American Wedding

One of the greatest journeys in life is that of marriage. The years of searching for the right person, the chaotic preparations not withstanding, marriage has remained an institution of civilization for thousands of years. Despite the many changes in courtship and perceptions over the last 40 years, marriage is still the ultimate goal for many couples as society, literature, the arts, and old fashioned romanticism enforce that true happiness can be found in spending your life with another.

In the film “American Wedding”, lovable and eccentric Jim (Jason Biggs), and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), have decided to tie the knot following their college graduations. Naturally the carefully planned proposal becomes a public embarrassment thanks to Michelle’s active libido and the untimely arrival of Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy).

Despite the public mishap, the wedding plans shift into high gear with the arrival of Michelle’s parents Harold and Mary (Fred Willard, (Deborah Rush) and their daughter Cadence (January Jones). Naturally Jim, thanks to the unwanted help of local miscreant Steve Stiffler (Seann William Scott), makes a negative impression on his future in laws by being caught in yet another of his awkward and embarrassing situations. Things get even more intense when Stiffler and Jims buddy Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) battle for the affections of Cadence with hilarious results especially when Stiffler, the master of profanity and crudeness, attempts to ingratiate himself with Michelle’s parents and become part of the wedding party.

This all adds up to a hectic and very funny wedding preparation as all manner of mishaps arise ensuring that this wedding will not be soon forgotten. The wedding in many ways is an afterthought in the film as the focus is on the events leading up to the wedding. The cast works very well with one another, and they seem to be having a blast working with one another again. Most of the female members of the previous films as well as Ozzy (Chris Klein) are not in the film. While Klein reportedly did not wish to be a part of the film, the absence of any mention of his character seems odd, especially given that Shannon Elizabeth’s Nadia is mentioned briefly in the film though her character does not appear.

Smaller cast aside, the film is a bawdy and funny romp that will delight fans of the series and make you laugh. The story may not be all that deep, but the film hits a home run in the laugh department. My main regret is that Hannigan and Biggs were more subdued then in the past as it is Stiffler who gets himself into the craziest situations in the film. Should this film prove a success, then do not rule out a fourth slice of a very good pie.

3.5 stars out of 5