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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Frank Coraci
Cast:
Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor, Allen Covert, Matthew Glave, Ellen Albertini Dow, Angela Featherstone, Alexis Arquette, Christina Pickles, Jodi Thelen
Writing Credits:
Tim Herlihy

Tagline:
He's gonna party like it's 1985.

Synopsis:
It's 1985 and Adam Sandler is the ultimate master of ceremonies ... until he is left at the altar at his own wedding. He starts to pick up the pieces of his heart after meeting Drew Barrymore but she's about to have a wedding of her own.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$21.917 million on 2821 screens.
Domestic Gross
$80.224 million.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.85:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English DTS 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 4/25/2006

Bonus:
• “Backstage Look at The Wedding Singer On Broadway” Featurette
• “80s Mix Tapes”
• Trailers


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RELATED REVIEWS


The Wedding Singer: Totally Awesome Edition (1998)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 12, 2006)

While most Adam Sandler movies shoot for the teen boy demographic, every once in a while he churns out one with broader appeal. 1998’s The Wedding Singer was his first “date night” effort and it proved to be quite a success. Its $80 million gross represented Sandler’s biggest at that time. Sure, later that year he’d trample that figure; The Waterboy made more than twice the take of Singer.

Nonetheless, Singer stands as one of the flicks that helped build Sandler’s public profile, and it remains one of his best-regarded efforts. Set in 1985, Singer casts Sandler as Robbie Hart, a former rocker who now makes a buck crooning at weddings. He plans to marry long-time girlfriend Linda (Angela Featherstone) but she jilts him and leaves him at the altar.

In the meantime, Robbie meets Julia (Drew Barrymore), a new waitress at the weddings. She intends to wed yuppie Glenn (Matthew Glave). They’ve been engaged for quite some time but he finally agrees to go through with the actual nuptials.

After Julia helps bring Robbie out of his post-breakup depression, he helps her plan her wedding. Along the way, the two fall for each other. Complications ensue to keep them apart – at least until the end.

Normally I try to avoid spoilers, but if anyone over the age of four feels surprised that Robbie and Julia eventually unite, then they need to get out more. To call the plot and progress of Singer predictable would be a serious understatement. There’s not a single twist or turn in this flick that can’t be seen miles in advance.

And that doesn’t matter one iota, for Singer packs more than enough charm to compensate for its predictability. Much of the credit goes to the lead actors. Sandler absorbs a lot of abuse from his detractors. I can see their complaints, as he does turn out more crap than I’d like.

Nonetheless, I think Sandler’s critics turn a blind eye to his strong points. He maintains a likable goofball tone in his better work and can find enough witty absurdity in his material to generate laughs. That's why I liked Billy Madison so much. Sure, it involved a fair number of cheap gags, but it twisted them to be more than just the standard gross-out nonsense you find it lesser comedies.

Singer strays from that formula. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another Sandler comedy that so strongly keeps him away from his bread and butter. Even the winning 50 First Dates - Sandler’s 2004 reunion with Barrymore – threw out more than a few perverse bits. Singer more closely follows a standard romantic comedy route that keeps those elements to a minimum.

That means the wacky bits flavor the film and it doesn’t rely on them. Again, Singer works because Sandler and Barrymore show such terrific chemistry. One can’t help but wish they’d act together more often, as one flick per decade doesn’t seem like enough. They connect wonderfully and complement each other. There’s a real gentle charm on display with both of them.

Honestly, that’s more than enough to pull the movie through its otherwise inevitable course. We know where the story will go, but we invest so heavily into the lead characters that we don’t mind this fact. Sandler and Barrymore don’t play the roles like they’re shopworn personalities in predictable situations. They bring freshness to every scene.

The Eighties setting also adds a little nostalgic charm, at least to those of us who grew up in that era. There’s absolutely no compelling reason for the movie to take place 13 years earlier than its creation date; nothing about it latches onto the Eighties in a logical, necessary way. However, the period setting certainly doesn’t hurt, and it allows the movie to have fun with the mid-Eighties trends and styles.

