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WEDDING SINGER, THE

SYNOPSIS:
It's 1985 and Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) is a struggling songwriter who earns a living as a popular wedding singer. Engaged to marry his girlfriend Linda (Angela Featherstone), he meets a new friend, Julia (Drew Barrymore), who's just completed her first day as a wedding waitress. She’s getting married as well, and they're both happy for each other. However, Linda dumps Robbie on their wedding day, and Robbie falls apart. He retreats to his bedroom but is talked into performing at another wedding by his concerned best friend, Sammy (Allen Covert), a wedding limo driver. Overtaken by grief and anger, Robbie's performance is horrendous and he decides from then on only to perform at non-marital events such as bar mitzvahs. Meanwhile, Julia can't get her fiancé, Glenn (Matthew Glave), to help in any of their wedding plans, so she turns to Robbie and her friend, Holly (Christine Taylor). As Robbie helps with Julia's preparations, their friendship begins to turn into something more. This confuses Robbie, especially as he discovers that Glenn is an uncaring, philandering scumbag. Robbie and Julia try to sort out their feelings for each other.

"It’s mushy and funny, slobbery and predictable but gee I like it. This is My Best Friend’s Wedding territory with a Middle American feel, a setup we recognise but done so well that we forgive its predictability and its weaknesses, so we can go along with it - and suspend our cynicism as required. Mainstream romantic comedies always make the man about to marry the heroine a real dummy, an arsehole or a wimp: this makes the heroine look stupid and unrecognisable as the smart, sassy girl she really is with Mr Right – our hero. While this film falls into the same trap, it manages to rescue itself with its big heart. And the key to the film’s heart is Sandler and Barrymore, whose performances are so deeply real that the mulchy icing becomes acceptable. Sandler in particular, makes the thing work: he takes an understated approach to his character, which is a counterpoint to the histrionics of the script. This is either brilliant, instinctive acting, terrific directing or a lucky strike. Either way, it works. The key to good film comedy is drama and the reality of the characters: filmmakers sometimes forget this. Not this time. While all of it is commercial Hollywood, it is entertaining, effective, commercial Hollywood, because you can sense that decent human beings are the role models."
Andrew L. Urban

"There’s a fresh naiveté and a lively energy to this delightful romantic comedy, making it compelling, enjoyable entertainment. The Wedding Singer is a splendid showcase for Adam Sandler, who takes every opportunity to display his not unconsiderable talents in comedy, music and acting. Sandler effortlessly and seamlessly intertwines these talents with much gusto and charisma. Drew Barrymore is luminous as Julia: she lights up the screen with an engaging vivacity and vulnerability, her heart on her sleeve. Barrymore’s performance at times reminds me of a young Joan Fontaine, her face revealing a myriad of intricate emotions and thoughts. There’s plenty of chemistry and sizzle between the two leads, and the simple plot, kept so with clever scripting, is well paced. Steve Buscemi’s cameo as the tipsy, obnoxious best man, is most entertaining, while Alexis Arquette (Boy George-esque) is a hoot. Watch out too for Billy Idol, looking very Billy Idol-like. The comedy is cleverly devised - using music, characters and plot developments to raise the laughs. It’s farce, stand up and situation comedy all rolled into one delightful smile. There are moments of absurdity, revelations of human weakness, unabashed romanticism and sentimentality, all proficiently blended together to bring plenty of laughs and a few touching moments. With a music soundtrack guaranteed to make your toes tap and take you back to the 80s, The Wedding Singer is a sparkling, feel-good film that could well be the hit of the season."
Louise Keller

"At last, here's an Adam Sandler film you need not be embarrassed about seeing or even recommending, but then perhaps that's because Adam Sandler has decided to play a character, not just a comic buffoon that belittles his obvious talents. Weddings bring out the best in writers, and The Wedding Singer works its razor sharp script of observed characters, beautifully helmed by director Frank Coraci. In the mid-eighties, Reagan was President, the CD player was just seeing the light of day, Billy Idol, Culture Club, David Bowie and newcomer Madonna, musically represented a new sexually progressive society in the midst of American conservatism. In 1985, there was also a sense of naive romanticism in the air, and it's this that is captured which such seamless comedic charm, in The Wedding Singer. It's a period romantic comedy, and all aspects are captured beautifully. Sandler is a charming romantic, and in this film he gives a delightful and insightful performance, both brazenly funny and yet simplistically human. Drew Barrymore is surprisingly effective as the pretty waitress who finds out she's in love with a moron, while Alexis Arquette is a scream as a member of Robby's band who thinks of himself as an alternative Boy George. But it's the film's cameos that steal the picture, from a brilliant Steve Buscemi as the Best Man from hell, to Billy Idol who does a splendid turn in the film's funniest sequence. The Wedding Singer is a joy from go to whoa, an unexpected delight that takes simplicity and turns it into rare gold, with a soundtrack that may remind some of the good old days."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 3
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0
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WEDDING SINGER, THE (M)
(US)

CAST: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor, Allen Covert, Matthew Glave, Ellen Albertini Dow, Angela Featherstone, Alexis Arquette, Christina Pickles, Jon Lovitz, Steve Buscemi, Kevin Nealon, Billy Idol

DIRECTOR: Frank Coraci

PRODUCER: Robert Simonds, Jack Giarraputo

SCRIPT: Tim Herlihy

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tim Suhrstedt

EDITOR: Tom Lewis

MUSIC: Teddy Castellucci

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Perry Andelin Blake

RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 16, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: June 14, 1999
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

RRP: $24.95







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