The Wedding Singer

The Wedding Singer
The Wedding Singer
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Rating: 6.9 out of 10
Length: 95 minutes
Release Date: February 13, 1998
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Genre: Comedy / Romance


OVERVIEW – The Wedding Singer

“The Wedding Singer” is the first of three feature films starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore as romantic leads. The movie is set in suburban Ridgefield, N.J., in 1985, so the movie is full of hilarious and ironic references to the 1980s. Sandler plays Robbie Hart, an aspiring singer who regularly takes part-time gigs at local weddings with his band. Barrymore plays his love interest Julia, a waitress new in town who is engaged to Wall Street junk bond trader Glenn Guglia (Matthew Glave).

The movie starts with Robbie happy in love with his bride-to-be Linda (Angela Featherstone). After she leaves him at the altar on their wedding day, the wedding singer’s job tanks as Robbie’s dedications to newlyweds turn into sob stories about broken hearts and betrayal. Julia consoles him, and the two become instant friends. Since Robbie has plenty of time on his hands now, Julia asks him to help plan her wedding to Glenn, since she’s a new girl in town.

Robbie has several great tips for the bride-to-be, which further endears him to Julia. The funniest moment in the process comes when Julia needs to pick a wedding singer and the auditions don’t go well, as Jimmie More (Jon Lovitz) happily lauds Robbie for all the business he’s gotten since Linda left him. Julia says Jimmie inspires her to hire a DJ.

Despite all of Robbie’s growing feelings for Julia, he realizes she’s meant for Glenn until he sees the groom-to-be on a double date. At this point, Glenn admits privately to Robbie he’s been cheating on Julia and plans to do so even after their wedding.

Robbie’s best friend Sammy (Allen Covert) tells him to confess his feelings for Julia. When the wedding singer sees the future bride in her bedroom window seemingly happy to marry Glenn, Robbie goes to the local bar and gets drunk. Robbie confronts Glenn outside the bar only to get punched in the nose for standing up for Julia.

Linda returns later that night to tell Robbie she can work through her issues. The next morning, Julia comes over to Robbie’s place to deliver handmade sheet music for his songwriting career. Linda is still there and claims to be Robbie’s fiancée. Julia leaves the house heartbroken and agrees to marry Glenn in Las Vegas immediately. Meanwhile, Robbie ends things with Linda for good.

After singing at a friend’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration, Robbie learns of Julia’s plans and rushes to the airport to pursue her. The newly-inspired wedding singer ends up on the exact same plane and sings a love song over the intercom to Julia. The pair kiss and then wed.

The funniest parts of “The Wedding Singer” include references to the 1980s that characters seem to get wrong. Robbie tells Linda to take off his Van Halen T-shirt before she jinxes the band and they break up. Eddie Van Halen ended up leaving the band in 1985, the year in which the movie is set. The wedding photography studio owner proclaims Robbie and Julia will make it like Donald and Ivana, Woody and Burt and Lonnie. All three of those high-powered couples ended up divorced in real life. One of the singers in Robbie’s band is a take on the cross-dressing Boy George who can’t seem to please an audience singing solo.

Robbie’s hilarious song about his love for Linda was written both before and after their break up. “Somebody Kill Me” starts out cute and cuddly before turning into hardcore rock. The end of the song features Sandler screaming the line, “Somebody kill me please!” Sandler co-wrote the song himself.

Covert is the best supporting cast member as Robbie’s limo-driving best friend Sammy. Covert’s delivery of every line is perfect, including the awkward moment where Robbie tells Julia that Sammy wanted to “give it to her” from the first moment he saw her. Sammy’s desperation to get Julia’s business as her wedding limo driver is poignant when he takes his ride through a police-like obstacle course under a certain time.

Sandler’s comedic timing is also top-notch as “The Wedding Singer” marked the pinnacle of the comedian’s popularity among moviegoers and critics. After one of Glenn’s buddies blatantly brings up Linda’s actions on her wedding day, Sandler delivers the deadpan line, “My parents died when I was ten. Would you like to talk about that?”

Guest cameos from Christina Pickles, Kevin Nealon, Steve Buscemi and Billy Idol make “The Wedding Singer” a perfect homage to the 1980s. Moviegoers agreed and spent more than $123 million worldwide to see the film in theaters. “The Wedding Singer” preceded “50 First Dates” and “Blended,” all starring Barrymore and Sandler, a partnership that continues to be profitable.

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