21. The Wedding Singer
When I was in Elementary School Adam Sandler was a GOD. There wasn’t an adolescent boy who didn’t adore Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore. I had all of his movies and albums. In fact in 6th grade I had an assignment to write a fan letter to a celebrity (yay public school) and I choose Adam Sandler (he never wrote back, possibly because half the students in that class choose him). I was willing to see ANYTHING starring Sandler (including the awful Going Overboard and Bulletproof).
When I saw the trailer for The Wedding Singer, it didn’t look very good. But I was a Sandler fan, so I was going to see it opening weekend regardless. Little did I know I was about to watch not just my favorite Adam Sandler movie, but one of my all time favorite movies.
The movie takes place in 1985. Robbie Hart (Sandler) is a popular wedding singer in New Jersey. Ironically his fiance stands him up at their own wedding. Robbie falls into a depression and the only happiness he has is his newfound friendship with reception hall waitress Julia (Drew Barrymore).
Robbie slowly falls in love with Julia, but she’s engaged to rich businessman Glenn. He keeps his feelings for Julia a secret until he realizes that Glenn has been cheating on Julia (and plans to continue cheating after marriage).
While it’s a pretty typical rom-com situation the film manages to remain fresh and memorable. The characters are all likable and funny. Sandler is at his most charming. Typically he is a loose cannon of screaming rage, every time Sandler freaks out in this movie seems completely justified and reasonable. This was the film that also made me briefly fall in love with Drew Barrymore.
Barrymore became the first celebrity I ever downloaded nude photos of online (thank you Playboy and 90’s internet) specifically because this film came out while I was going through puberty (sorry to make some of you feel really old). I even wrote about this event in an article for Geekscape a few years back (LINK IT HERE FOR GEEKSCAPE ARTICLE ABOUT SCARLET JOHANNSON).
This film became a movie that followed me constantly. In junior high and most of high school, love sick me would listen to the soundtrack for days on end. I fell in love with songs like Every little thing she does is Magic (The Police), Hold Me Now (Thompson Twins) and Love My Way (Psychedelic Furs). Much like Loser (LINK HERE) I would watch this movie on lonely weekends while eating cheesesteaks.
As I grew older the film always followed me and became the film that I held as the standard for Sandler’s films. It’s been my favorite (and will probably remain my favorite) Sandler film and his second best film (behind Punch Drunk Love). The song Grow Old With You has become an iconic song in cinema and one of my favorite songs to perform live.
There’s a list of films that I watch with my friend Lauralie at least once a year after a bad day. This is one of those films. It’s one of those films that makes you believe true love is possible and works as a great rom-com for guys who typically hate rom-coms.