Posted on July 29, 2003 at 7:21 pm
Okay, I admit it — I laughed. A lot. Even more surprising, I smiled.
I was even a little sorry that this is the last of the
For anyone who has not been to a movie in a few years, let me remind you that the humor of this movie as raunchy as it gets, and then some. There is not a bodily function or a sexual practice that is not made fun of in some excruciatingly humiliating way in these movies. But while that is part of their appeal to young audiences, for whom it is a reassuring release to laugh at these uncomfortable topics, that is not the reason for their success. Many, many other films made the mistake of thinking that gross-out humor was enough. What makes these movies different is that at their heart is, well, heart. Once again, as in the first two movies, there is a lot of talk about sex and a lot of attempts to have sex, but the sex that actually occurs is almost entirely respectful, monogamous, and really quite sweet. And once again the best part is Eugene Levy as the least hip (but most loving) father in the world.
In the original movie, Jim (Jason Biggs) and his friends make a commitment to have sex by graduation. He tries to get together with a beautiful exchange student named Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), he ends up with band camp nerd Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), who turns out to be surprisingly ardent and adventuresome. In the second, they take a beach house for the summer with plans to have a lot of sex in it. Jim again tries to get together with Nadia, but again ends up with Michelle, originally so that he can learn how to be a better lover, but ultimately because he realizes that he loves her.
In this installment, they have graduated from college and Jim, who continues to be a magnet for humiliation, proposes to Michelle. All of the preparations for the wedding, from finding the perfect dress to meeting the new in-laws, to the bachelor party to the big day, provide opportunities for wild adventures that include more conventional set-ups for humor like a dance-off in a gay bar and a personality switch as the irrepressible id Stifler pretends to be a sweet, polite, preppy and philosopher Finch pretends to be an obnoxious bad boy. But mostly it is just a series of humiliating escapades as the straight-laced in-laws walk in on what appears to be Jim having sex with another man and some dogs, a bachelor party that involves strippers, a guy in bondage, and some very revealing leather pants, a character unexpectedly ends up having sex with an elderly lady, and yet another dessert is destroyed by Jim. As in all classic sex farces, the outrageous situations are really a morality tale — the good are rewarded and the naughty are punished.
Parents should know that this is an exuberantly outrageous movie with humor that is good-hearted but extremely explicit. There are jokes about every body part and function and about every kind of sexual practice, heterosexual and homosexual, including oral sex, mild S&M, and the use of sex toys. The language is extremely strong, with non-stop swearwords and exceptionally explicit sexual references. A character moons the others. A character has sex with someone thinking it is someone else. Stifler once again ingests a substance for gross-out effect, this time not even human. There is social drinking. The issue of religious intermarriage is raised when one family member objects, but everyone else is completely supportive. As in the previous movies, the female characters are exceptionally honest, open, and in charge of their sexuality for movies directed at this age group (or any age group).
Families who see this movie should talk about which gender or generation in this movie understands the other one best. And they should talk about Jim’s supportive father, and possible ways he might improve the way he shows his support. Families might also want to talk about the importance of selecting sexual partners with whom they can share truly intimate moments.
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