The Wedding Singer
|The Wedding Singer|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Frank Coraci|
|Written by||Tim Herlihy|
|Music by||Teddy Castellucci|
|Edited by||Tom Lewis|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$123.3 million|
The Wedding Singer is a 1998 American romantic comedy film written by Tim Herlihy and directed by Frank Coraci. It stars Adam Sandler as a wedding singer in the 1980s and Drew Barrymore as a waitress with whom he falls in love. It was produced by Robert Simonds for US$18 million and grossed $80.2 million in the United States and $123.3 million worldwide. It was a box office hit and critically acclaimed with many calling it Sandler's best movie. Many have praised the chemistry of him and Barrymore.
In 1985, Robbie Hart is a nice, charming and entertaining wedding singer from Ridgefield, New Jersey. He is engaged to his long-time girlfriend, Linda, who fell in love with him when he dreamed of becoming a rock star. He meets and befriends a waitress, Julia Sullivan, at the reception hall where she is newly employed. She is engaged to businessman Glenn Gulia and he promises to sing at their wedding.
On Robbie's wedding day, his sister Kate tells him that Linda has changed her mind about the wedding, leaving him emotionally devastated and humiliated. Later that day, Linda visits Robbie and she reveals that she stopped loving him when she found out that he lost his ambitions of being a rock star and instead became a wedding singer. She tells him that after talking to her friends, she realizes she can't continue lying to herself and ends their relationship. He tries to move on with his life, but despair hinders his performances. Julia tries to cheer him up and later asks him to help her plan her own wedding. He eventually agrees and their friendship blossoms. While Robbie spends more time with Julia, he begins to realize just how shallow Linda is. During a double date between Julia and Glenn, and Julia's cousin, Holly, Robbie learns that Glenn frequently cheats on Julia and does not plan to stop after they get married.
Julia and Robbie are increasingly confused by their deepening feelings for each other. He tells her he has plans to retire from singing and pursue a more conventional career, thinking that will impress her. She becomes angry with him when he accuses her of marrying Glenn for his money. Dismayed, he meets his friend Sammy at a bar and says he's just going to have fun with women from now on, but Sammy says he's not really happy and those kinds of guys are doomed, so Robbie goes to tell Julia how he feels. Meanwhile, Julia confides in her mother that she has fallen out of love with Glenn and has developed feelings for Robbie, and bursts into tears thinking about becoming Mrs. Glenn Gulia. When Robbie arrives to confess his feelings, he sees her through her bedroom window in her wedding dress, while she happily looks in a mirror, pretending she has just married Robbie, but he assumes she is thinking of Glenn.
Heartbroken, Robbie leaves to get drunk and finds Glenn in the midst of his pre-bachelor party. After a heated exchange, he punches Robbie and proceeds to mock him. An intoxicated Robbie goes home and finds Linda waiting for him and wanting to reconcile. He passes out, but the following morning, she answers the door and introduces herself as his fiancée to a crestfallen Julia. She runs to Glenn, wanting to be married immediately. He happily offers to take her to Las Vegas.
Robbie awakens and after shaking off his hangover from the previous night, tells Linda that it's over and kicks her out. Then he attends the 50th wedding anniversary party of his neighbor Rosie (to whom he has been giving singing lessons). Realizing he wants to grow old with Julia, with Rosie's encouragement, he decides to pursue Julia. Just then, Holly arrives and asks him if he is still with Linda. He reveals he ended it with her and learns of Julia's plans to marry Glenn. He, Sammy, and Holly rush to the airport, where he gets a first class ticket to Las Vegas. After telling his story to an empathetic audience in first class, which includes Billy Idol, he learns that Glenn and Julia are on the same flight after a female flight attendant informs everyone that Glenn said the same terms he said about Julia while trying to seduce her. With the help of Billy and the flight crew, over the loudspeaker, he sings a song he has written called "Grow Old With You," dedicated to Julia. As Robbie approaches Julia singing, Glenn tries to attack him only to be blocked by Billy Idol and a flight attendant. When Glenn threatens Billy, a burly Billy Idol fan forces Glenn down the aisle while the same female flight attendant he tried seducing earlier shoves him into the lavatory. Robbie and Julia admit their love for each other, and share a kiss after Billy informs him that he liked the song and plans to tell his record company executives about him.
The film ends as the scene fades to Robbie and Julia kissing at their wedding, at which Dave Veltri performs as the new wedding singer.
Cast and characters
- Adam Sandler as Robbie Hart
- Drew Barrymore as Julia Sullivan
- Christine Taylor as Holly Sullivan
- Jodi Thelen as Kate Hart
- Allen Covert as Sammy
- Angela Featherstone as Linda
- Matthew Glave as Glenn Gulia
- Ellen Albertini Dow as Rosie
- Alexis Arquette as George Stitzer (a reference to Boy George; reprised as Georgina in Blended)
- Christina Pickles as Angie Sullivan
- Frank Sivero as Andy
- Billy Idol as himself
- Kevin Nealon as Mr. Simms
- Steven Brill as Glenn's buddy
- Steve Buscemi (uncredited) as David Veltri
- Peter Dante as David's friend
- Jon Lovitz (uncredited) as Jimmie Moore
- Brian Posehn (uncredited) as Man at Dining Table #9
- Michael Shuman as The Bar Mitzvah Boy
- Robert Smigel as Andre
- Chauntal Lewis (uncredited) as Stuck-Up Girl at Bar Mitzvah
Differences between Film and Musical
- The film establishes that Robbie lives with his sister, Kate, and her family. In the musical, none of those characters exist and he lives with his grandmother, Rosie.
