The Wedding Singer Nov 27, 2013 15:35:23 GMT -5 via mobile
Post by StevePulaski on Nov 27, 2013 15:35:23 GMT -5
The Wedding Singer (1998)
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Directed by: Frank Coraci
The Wedding Singer opens with a pretty damn-good cover of "You Spin Me Right Round" by Dead or Alive by Adam Sandler and company, which provided me with optimism that this would be a more controlled Sandler affair with more intelligently written humor and some solid drama between characters. Certainly The Wedding Singer doesn't show Adam Sandler at his most manic and uncontrollable, but during some instances, you can see writer Tim Herlihy is fighting his urges. Consider the morosely unfunny scene where, upon being dumped by his fiance, the titular character (Sandler) lumbers through a performance at a wedding spewing unconscionable bouts of hatred and mean-spirited anger. But it's funny, right?
Not in my eyes. The Wedding Singer, in my eyes, is another Sandler disaster. A film with a two-faced protagonist, a caricature of a love-interest, a terribly trite and predictable plot, and humor as reliable as a twenty-year old with well over 100,000 miles on it. The film isn't offensive in the casual sense, but in the deeper, more depressing sense that while senseless drivel like this is getting made, real writers and determined screenwriters getting turned away from the higher-ups because their material is too ambitious or too risky.
It's 1985 and Adam Sandler stars as Robbie Hart, a popular choice for a wedding singer in Connecticut. Robbie is engaged to his girlfriend Linda (Angela Featherstone), but finds himself alone on his wedding day. However, while on the job, Robbie meets Julia (Drew Barrymore), a waitress who works many of the same venues where Robbie performs. Unfortunately, now that Robbie is single and recognizes that Julia may indeed make a great girlfriend, she is engaged to cocky businessman Glenn Gulia (Matthew Glave). So Robbie gets sidelined to help Julia plan the wedding when deep down he knows he should be her husband.
Immediately, this film houses cliches I'm tiring greatly of. The first is the dimwit that we're supposed to like and sympathize with despite the stupid actions he commits consistently (usually a cliche in a Sandler film). The second is where the guy finds the perfect soul almost instantaneously after breaking it off with his girlfriend. Others include the expected fact that the dreamgirl is dating an unbecoming jerk, despite the guy's obnoxiousness the girl is obviously above, she still sees him as a mature and respectable guy, and the ridiculous ending we need to live with at the end of the film where everything is nicely patched up and elegantly concluded.
Cliches work against a film, most definitely, but it also doesn't help in any particular saving grace-fashion when a comedy's wit is just at the near bottom of the barrel. Take for example the elderly woman Robbie can be seen assisting often over the course of the film. In the beginning of the film, upon first seeing her, we are, I guess, supposed to laugh because she is not your typical elderly lady with her quick wit and her efforts to fill Robbie's hands with meatballs and demanding he eat them then and there. But later on, Robbie has a discussion with her about his relationships where she can welcome in such fascinating commentary on Robbie perhaps being self-conscious about the size of his private area or other points that don't need to be brought up. The fatal kicker for the jokes with the elderly woman is what she says isn't funny but the fact that she's very old and saying such things is the humor of the situation.
Barrymore and Sandler do have evident chemistry, especially during the drama of the later sequences, but it's very much undermined thanks to the film's middle-school attitude throughout the entire course of the film. The Wedding Singer, according to audience opinion, ranks among the higher margin of Sandler films, but I see nothing but the same unfunny schlock in smaller, more manageable piles. That's like saying a relatively messy park is more fun to play in than a filthier park when, frankly, I'd be keen on just staying home.
Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Angela Featherstone, Matthew Glave, Allen Covert, and Peter Dante. Directed by: Frank Coraci.