"The Wedding Singer" Blu-ray Review
May 06, 2009 by Zach Demeter
Adam Sandler has always been a bankable star and no matter how much the critics may lambast him, audiences love him. It should come as no surprise then that the 1998 movie (that takes place in 1985) The Wedding Singer raked in copious amounts of box office bucks and has spawned several editions of itself on the home video format. With the stars Sandler and Drew Barrymore having such great chemistry with one another, the duo later paired up again down the line for 50 First Dates which was another highly successful film. Celebrating…well, nothing really (it’s tenth anniversary was last year after all), The Wedding Singer debuts in full 1080p video on the Blu-ray format, complete with the same extras from the previously released “Totally Awesome Edition.”
Robbie works the crowd. Julia works the floor. He (Adam Sandler) is a wedding singer, able to charm even the most reluctant Aunt Tilly into a dance. She (Drew Barrymore) is a waitress at parties where Robbie sings. Both are involved with others. Both are right for each other. Enjoy while Cupid works this out. The Wedding Singer has its heart on its sleeve and a goofy charm everywhere that includes its throwback look at the styles and sounds of the 80s. But a romance and a movie like this is made to last.
As far as romantic comedy’s go, this is a pretty straight up formula that has been repeated ad nauseum since this film’s release (and probably long before that as well, my knowledge of the rom com genre is limited). Still…why screw with a formula that works? They almost always produce results that bring smiles to the viewers face and warming to the cockles of our hearts. Sometimes you just want predictability when it comes to warm and fuzzy feeling generators like The Wedding Singer and that’s just what we get.
While it’s far from my favorite Sandler film, it’s hard to deny that the chemistry between Sandler and Barrymore isn’t there. They may be an unlikely sounding pair, but that just adds to their likeability, as their respective mates (or ex-mates…or current mates…they switch so much in the film) are almost entirely unappealing from the start so you just want the two to get together. On top of that, the film is just a simple and highly enjoyable outing from beginning to end, mainly because it’s just a nice, five ounce box of candy: not a whole lot of content, but it’s sweet and leaves you not feeling sick to your stomach.
But there’s more to this film than just the cheap penis and gay jokes. A great factor about this film is the 80s décor and music, which makes it almost feel like something John Hughes might have produced (but…you know, with penis and gay jokes that stretch from beginning to end), had he not disappeared from the Hollywood scene. From the music to the humor to the random appearance of a clearly weathered Billy Idol, The Wedding Singer simply looks and sounds great.
And…really, what else can I say about this film? After it sets up our main characters in their respective situations, we see them slowly fall for one another, despite the girl knowing she can’t as she’s engaged to someone else, and the guy simply pining away. The girl then decides to hell with it, only to discover that some past flame for the guy came back and she assumes that he’s now marrying someone else, blah de blah blah, guy chases after girl, girl gasps and after they clear the air and diffuse the confusion, everything is honky dinky and the movie closes with them getting married.
Warm fuzzies, right? Yup. That’s all this film is about. Watching two obviously right people work out how to be together and finally wrapping up with their presumably long-lasting marriage (I await the day when we get a sequel to one of these type of films where the participants get a divorce…because I’m cynical like that). Still for those who haven’t seen this film (and how have you missed it—it’s aired about fifty times a year on TNT [or TBS…whichever, I forget]), it’s Recommended. While not a tried and true “classic,” per say, it is one of Sandler’s better romantic comedies and the chemistry between him and Barrymore is truly undeniable.
The Wedding Singer arrives in a standard single disc Elite Blu-ray case without any advertisements and the only insert being a firmware player upgrade notice. Disc art mirrors the cover art and like all Warner Blu’s, the film auto-starts, with only a very, very small pop-up menu being available for your selections (there’s like one worthwhile extra to watch here, hence the “very, very small”).
Video arrives in the form of a VC-1 encoded 1080p transfer that, mainly due to the aforementioned poppy 80s color palette, is quite visually pleasing to the eye…at first glance, at least. When you start to get into the film, the skin tones and black levels become incredibly disappointing, with them either being too strong or too weak and the hated enemy of Blu-ray, DNR, rears its ugly head here and simply mud’s up the image more than it could ever possibly try to help. Sure, the film looks better than the DVD edition, but that’s almost mandatory—480p to 1080p will yield better results regardless, but the over processing and wonked colors on the transfer are a little more than disappointing. Fortunately the 5.1 TrueHD track, filled to the brim with 80s classics, sounds fantastic. Plenty of reach around the room in the surrounds, the film sounds terrific, although you’ll find most of the dialogue (always clear, always crisp) tumbling out of the front channels.
So what’s this “Totally Awesome Edition” about? Well a ten-minute behind-the-scenes look at the broadway production (we don’t even get freaking cast or crew interviews for this film…what the hell) is given, as is a theatrical trailer. And that is it.
Even if you love this film to death, don’t bother upgrading to your DVD copy from this. It’s…just disappointing. No new extras, a disappointing video transfer and…well, that’s it, really. Skip It.
The Wedding Singer is now available on Blu-ray.