After the success of the first two American Pie movies, another sequel was basically inevitable. It’s unfortunate they couldn’t have come up with something better than 2003’s American Wedding. This film reunites some, though far from all, of the cast from the first two movies. Given that Jim (Jason Biggs), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicolas), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Stifler (Seann William Scott) are all back, the most notable absence is Oz (Chris Klein). Not only is he missing, he’s never even mentioned by his best friends throughout the entire the film. Almost all of the girls – Vicky (Tara Reid), Heather (Mena Suvari), Jessica (Natasha Lyonne), and Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) – are absent and forgotten. The sole returning female character is Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). Not only is American Wedding missing cast members, for the most part it’s also missing laughs.
This time around, the returning characters are set to graduate college. The movie is not really about that, though it might have been a better idea. Instead the focus is on Jim and Michelle’s wedding. This one seems to be going for a Meet the Parents vibe. For reasons that go unexplained, Jim has yet to meet Michelle’s parents. That doesn’t make a lot of sense since they have been dating for several years. Michelle knows Jim’s parents well. It’s not like her family lived on the other side of the country. Whatever the reason, Jim doesn’t know them, and wants to make a good impression. Unfortunately, everything he does manages to come across wrong (hence the Meet the Parents vibe).
American Wedding is miles apart from its two predecessors. Nearly everything about it seems different, including the tone, the jokes, and the characters themselves. Those elements all seem to be on loan from an American Pie rip-off (not that the first film was that original to begin with). Most perplexing of all is Stifler (Seann William Scott). Stifler is now a total lunatic. He is manic, seems to have dropped a more than a few IQ points, and basically seems like a bad impersonation of the original character. In one of the special features, Scott says he finally decided to play Stifler as crazy. I’m not sure why he was allowed to do this, but it was entirely the wrong move. There isn’t anything about Stifler in the third movie that seems like a natural progression from the first two movies.