Saturday, January 2, 2016

Movie Review: "The Wedding Singer" (1998)

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Movie"The Wedding Singer"
Director: Frank Coraci
Year: 1998
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) is a professional wedding singer and is just about to take the plunge into wedlock himself, but when his bride Linda (Angela Featherstone) leaves him stranded at the alter, he has a bit of a breakdown and starts to hate love, believing he will die old and alone. Julia (Drew Barrymore) is a waitress at the banquet hall where Robbie often performs, and after a long engagement, is about to get married to a bonds broker named Glen (Matthew Glave). She makes friends with Robbie and asks him to help plan her wedding since he knows the town, has experience with such things, and knows a lot of people very well. While helping her out, Robbie starts to fall for Julia. When Robbie finds out Glen is less than faithful to Julia, he is unsure whether or not to tell her as he doesn't want her to be heartbroken as well. Little does he know, Julia may be already falling for him as well. 

Sometimes, it's nice to look back on the good ol' days when Adam Sandler could actually be in and produce a halfway decent, enjoyable movie. Some may disagree with us and claim Sandler has never made a good film, but we shockingly have to disagree. If you go back and read our reviews of his other works, it is painfully apparent we have not been fans of Sandler since the early 2000's. His last good comedy was "Little Nicky," and even that movie is pushing it. There is a definitive line in his career where he clearly stopped giving a shit, and this line comes in somewhere around the first "Grown Ups" film in 2010. Before all of this, at one of the higher points in his career many moons ago, he teamed up with Drew Barrymore in this romantic comedy and spoof of the 1980's in all its glory, and we're not ashamed to say we love this film. Sandler and Barrymore actually have believable, excellent chemistry together and have gone on to pair up a couple more times, though with dwindling results. "The Wedding Singer" is by far their best pairing and is one of our favorite Sandler movies. Adam Sandler plays Robbie Hart, a wedding singer who has always dreamt of getting married and settling down with a family. He falls into a depression when his fiance Linda, played by Angela Featherstone, leaves him at the alter and stabs him in the heart. He gets out of his depression through a new found friendship with Julia, played by Drew Barrymore, who has just recently set a date for her wedding after a very long engagement. As he helps her prepare for her wedding, the two begin to fall for each other, and her fiance Glen is a douchey, unfaithful Don Johnson wannabe, so there's really no worries there.

In terms of plot, this movie is essentially just like any of the other romcoms coming before or after it, but we really don't mind that it's not big on surprises. The dialogue is good enough and the acting is fine. What this film does exceedingly well is it captures the look and feel of the 80's as mullets and other cultural references are plentiful and hilarious. Everyone on screen has great rapport with one another and all of the characters feel like they belong. Some people will dismiss it right off the bat because it's an Adam Sandler flick, but don't. Make up your own mind and see for yourself. It is corny as hell at times, but what can we say, we love every minute of it and could probably recite it word for word if we tried. It is filled with a lot of covers of some greatest songs of the 80's, as well as a couple funny Sandler originals, one of which is extremely memorable and cutesy.

In the end, "The Wedding Singer" is a sweet film, plain and simple. It's got a lot of laughs and a lot of heart that never feels forced or phony. It's simply a good time and provides a nice trip down memory lane before Adam Sandler became so rich enough that he stopped caring.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 67%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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