Adam Sandler's post-"Happy Gilmore" attempt to start to be regarded as more of a leading man, "Wedding Singer" is amusing at times and remains mostly likable. However, the picture is not without a few issues, such as the fact that it sticks firmly to formula. "Singer" stars Sandler as Robbie Hart, the lead singer of an 80's wedding band who is planning to get married to Linda (Angela Featherstone).
However, when the big day comes, Linda leaves Robbie standing at the altar (while the orchestra plays Journey in the background), causing him to, quite understandably, flip out. Depressed, he spends most of the day in bed and when performing with the band, he starts verbally bashing the audiences (and launching into "Love Stinks") when they become unpleased with him.
In the meantime, he meets Julia (Drew Barrymore), a new waitress at the local hall. The two become fast friends and soon enough, it's obvious that there are some sparks between them. However, she's already engaged to Glenn (Matthew Glave), who has finally set a date for their wedding. It should come as no surprise that Robbie and Julia finally figure that they should be together, but the movie figures out various ways to keep them apart.
There's really no surprises throughout "The Wedding Singer", but it still works fairly well. Again, the picture was Sandler's first attempt to move away from the kind of lowbrow comedy that made him a success. The movie does throw in some fine examples of this kind of material early in the movie - the "depressed wedding" bit, for example - but doesn't take it as far as it could have gone.
The romantic comedy elements of the movie are about as familiar as it gets, but Sandler and Barrymore at least liven up matters quite a bit. While I wouldn't call the two one of the great screen pairings, they are one of those rare instances in recent years where two people just seem to be right for each other on-screen. They play off each other well and seem natural together, which was again evident in 2004's "50 First Dates".
Overall, while the cliche elements of "Singer" still stand out, the performances are above average, and the movie does have quite a few funny moments. This edition offers an "extended cut" of the movie that adds back in three minutes of footage. Nothing seemed to stand out - I couldn't tell what had been added back into the movie, and the DVD provides no details on what the footage is or why it was added back.
VIDEO: The original DVD from New Line Home Entertainment offered a perfectly fine 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation and a full-frame presentation. This edition thankfully ditches the full-frame presentation, giving the anamorphic widescreen presentation more breathing room. The result is an absolutely excellent transfer from New Line that slightly improves upon the original release. Sharpness and detail look a bit improved here and the image remains crisp and smooth throughout.
The presentation did show a speck or two on the print used and a little bit of shimmering, but neither issue was of much concern. No pixelation, edge enhancement or other flaws were spotted here. The film's bright, vivid color palette looked marvelous here, as colors looked well-saturated and tight, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: The film is presented this time around in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1. The Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation is the same as the one on the prior DVD edition. The new DTS 5.1 soundtrack doesn't offer much difference in audio quality, but is a slight improvement, as the songs do sound a bit crisper and warmer. The film's sound mix is largely a "comedy" style mix, with the majority of the audio rooted in the front speakers and little in the way of surround use.
EXTRAS: The main extra here is a featurette looking at the production of the Broadway musical version of the movie. While not hugely informative, it's a moderately interesting look at how the producers went about translating the movie to the stage.
"80's Mix Tape" is a feature that allows one to jump to a song in the movie. What makes this feature a little more useful that it would otherwise be is the fact that some brief text notes on each song are offered. Finally, we also get the theatrical trailer and sneak peeks for other titles from the studio.
Final Thoughts: A cute comedy that I've warmed up to since I first saw it, "Wedding Singer" is carried well by fine performances from Sandler and Barrymore. This new DVD edition seems to be intended to promote the new Broadway play, but it does offer some benefits, such as a DTS audio option and slightly improved image quality. Those who own the prior release don't need to upgrade here, but those who are thinking about buying the movie should go with this release over the prior one.
The Film B-