Throw in a few fun cameos and The Wedding Singer ends up as a winner. It’s a perfect date movie, as it includes just enough rowdy humor for the guys and more than enough romance for the ladies. From start to finish, it charms.

Note that this “Totally Awesome Edition” includes an extended, unrated cut of Singer. The new version runs about three minutes longer than the theatrical cut. I’d love to indicate the differences, but since I’ve not seen the film since its theatrical run in 1998, I can’t. I will say that there’s nothing terribly provocative here; the unrated cut doesn’t add nudity or anything naughty.


The DVD Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus D

The Wedding Singer appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. This was a consistently excellent transfer.

Sharpness looked great. Even wide shots appeared crisp and concise, with nary a hint of softness in sight. This was a well-develop image. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I also failed to notice any edge enhancement. Source flaws created no concerns either. I saw no specks, marks, or other blemishes here.

Given the bright colors associated with the Eighties, I expected a vivid palette from Singer. That’s what the movie displayed, as it went for many dynamic hues. The DVD replicated them very well. The tones were always vibrant and rich. Blacks seemed dense and firm, while shadows were clear and smooth. This was a really impressive visual presentation.

For this DVD of The Wedding Singer, we got both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 soundtracks. At no point did I discern any substantial differences between the two. I thought the pair sounded virtually identical.

Since the mixes worked well, I didn’t mind the apparent redundancy. Romantic comedies don’t usually offer lively soundfields, but this film’s emphasis on music allowed it to open up more than expected. From the many live performances to the slew of Eighties tunes, the movie featured various numbers on a nearly constant basis. These displayed fine stereo imaging and also spread to the surrounds in a nice way to create an involving piece. Effects were a smaller role, but they added some ambiance to the piece.

Audio quality appeared to be positive. Speech sounded crisp and natural, and I noticed no signs of edginess or problems with intelligibility. Music and effects demonstrated fine clarity and they seemed distinctive. Low-end was quite good, especially in regard to the music. The various tunes appeared lively and full. Overall, this mix acted as a nice complement to the action.

Only a few extras round out this DVD, as New Line clearly expects to move copies due to the presence of the extended cut. A featurette called A Backstage Look at The Wedding Singer on Broadway lasts 10 minutes and 31 seconds. This piece examines the new stage adaptation of the film. It involves comments from screenwriter/musical co-writer Tim Herlihy, producers Margo Lion and Michael Rego, lyricist/co-writer Chad Beguelin, composer Matthew Sklar, director John Rando, musical director/conductor James Sampliner, choreographer Rob Ashford, costume designer Gregory Gale, set designer Scott Pask, lighting designer Brian MacDevitt, and actors Stephen Lynch and Laura Benanti.

The program looks at the production’s genesis and then runs through various elements. We learn a little about casting, the songs, production design and costumes, and other related subjects before we see a small snatch of the show. All of this is mildly interesting at best. In truth, this featurette acts as an advertisement. It exists to sell musical tickets and that’s it.

80s Mix Tapes gives us some information about the movie’s 35 songs. If you click on one of them, you’ll learn a little about it and also be able to jump to its inclusion in the film. This turns into a cute and slightly informative component.

In addition to the theatrical trailer for Singer, more ads appear in the Sneak Peeks area. There you’ll find promos for Wedding Crashers, Monster In Law, Dumb and Dumber, National Lampoon’s Adam and Eve and How to Lose Your Lover.

A highly entertaining romantic comedy, The Wedding Singer overcomes its predictable story. Charming lead performances help make this happen and turn it into a sweet and endearing film. The DVD offers excellent picture and very good audio but skimps on extras.

This is a good disc for new fans to get, but if folks who own the old one feel happy with its visual and sound quality, there’s no reason to pick up the “Totally Awesome Edition”. It adds a slightly extended version of the film but doesn’t provide any other compelling new elements.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 18
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