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THE WEDDING SINGER
Totally Awesome Edition

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars:  Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor
Director:  Franc Coraci
Audio:  Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Video:  Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio:  New Line
Features:  See Review
Length:  100 Minutes
Release Date:  April 25, 2006

“I have a microphone and you don’t…

So YOU WILL LISTEN TO EVERY DAMN WORD I HAVE TO SAY!!”

Film ***

The Wedding Singer will mean the most to those of us who were teenagers during the 80s.  The number of references and inside jokes will keep you howling.  My personal favorite was the very brief scene of Drew Barrymore trying to sing along to the German words of “99 Luftballons”.  True, the film takes place in 1985, so the reference to J.R. getting shot is a few years late, but what are we gonna do, cry about it?

Adam Sandler plays Robbie, an aspiring rock singer who still dreams for the big time while living in his sister’s basement and playing a regular gig as a wedding singer.  Julia (Barrymore) is a sweet new waitress who often works the same banquets as Robbie.  Both are engaged:  Robbie to a girl that’s about to wreck his life, and Julia to a self-centered goombah who’s watched a few too many episodes of Miami Vice.

Plotwise, what we have here has been seen before. The audience realizes that Robby and Julia are perfect for each other long before they do, and you know before it's all over with, they will have just missed each other several times, but can be pretty sure it will all work out in the end. This is reminiscent of a lot of those Astaire/Rogers films of the 30s and 40s, minus the dancing and plus Sandler's outrageous takes on 80s songs.

But what makes this movie work is that it's funny, and has in Adam and Drew two very sweet and appealing leads. In fact, this is the most likeable character Adam Sandler has ever played. You are willing to go along with an all too familiar plot because you actually do care about these people.  Their chemistry together is so winning (here and again in 50 First Dates) that maybe they should be a couple in real life.

With this Totally Awesome Edition, you get a three minute longer film, though to be honest, I didn’t really spot what was extra about it.  Needless to say, despite the new “unrated” tag, there’s nothing added to it to push it over the line.  So whether or not you want to invest in this release over your old copy may depend on how you feel about the features (more on that further down).

The Wedding Singer is vivacious, low brainwave fun.  Some may call it familiar, but I prefer to think of it as comfortable.  Billy Idol gets it…why not the rest of us?

BONUS TRIVIA:  Keep your eye out for Sandler’s former Saturday Night Live mates Kevin Nealon and Jon Lovitz in small roles.  Chaka Khan!!

Video ****

This is a beautiful anamorphic transfer from New Line that perfectly replicates the colorful 80s in all their bawdy and bad taste glory.  The tones are rich and bright, with strong detail level throughout, and no noticeable grain or compression to interfere.

Audio ****

How often do you get to hear 80s hits in DTS?  With this disc, you can and more.  Yes, it’s the music that’s the real treat, but there’s so much of it and it’s all so much fun, I have to give this mix props. 

Features **

Not much in the way of extras…just an ability to navigate the movie by song, a trailer, and a look at the upcoming Wedding Singer musical.

Summary:

It’s light, it’s fluffy, it won’t change the world, but it puts a smile on my face every time, and sometimes, that’s good enough.  I’ll gladly raise a toast to The Wedding Singer any day of the week.

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