The Wedding Singer. Dare I say it is pitch perfect? I still remember how excited I was when I saw the preview for this movie playing in the theater, and for once I was not disappointed when I went to see it, because unlike most comedies, all the best parts weren’t in the preview already. Then when it came out on video I borrowed the laserdisc from the video store where I worked and made a taped copy, and watched it every day for at least two weeks. This is Adam Sandler’s best movie by far, and depending on my mood, either this or When Harry Met Sally is my favorite romantic comedy.
Sandler plays Robbie Hart, the wedding singer. He and his band play covers for wedding receptions at the country club. From the time he was a little boy, when his parents died, Robbie has been looking forward to his own marriage and a family. Sadly, he is jilted at the altar by Linda, who is a bitch. She can’t imagine herself being married to a wedding singer, because when she fell in love with Robbie it was the late 70s and he was the lead singer of Final Warning. Robbie’s new coworker, Julia (Drew Barrymore) is in a similar situation, being engaged to a jerk named Glenn who doesn’t seem at all serious about setting a date for their wedding. Obviously you know where this is going, but it’s a cute story packed with wacky and absurd dialogue. There’s stupid humor here as in Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, but there’s even real emotion conveyed, mostly from Barrymore. I find it moving when she says, “I am SO in love with you.” The loneliness monologue from best friend Allen Covert in the bar scene is a standout too.
I told you yesterday how much I live for the moment when Robbie’s nephew calls Aunt Linda a bitch. I say that in that voice to my cat all the time. But there are other moments. I haven’t been able to sing the real lyrics to “Holiday” or “Love Stinks” in over 20 years. My husband loves to say “good luck finding a (fill in the blank) who can move and shake like THIS” and in addition to doing that move he likes to do the little dance that Glenn did when he said, “I got punched in the face for sticking my nose in other people’s business.” I actually think playing Glenn might have ruined Matthew Glave’s career, because he was so good at being the villain. But the number one favorite line in our household is a little throwaway line known as, “They were CONES!” Anything that rhymes with “cones” gets said in that voice, especially “scones.”
There’s only one problem I have with this entire movie, and that’s the issue that Drew Barrymore as Julia doesn’t have stupid enough 80s hair for my taste. When I was younger I assumed it was because Drew the A-lister had to be hotter than everyone else in the movie and wouldn’t deign to have a mullet, and to be fair she is really hot, but in recent years I’ve come to believe that Julia is the kind of girl who wouldn’t follow fashion to its extremes like her cousin Holly. Being in her mid 20s in 1985, Julia would have been a teenager in the 70s, and would still be into that sort of laid-back hippie inspired style. That’s my headcanon, anyway.
Of course, I couldn’t review a movie with a soundtrack of the quality that The Wedding Singer has without adding a little cover song of my own. This is the ultimate karaoke movie, when you think about it, and I have been known to utter the phrase “I have the microphone and you don’t so you will listen to every damn word I have to say” more times than I can count. When I was recording this song, I even did the little dance back and forth from one foot to the other that Eddie Murphy called “the white people dance” in one of his classic standups. I think you can hear me doing it. I never knew what on earth most of the lyrics of this song were until I saw them on the screen today!