula,” it’s sick and simple: Throw inordinate amounts of kinky and perverse sex at the script and see what sticks. To say American Wedding dredges the depths of deviancy for material is generous. Bestiality, bondage and public sex all get screen time. And while a few positive themes appear (the nature of true love, the need to be genuine and loyalty to one’s friends), they don't just get submerged, they get forcibly drowned by messages belittling virginity, sexual temperance and the institution of marriage. There is one thing to celebrate, though. Series scribe Adam Herz says American Wedding is the franchise’s finale. Just don't serve any Pie at the party.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

R

Readability Age Range

Genre

Comedy

Author

Cast

Jason Biggs as Jim Levinstein; Alyson Hannigan as Michelle Flaherty; Seann William Scott as Steve Stifler; January Jones as Cadence Flaherty; Eddie Kaye Thomas as Paul Finch; Eugene Levy as Jim’s Dad; Molly Cheek as Jim’s Mom; Deborah Rush as Mary Flaherty; Fred Willard as Harold Flaherty

Director

Jesse Dylan ( Kicking & ScreamingHow High)

Distributor

Universal Pictures

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Loren Eaton

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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