Is there really that much of a difference between Moliere and the American Pie films? Possibly. Farce is damned hard to do, and even harder to do well, it is to their credit that the American Pie films are rarely content in setting up the situation and leaving it to play itself out. Instead the joy is supposedly in watching its surprisingly neurotic young cast twitching to get out of it.

In American Pie: The Wedding our hero Jim is finally marrying his intended Michelle. This rises to a situation where a batchelor party is organised without his knowledge which. to cut a long story short involves a couple of strippers juxtaposed with Jim’s parents-in-law, and farce ensues. Except there is absolutely nothing at all realistic about the set up. Anyone who is aware of the rules of stag nights or even batchelor parties would be hard pushed to find a worse venue than the groom’s parents house. Even so, I would expect my friends to make a bit of an effort beyond just debauching themselves for a couple of strippers without even ensuring the person whose party they are throwing is even coming. The surprise party is after all a staple of the farce, but how do you feel the groom is going to feel when only four people, including himself are invited.

This weakness here is in the set up, once we are three steps ahead of the characters working out what will happen the now quite experienced cast act with aplomb. It is a pity that this series of films has got this lazy (not that the set up for the pie fucking in the first film was ever sophisticated). AP: The Wedding is otherwise a return to the form of the first film, which managed to marry gross-out humour with relatively conservative homilies about our hypersexualised society. The main flaw is Alison Hannigan’s Michelle, previously allowed all sorts of filth as the nymphomaniac is given next to nothing to do. But then in making marriage sacrosanct the film can only rely on the biggest star of its cast Sean William Scott* who not only graduates to lead character but is unfortuantely made over from homophobic bore to touchy-feely ballroom dancing hero. We may see another Ameircan Pie – but I would be surprised if we see Stifler again. Both because has developed to become likeable, and because SWS is probably too big a star now.

*If you are not supposed to trust anyone with two first names, how about someone with three!