- In the film, Robbie meets Julia while escorting a drunk kid outside to throw up in the dumpster and later warning him of the dangers of alcohol consumption. In the musical, he meets Julia while trying to write a corny love song for Linda.
- Unlike in the musical, Glenn and Julia have been engaged for two years before Glenn finally set the date for the wedding.
- Unlike in the musical, Rosie is just an old friend and neighbor of Robbie's whose 50th anniversary convinces him to pursue Julia.
- In the film, Linda doesn't appear in the wedding and later visits Robbie to break up with him for his lost ambition. In the musical, she dumps him over his lost ambition via a Dear John.
- In the film, it's the bride's enraged family who throws Robbie in the dumpster after offending everyone with his thoughts and singing Love Stinks. In the musical, it's the enraged groom and guests that throw him out.
- Unlike in the musical, Robbie seeks employment from an unrelated bank and gets reprimanded by Julia who gives him a blank sheet notebook to write music in.
- In the film, Robbie's older nephew makes him see how much he's throwing away his musical talent. In the musical, it's Julia who calls him out and wanted him to continue singing at weddings.
- Unlike the musical in which he is part of Robbie's band and has a white trash personality, Sammy is portrayed in a more positive light. Although he's a limousine driver, Sammy is quite lonely for female companionship.
- In the film, Sammy stops Robbie from pursuing the single life by revealing it's not a great as it looks and convinces him to tell Julia right away. In the musical, he and George tries to convince Robbie to remain single before doing the right thing and tell Julia.
- Unlike in the musical, Robbie intercepts Julia and Glenn upon learning they're on the same flight to Las Vegas.
- In the film after a heated confrontation with Glenn over his cheating on Julia, a drunk Robbie comes home to find Linda outside his sister's lawn wanting to reconcile with him. In the musical, it's in his bed that he finds her.
- In the film, Billy Idol, is the real Billy Idol who helps Robbie subdue Glenn with the help of a male steward and a burly fan of his. In the musical, "Billy Idol" is an impersonator who along with his other impersonators helps Robbie break up Glenn and Julia's wedding.
- Unlike in the musical's end, Dave Veltri is the new wedding singer who performs at Robbie and Julia's wedding.
- In the film, Sammy and Holly realize their feelings for each other. In the musical, they're seen as broken up and still care for each other.
The film received generally positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 71% based on reviews from 61 critics, with an average rating of 6.1/10, saying that "It's decidedly uneven -- and surprisingly sappy for an early Adam Sandler comedy -- but The Wedding Singer is also sweet, funny, and beguiling. 
Two soundtrack albums for the film, called The Wedding Singer and The Wedding Singer Volume 2, were released, both in 1998. It contained many scenes of singing at weddings, with songs performed by its cast. The soundtrack albums, for the most part, contained the original versions of these songs instead, as well as songs that were in the background during it and original songs and dialogue from it. Only for "Rapper's Delight" was its rendition (by Ellen Dow), used, in combination with the original recording.
The track listing of the first album is:
- "Video Killed the Radio Star" (originally performed by The Buggles), performed by The Presidents of the United States of America
- "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", performed by Culture Club
- "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", performed by The Police
- "How Soon Is Now?", performed by The Smiths
- "Love My Way", performed by The Psychedelic Furs
- "Hold Me Now", performed by Thompson Twins
- "Everyday I Write the Book", performed by Elvis Costello
- "White Wedding", performed by Billy Idol
- "China Girl", performed by David Bowie
- "Blue Monday", performed by New Order
- "Pass the Dutchie", performed by Musical Youth
- "Have You Written Anything Lately?"
- "Somebody Kill Me", written by Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy, performed by Adam Sandler
- "Rapper's Delight" (medley), performed by Sugarhill Gang and Ellen Dow
The track listing of the second album is:
- "Too Shy", performed by Kajagoogoo
- "It's All I Can Do", performed by The Cars
- "True", performed by Spandau Ballet
- "Space Age Love Song", performed by A Flock of Seagulls
- "Private Idaho", performed by The B-52's
- "Money (That's What I Want)", performed by Flying Lizards
- "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)", performed by Dead or Alive
- "Just Can't Get Enough", performed by Depeche Mode
- "Love Stinks", performed by The J. Geils Band
- "You Make My Dreams", performed by Hall & Oates
- "Holiday", performed by Madonna
- "Grow Old With You", written by Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy, performed by Adam Sandler
Songs and renditions that appeared in the movie, but were not included in the soundtrack albums, were:
- "Der Kommissar", performed by After the Fire
- "99 Luftballons", performed by Nena
- "Till There Was You", written by Meredith Willson, performed by Ellen Dow
- "Don't Stop Believin'" (originally performed by Journey)
- "Boys Don't Cry", performed by The Cure
- "All Night Long (All Night)", performed by Lionel Richie
- "That's All", written by Alan Brandt & Bob Haymes, performed by Adam Sandler
- "Ladies' Night" (originally performed by Kool & the Gang), performed by Jon Lovitz
- "Do You Believe in Love", performed by Huey Lewis and the News
- "Jam on It", Newcleus
- "Miami Vice Theme", performed by Jan Hammer
- "Hungry Heart", performed by Bruce Springsteen
- "The Goofball Brothers Show", written and performed by Sourcerer
- "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", performed by Wham!
- The Wedding Singer at Box Office Mojo
- "Weekend Box Office Results for February 13-15, 1998". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
- The Wedding Singer at Rotten Tomatoes
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