The Wedding Singer is a 1998 romantic comedy film written by Tim Herlihy and directed by Frank Coraci. It stars Adam Sandler as a wedding singer in the 1980s and Drew Barrymore as a waitress with whom he falls in love. The film was produced by Robert Simonds for $18 million and grossed $80.2 million in the United States and $123.3 million worldwide.
The film was later adapted into a stage musical with the same title, debuting on Broadway in April 2006 and closing on New Year's Eve of that same year.
In 1985, Robbie Hart (Sandler) is an engaging and entertaining wedding singer from Ridgefield, New Jersey. He is engaged to his long-time girlfriend, Linda (Angela Featherstone), who was attracted to him at a time when he dreamed of becoming a rock star. Robbie meets and befriends a waitress, Julia Sullivan (Barrymore), at the reception hall where he regularly performs. Julia is also engaged, to businessman Glenn Gulia (Matthew Glave) and he promises to sing at their wedding.
On their wedding day, Robbie's sister, Angie, informs him about Linda changing her mind and leaves him standing at the altar. This leaves him emotionally devastated and humiliated by this. Later on that day, Linda visits Robbie and he confronts her for leaving him at the altar, rather than tell him the truth so they can cancel the wedding. She reveals that she stopped loving him when she found out that he lost his ambitions of being a rock star and instead became a wedding singer. Linda tells Robbie that after talking to her friends, she realizes she can't continue lying to herself and ends their relationship. He tries to move forward with his life, but despair hinders his performances. Julia tries to cheer him up, and later asks him to help her plan her own wedding. Robbie eventually agrees, and their friendship blossoms. Meanwhile, as he spends more time with Julia, Robbie begins to realize how shallow and selfish Linda was. During a double date between Julia and Glenn, and Robbie and Julia's cousin, Holly (Christine Taylor), Robbie learns that Glenn is frequently cheating on Julia and doesn't plan to stop after being married.
Julia and Robbie are increasingly confused by their deepening feelings for each other, and Robbie mistakenly believes that he can impress Julia by getting a more conventional job. She becomes angry with him for assuming that she is marrying Glenn for his money. After confiding in his best friend, Sammy (Allen Covert), Robbie finally decides to confess his true feelings and goes to Julia's house. When he arrives, he sees her through her bedroom window. She is wearing her wedding dress and happily imagining herself as Robbie's wife, but Robbie mistakenly concludes that she is looking forward to marrying Glenn.
Heartbroken, Robbie leaves to get drunk and finds Glenn in the midst of his "pre-bachelor party party". After a heated exchange, Glenn punches Robbie. An intoxicated Robbie goes home and finds Linda waiting for him, and wanting to reconcile. Robbie passes out, but the following morning, Linda answers the door and introduces herself as Robbie's fiancée to a crestfallen Julia. Julia runs to Glenn, wanting to be married immediately, and Glenn happily offers to take her to Las Vegas.
Robbie awakens and promptly breaks it off with Linda for good. When she asks him why, Robbie states that Linda was never there for him when he needed her and he deserves better. After kicking her out of the basement in Angie's home, Robbie attends his friend Rosie's(to whom he has been giving singing lessons) 50th wedding anniversary. Inspired by this and with Rosie's encouragement, he decides to pursue Julia. Just then, Holly arrives and asks Robbie if he was still with Linda. He reveals he ended it with her and learns Julia's plans to marry Glenn. Robbie, Sammy, and Holly rush to the airport, where Robbie books a flight to Las Vegas. He gets a first class ticket because all coach seats are sold out. After telling his story to a sympathetic audience in first class which includes Billy Idol (playing himself, sporting his '80s trademark spiked hairdo and biker attire), Robbie learns that Glenn and
Julia are on the same flight as he peeps through the curtain separating first class and coach. Over the loudspeaker, and with the help of Idol and the flight crew, Robbie sings a song he has written called "Grow Old With You," which he has dedicated to Julia. When he enters the coach area, Glenn tries to attack him, only for his path to be blocked by a male flight attendant and Idol both pushing refreshment carts. When Glenn threatens Idol, a burly Idol fan also wearing biker attire forces Glenn down the aisle, and a female flight attendant he tried seducing earlier pushes him into the cabin toilet. Robbie and Julia admit their love for each other, and, after Idol briefly interrupts them to offer Robbie support in fulfilling his dream of being a songwriter, they share a kiss. The film ends as the scene fades to a similar kiss, this time at their wedding and Dave Veltri (Steve Buscemi) becomes the new Wedding Singer.
Two soundtrack albums for The Wedding Singer, called The Wedding Singer and The Wedding Singer Volume 2, were released, both in 1998. The film contained many scenes of singing at weddings, with songs performed by the film's cast. The soundtrack albums, for the most part, contained the original versions of these songs instead, as well as songs that were in the background during the film, and original songs and dialogue from the film. Only for "Rapper's Delight" was the film's rendition (by Ellen Dow), used, in combination with the original recording.
The track listing of the first album is:
- "Video Killed the Radio Star" (originally performed by The Buggles), performed by The Presidents of the United States of America
- "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", performed by Culture Club
- "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", performed by The Police
- "How Soon Is Now?", performed by The Smiths
- "Love My Way", performed by The Psychedelic Furs
- "Hold Me Now", performed by Thompson Twins
- "It's Tricky", performed by Run DMC
- "Everyday I Write the Book", performed by Elvis Costello
- "White Wedding", performed by Billy Idol
- "China Girl", performed by David Bowie
- "Blue Monday", performed by New Order
- "Pass the Dutchie", performed by Musical Youth
- "Have You Written Anything Lately?"
- "Somebody Kill Me", written by Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy, performed by Adam Sandler
- "Rapper's Delight" (medley), performed by Sugarhill Gang and Ellen Dow
The track listing of the second album is:
- "Too Shy", performed by Kajagoogoo
- "It's All I Can Do", performed by The Cars
- "True", performed by Spandau Ballet
- "Space Age Love Song", performed by A Flock of Seagulls
- "Private Idaho", performed by The B-52's
- "Money (That's What I Want)", performed by Flying Lizards
- "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)", performed by Dead or Alive
- "Just Can't Get Enough", performed by Depeche Mode
- "Love Stinks", performed by The J. Geils Band
- "You Make My Dreams", performed by Hall & Oates
- "Holiday", performed by Madonna
- "Grow Old With You", written by Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy, performed by Adam Sandler