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Laramie Movie Scope:
The Wedding Singer

A standard formula love story that barely works

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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August 31, 1998 -- "The Wedding Singer" is almost painfully formulaic, it's awkward and clumsily put together, but it still works well enough to be an average movie.

There's just something about the standard American romantic comedy that manages to get to me, even though I've seen it a million times before. You know the routine. A girl is about to be married to Mr. Wrong. Mr. Right is hanging around but she doesn't realize that she ought to be with him until it is almost too late. Barriers keep the two from getting together until the end of the film.

Probably the classic case of this type of romance is "The Graduate," only that was a much better film of course. In this film Mr. Wrong is Glen Gulia (Matthew Glave), a guy who is rich and handsome, but a real jerk. He is about to wed Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore), but Mr. Right, Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) complicates things.

Hart, a wedding singer, has just been crushed because his bride stood him up at their wedding. In one of the best scenes of the movie, Hart belts out a heartfelt rendition of "Love Stinks" at his next wedding. He decides not to sing at weddings anymore.

The story is so poorly written by Judd Apatow (uncredited), Carrie Fisher (uncredited) and Tim Herlihy (who plays Rudy the Bartender) and so poorly directed by Frank Coraci that it is painful to watch at times. Sandler has a kind of goofy charm and Barrymore does a good job playing a confused young woman. They make a good couple on screen and they rescue the film with help from some nice supporting performances by Allen Covert and Alexis Arquette and appearances by Billy Idol and Steve Buscemi.

There's also some good music in the film and a couple of nice songs by Sandler. Some of the jokes in the film are also quite funny. When that final romantic scene comes along it was corny as could be, but what can I say. It still got to me. There is a reason the formula works and that is that everyone can identify with these characters. Everybody's had a broken heart. With a decent screenplay and better directing, this would have been a good film, but as it is, it is just average. It rates a C.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1998 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)