I’ve spoken before about how a lot of people in the film world seemed to lose sight of what their fans want from them, churning out shit that is a far cry from their former glory. I think no one in Hollywood currently exemplifies this phenomenon more than Adam Sandler. He rose to fame playing overgrown children with a heart of gold. This most recent string of movies still has him playing immature buffoons, but the charm is gone. His characters now tend to be rich and have a hot wife, it’s like he no longer knows how to be the lovable Robbie Hart anymore, but we’ll always have The Wedding Singer to remind us of how great he used to be.
Robbie Hart (Sandler) knows how to make others’ wedding magical as the hottest wedding singer in his New Jersey town, but when it comes time for his own nuptials, he’s left at the altar by his fiancé Linda. Robbie is devastated and is ready to quit performing weddings and never leave his sister’s basement again, but agrees to help his new friend Julia (Drew Barrymore in her most adorable role) plan her wedding. As Julia’s wedding approaches, the two fall in love.
While the movie is supposed to be set in 1985, the references are all over the place. There was clearly no research done to make sure the time was consistent. You can picture the writers asking each other “Hey, what else happened in the 80s?” There’s also a few moments where math doesn’t add up, as if they decided to put it in the past late in the writing process, but it gives the movie a very carefree feeling. The whole movie is just pure fun and the cast has great chemistry, especially Sandler and Barrymore.
What makes this movie different from every other one Sandler has starred in, is that he plays real person who could actually function in the real world. Robbie Hart is more intelligent than Billy Madison, his anger is more under control than Happy Madison, and he’s more mature than Sonny from Big Daddy. Sandler’s characters tend to have a hard edge somewhere and that’s missing here. Also, his love interests tend to be lesser names, while Barrymore is one of the queens of the romantic comedy genre. By having to strengthen the Julia character, you allow a deeper connection between her and Sandler’s Robbie and therefore a sweeter love story. This is also the first Sandler love interest to have an established life outside of him. We meet Julia’s mother, she has a best friend in her cousin Holly (Christine Taylor) who may be easy but is far from a villain. It sounds like a simple thing, but more often than not, the love interest is devoid of any characteristics other than be perfect for the lead.
While not an intellectual film, it’s among my favorite romantic comedies. The humor is laugh out loud without being crass or vulgar and while the love story is a bit predictable, it’s enjoyable throughout. When Sandler’s latest comes out next month, I would say skip it, stay home and watch The Wedding Singer again.
Robbie: Well, I have a microphone, and you don’t, SO YOU WILL LISTEN TO EVERY DAMN WORD I HAVE TO SAY!