American Wedding

Aug 6, 2003 at 12:00 am

Geezer: 2 1/2 stars
Weezer: 2 1/2 stars

Just how much pie can America swallow? Even after two prodigious slices, the American Pie phenomenon lives on with an American Wedding à la mode. So how does this bunch (always gung-ho for masturbation and female nudity) fare post-college, when those high school hormones and emotional stakes aren’t as high? Pie trilogy writer (and Grand Rapids native) Adam Herz kicks up a new storm of guffaws with director Jesse Dylan (son of the Bob Dylan) by throwing into the works the wedding of band-geek-nympho Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) to our orgasmically accident-prone protagonist Jim (Jason Biggs), the guy who can’t resist hot apple pie.

Geezer: They didn’t even do the pie in the second one. It was just in the first one. I thought it was a drag, a device to have a name for a movie.

Weezer: You think about titling these films, and the title doesn’t really mean anything.

Geezer: Well, not to teenagers.

Weezer: Not even to this movie. Like there’s no overriding anything that’s gonna sum up these movies.

Geezer: But it’s patriotic.

Weezer: Until you watch the movie.

Geezer: It seems to me, all the films are driven by one question: What would a guy do for sex?

Weezer: Right. And then the last one, American Wedding, has evolved a little bit. Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) even talks about how they’re getting married now so it’s not about sex anymore.

Geezer: It’s a combination, because half the guys are still looking for sex, not Jim.

Weezer: He’s looking to have a successful wedding, and he still keeps getting himself into all kinds of stupid trouble.

Geezer: With pubic hair and cakes and dogs ... lots of cakes in this one instead of pies...

Weezer: I just hate that America loves the toilet humor ... completely obsessed with it, and movies like this perpetuate that.

Geezer: I’m a sucker for toilet humor, and I admit it.

Weezer: But I feel like if I’m gonna be a filmmaker and if I know I’m making a film that’s just fun and entertaining, and it only works on this level, that’s fine. Then you make a second one, it’s like, OK, whatever, you had pressures from a production company to make a sequel so you can get more money, whatever the motivations there are; that’s fine as well. But you’d think if you made a third one, you’re gonna at least try to make some progress as a filmmaker, even within this limited scope of American Pie.

Geezer: They’re still riding on the same little formulas. I noticed in the third one that they did a rehash of a plot that happened in the first between lacrosse star Oz and Heather — he started out being all crass and chauvinistic with a plot to undermine this choir girl and ends up falling in love with her.

Weezer: He also ends up not being a jerk anymore.

Geezer: Even within these movies I’ve found that there’re little nuggets of educational truths. [A disapproving expression appears on Weezer’s face] I think that helps the films. Like in Wedding, it was between Stifler (Seann William Scott) and Michelle’s sister Cadence (January Jones). Stifler’s too crass, too unbelievable; I’d call him one-dimensional, still stuck in the high school mentality and spouting lines like, “Well polish my nuts and serve me a milkshake!” They made up for Stifler’s character by throwing him in a gay bar.

Weezer: Jim’s getting mature, he’s getting on with his life, so as his maturity increases, Stifler’s stupidity level needs to increase as well because he has to balance them out. Yeah, he got way dumbed down. He’s making up for the lack of the other character’s lines. You don’t have some of the other interesting characters that were in the first two (Wedding is missing Oz the jock, Heather the choirgirl, the Shermanator and Nadia the foreign exchange student, among others). So, since they lost characters — that depth of the high school — since it’s not like a nice tit ...

Geezer: What was that?

Weezer: A Freudian slip. Tight-knit group of friends, oh geez.

Geezer: But by far, the constant treat throughout the trilogy is Eugene Levy as Jim’s dad.

Weezer: He’s really good in the first one, because he is the “high school” father. He’s so subtle that it’s almost absurd.

Geezer: I didn’t leave the theater feeling like somebody had ripped two hours away from my life, but I don’t want to give it more credit than it’s due.

Weezer: Yeah, there’ve been some comedies where I’ve laughed in the theater, and then leaving been like, ugh, that was $8.50? I was in good spirits coming out of the theater.

Bruno Tysh (Weezer) is a recent high school graduate. Anita Schmaltz (our guest Geezer this week, though she’s more of a Squeezer) is a frequent Metro Times contributor. E-mail them at [email protected].