A Look Back: The Wedding Singer

Typically, the movies over-represent certain professions (lawyer, inspirational teacher/coach, undercover agent), but under-represent certain others. Fortunately, “The Wedding Singer,” picks up the slack for anyone wondering just what the qualifications and duties are of that titular subject. “The Wedding Singer,” stars Adam Sandler in a film where he plays a grownup, not an overgrown man-child – or at least someone who’s stumbling toward adulthood. The movie features an engaging co-star/love interest (Drew Barrymore), wacky high jinx, a message about drinking responsibly, a George Michael lookalike (Alexis Arquette), a cameo by Billy Idol and a rapping granny – an assortment of ingredients that actually make for a pretty good movie.

Being a wedding singer, judging from Adam’s performance, seems to require a sense of rhythm, a backup band, a quick wit, and a cool head in emergencies, such as when the brother of the groom (Steve Buscemi) imbibes a little too much champagne and proceeds to make a speech humiliating the groom and the groom’s dad. Luckily, Adam is right there to intercept and save the situation. After all, he, too, knows the thrill of having found that certain someone (Angela Featherstone), to whom he is about to wed. Alas, this goes awry, and he tastes the sting of rejection. Fortunately, there’s his new friend (Drew), a perky waitress who he meets at a gig, and who is also betrothed, but as per movie rule, to a complete prick (Matthew Glave). Not only does he go window shopping when his fiancé is busy getting sick in the club bathroom, but has the last name of “Gulia”. Drew’s character is named Julia. So it’s not a match made in heaven.

The movie follows the typical romantic comedy commandment, i.e. There shall be a series of misunderstandings that keep the two main characters from consummating their relationship until the end when one partner expresses his or her feelings in an over-the-top way. After Adam visits a bank in the hopes of getting a more stable job (he likes money, so figures it’s the perfect fit), and fails, he takes drastic action by hijacking a plane and declaring his love to Drew via song. This works beautifully (the film is set pre-9-11), as Drew doesn’t really want to spend the rest of her life watching people suppress snickers when she introduces herself. Will Adam keep his job as a wedding singer? Well, whatever happens, it’s likely, they’ll both live happily ever after.

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