A third and final entry to the "American Pie" series, "American Wedding" continues to up the level of raunch (including one extraordinarily foul moment) and vulgarity brought about by the second - and best - of the films. The plot is simple - Jim (Jason Biggs) has graduated college and decided to propose to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), his girlfriend that he met in the first picture. While the wedding's the focus for everyone else, friend Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) is more concerned with the bachelor party.
Scott is the real joy of the third picture, taking his angry jerk character to new and unexpected heights. Adding a new undercurrent of anger and psychotic glee to the character, Scott's cheerful, ego-fueled vugarity has never been funnier. Adding to Stiffler's eternal battle with the intellectual Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is Cadence (January Jones), Michelle's younger sister, who becomes the object of interest for both.
Continuing to lend support is Eugene Levy, who once again has several funny moments. Fred Willard and Deborah Rush play Michelle's parents, but they have little do and are largely wasted. Absent for this go around from the first two are Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth, Chris Owen, Natasha Lyone, Chris Klein and Mena Suvari.
As for the jokes, there's still plenty of good bits scattered throughout the third film, but they're just not delivered at as consistent a rate as the second film. Stiffler's fake transformation into a nice, straightforward guy to try and woo Cadence is the film's funniest running gag. The DVD includes both the theatrical version and the "extended party edition", which includes seven minutes of additional footage (mainly bachelor party stuff, along with a couple of minor extended bits).
VIDEO: "American Wedding" is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen - this is the first "Pie" to be shot in 'scope. The presentation is excellent, with only a few minor issues. Sharpness and detail remained superb throughout; while fine details weren't always clearly visible, the picture still remained crisp and well-defined, even in low-light scenes.
Print flaws were minor, limited to just a couple of tiny specks in a scene or two. Edge enhancement wasn't an issue aside from an appearance in a handful of moments. Compression artifacts were spotted during a few instances, but didn't cause much distraction. Colors remained bright and vivid, with no smearing or other faults. Overall, this was a nice transfer, aside from a couple of minor faults.
SOUND: "American Wedding" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The three films have never offered much in the way of surround use, and the third film continues that style. The score and songs on the soundtrack do get some minor reinforcement from the rears, but they otherwise remain silent. That's not to say that the sound is without its merits - the songs on the soundtrack are presented with fine clarity and enjoyable bass. Dialogue remained clean and clear, as well.
Commentary: This is a commentary from Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan and Thomas Ian Nicholas. While the group occasionally pulls together to offer some interesting information about the production and funny comments about scenes, the "joke" early on in the commentary is that the commentary isn't going well because they're all watching the movie - some for the first time. That proves pretty accurate for much of the running time - although things do start to improve after about thirty minutes, there's still several stretches of silence and moments that drag.
Commentary: This is a commentary from director Jesse Dylan and actor Seann William Scott. This commentary is a bit better than the other track, as Scott manages to find more to joke about than the cast does, and chats about trying to create and change the Stiffler character. Scott does most of the talking, with Dylan providing some backing information about the production.
Deleted Scenes: This 22-minute reel offers deleted scenes from the film, complete with introductions from writer/director Adam Herz and eventually, Seann William Scott. There are a couple of nice moments (such as a little bit more at the flower shop about what the couple are going to do after college, a funny poolside moment), but much of this footage is made up of unnecessary additions that would have slowed the pace of the film.
Outtakes: A few minutes of so-so goofs and missed lines.
Shooting the Bachelor Party: This 9-1/2 minute piece talks about creating the bachelor party sequence - coming up with props, improvising and trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. Interviews with the cast/crew, as well as additional outtakes, are included.
Cheesy Wedding Video: Just what the title implies - a very cheesy "wedding" video made of production footage.
Nikki's Hollywood Journal: Nikki Ziering, actress and former "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" contestant, discusses her workout routine and her prep for the premiere.
Also: "Grooming the Groom" featurette, bios, credits. Surprisingly, the DVD includes no trailers for the "American Pie" films, but does include promos for other Universal titles that play before the main menu.
Final Thoughts: "American Wedding" isn't as funny as the second "Pie", but it's still got a few strong laughs on occasion. Universal's DVD edition provides good audio/video, but the supplemental features are somewhat inconsistent. Recommended for fans, others may want to try a rental first.