Reviewed by: Brian Nigro
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Steve Buscemi, Allen Covert, Ellen Albertini Dow, Angela Featherstone, Matthew Glave, Billy Idol, Adam Sandler, Christine Taylor / Director: Frank Coraci / Released by: New Line Cinema
“The Wedding Singer” is yet another movie that gives away the entire plot—hook, line, and sinker—in its previews. Anyone curious what happens after Drew Barrymore bumps a dinner plate into a wedding guest’s head, after Adam Sandler barks at the father of the bride’s criticisms of his singing, and the two fall head over heels over each other? Not much. There’s nothing in the two-hour “Wedding Singer” that’s not in its thirty-second capsule summary—except for sufficient vulgarity and innuendo.
For what it’s worth, this is a much better treatment of the 1980’s than the two high school reunion movies last year. There is a great soundtrack here, featuring mounds and mounds of retro. One of the better movie soundtracks in quite a long time, in this reviewer’s estimation—and yet, does the soundtrack enhance the movie, or vice versa? (There’s a great version of “Video Killed The Radio Star” that plays over the end credits, so most people will miss that.)
Christian audiences should be aware that one of wedding singer Robbie’s band members is an androgynous spectacle named George—as in Boy George and Culture Club. Whenever Robbie takes a break, George (played by Alexis Arquette) grabs the mike and sings “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me.” At every wedding, at every bar mitzvah, that’s his signature song—and the joke wears real thin.
The romantic triangle of “The Wedding Singer” isn’t much different than that of “Titanic”. Julia (Drew Barrymore) is engaged to a chauvanistic pig Glenn (Matthew Clave), but she really likes Robbie (Adam Sandler). The only difference is, the movie is Robbie’s point of view. (And, how chauvanistic is Glenn? He openly brags to Robbie that he’ll cheat on Julia. Nice guy, huh?)
A trend I see in Adam Sandler’s movies is genuine respect for the elderly. In “Happy Gilmore”, he won a golf tournament for his grandmother. In “The Wedding Singer”, he helps a senior with her singing lessons—it’s too bad this senior has some sleazy one-liners, but she’s still a likable character. Probably the most likable character in the whole movie.
“The Wedding Singer” is rated PG-13 for a few instances of profanity, all too frequent vulgarity and much innuendo. This easily could have been rated R. Generally not recommended, with the possible exception of anyone getting married (or related to someone who is.)