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Tue, Feb 20, 2018 05:31 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-08-13 tracking life & times section
American Wedding shines with Scott, Levy
Cletus Turner

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After two movies involving the same characters, a series usually begins to suffer. Take Rambo, Friday The 13th and The Godfather for example. By the time the third movie came out, the characters and, in some cases, the villains, were boring.

Thankfully, the American Pie movies have decided to end their run and it certainly is good to see. Instead of going on in a pointless hope of making more money, the producers decided to let American Wedding be the last in the series. The characters certainly end on a high note.

If you are expecting the last of the Pie movies to be different from the others, you are wrong. They continue the same zany and hilarious hijinks they have had throughout the series run.

In this film, Jim, played by Jason Biggs, plans to ask Michelle, played by Alyson Hanigan, to marry him. Of course, then we have the mishap at the restaurant that has Jim, ummmm, getting it all wrong. Luckily, in the end, we see how happy he really is to be marrying Michelle. As Jim's dad, played by the incomparable Eugene Levy, said "We should all be so happy!"

Enter Stifler. This film is more of a Stifler one-act than it is an American Pie movie. We get to see Stifler, played by Seann William Scott, bust loose. You think he was out of control in the first two films? Nothing compared to this one.

Stifler, naturally, wants to be part of the wedding, after all, there are going to be bridesmaids. As well, he wants to plan the bachelor party, complete with strippers. First, however, Jim finds out that Michelle wants a dress from a hard-to-get dressmaker in Chicago. So, Stifler, Jim and their two buddies, Finch, played by Eddie Thomas and Kevin, played by Thomas Ian Nicholas, head for Chicago. They find out the dressmaker, Lesley Summers, is at a bar, so they head out to try to find the one person that can make Michelle happy. Stifler accidentally walks into a gay bar. He doesn't know it until he hits on a girl who tells him she has a friend that he would just love. When the girl brings a guy over to Stifler, he gets the point right away. A verbal fight ensues and Stifler declares to the bar that all of them want to have sex with him. The bar erupts into laughter. Suddenly, the song "Beat It" comes out and we are treated to a dance off. Stifler versus the guy that he had the argument with and the results are just short of insane. Imagine the Stifmeister dancing in a gay bar and trying to get a bunch of gay men to want him. I thought I was going to burst. Then, we find out that Lesley Summers is a man and of course he eventually agrees to make the dress for Michelle.

Enter January Jones as Cadance, Michelle's sister. She has Stifler going insane. He actually pretends to be an intellectual to get Cadance to like him. It is like seeing Rambo suddenly turn into a hippy. Amazing. Scott actually made us believe that he could pull this stunt off. The funny thing is on the way to trying to bed Cadance, he actually fell for her. He has Michelle's parents believing the "intellectual" act. When he tries to throw a bachelor party for Jim, he gets his new gay friend to bring two strippers, both women, to the party. Poor Kevin is tied to a chair in his underwear when Jim, who is supposed to be surprised, and Michelle's parents show up because Jim has planned an evening with them alone. Finch has put chocolate all over himself because one of the strippers is a cleaning lady and wants to "clean him up." Stifler's intellectual persona actually helps the group out when he says that he set up a situation where Jim was to "save" a kidnapped Kevin. The parents believe it.

When Stifler accidentally turns off the air conditioning on the flowers and destroys them the day before the wedding, the group tells him to leave. Stifler then jumps into action, gets his football team (he's an assistant coach) to help him redecorate the wedding hall for the nuptials just in time.

Eugene Levy and Seann William Scott stole this picture almost from the beginning. They were over-the-top and brought freshness to what could have been stale. Each of the supporting characters made this film shine. In what is undoubtably the last of the Pie films, Biggs, Nicholas, Thomas, Scott and Hanigan made us want a fourth, but this is where the films should end, on a high note.

The only sour notes I saw were the highly noticeable absences of Tara Reid, who played Nicholas' love interest in the first two films and Chris Klein who played Oz, the fourth member of the group. Oz's absence is glaring more than anyone else's. After all, he was the one that made the pact in the first film with Jim, Kevin and Finch. It is amazing he should be left out and not one mention of where he is. If someone had said he was in jail or some such thing, it might have been all right, but not to mention someone that was supposed to be this group's "best friend" is wrong. I understand the writers wanted Stifler to have a larger part, but Oz was a missing element that would have made the last Pie film complete.

4 suns

The death of Gregory Hines was a complete surprise. The actor who starred in one of my favorite 80's movies, White Nights, was a great actor and a fabulous dancer. His dance scenes with Mikhail Baryshnikov were one of my favorite of all times. Here's to a master performer.

This week, S.W.A.T. was the number one film at the box office. Yet, another 70's television show to be made into a movie. What's next? Welcome Back Kotter?

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