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The Wedding Singer: Totally Awesome Edition

Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) is that rarest of romantic comedy heroes: one who actually wants to get married. Even though his rock star dreams never quite worked out and he lives in his sister's basement, Robbie is so eager to find his soul mate and settle into domestic bliss that he's turned weddings into a career, entertaining crowds every weekend as the most popular reception singer in his New Jersey town. But after his shallow, materialistic fiancée, Linda (Angela Featherstone), strands him at the altar, Robbie hits bottom, wallowing in his anger, hurt, and newly cynical view of love. The only thing that penetrates his cloud of unhappiness is his friendship with waitress Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore), who has her own wedding-related issues to deal with. Warm, sweet Julia is engaged to rich, condescending Glenn Guglia (Matthew Glave), who takes her for granted and can't be bothered to help plan their walk down the aisle. Instead, she turns to Robbie for assistance, and before you know it, they've fallen for each other. Naturally, comedic misunderstandings and complications ensue. And since The Wedding Singer is set in 1985 — bring on the bad hair and neon! — the whole thing is set to a rockin', nostalgic '80s soundtrack. Sandler's enthusiasm for the era is clear; he seems to revel in his mullet 'do and brightly colored blazers. (Barrymore's look, on the other hand, isn't nearly as dated; the lacy Madonna-wear is left to Christine Taylor, who plays Julia's sister, Holly.) But The Wedding Singer succeeds on more than its '80s fever. As one of Sandler's typically goofy, endearing characters, Robbie is an underdog everyone can root for — who wouldn't love a guy who gets rapping grannies on stage and makes the astute observation that Julia's married name will be "Julia Guglia"? His occasional rants and flashes of rage ("Once again, something that could have been brought to my attention yesterday!") are all the more effective because Robbie is more reined-in than some of Sandler's id-driven characters. And Barrymore is at her most winning, flashing apple-cheeked grins and beaming brightly at everyone she meets. Funny and sweet at the same time, The Wedding Singer's comedy complements its romance, and vice versa; it may not be glamorous or flashy, but it's a heck of a good party. New Line's "Totally Awesome Edition" DVD includes a slightly longer cut of the film than was previously available. Five minutes of footage have been added back in; most of it consists of a single cute-but-inconsequential exchange between Robbie and Rosie (Ellen Albertini Dow, the aforementioned rapping granny). Other extras include the film's trailer, a 10-minute featurette about The Wedding Singer Broadway musical (most fans will probably be cringing), and "'80s Mix Tapes," a list of all of the movie's songs that includes a bit of info about each and a shortcut to the scene it's featured in. The film itself is presented in a good anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with English DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks (English and Spanish subtitles are also available). Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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