A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Wedding Singer is a 1998 romantic comedy in which Adam Sandler plays a down-on-his-luck musician who is starting to realize he has found the true love of his life after being jilted at the altar by a materialistic long-time girlfriend. Raunchiness, expletives, and occasional drunk-and-disorderly situations abound; it might be too much for some tweens. Profanity includes "s--t" and "bitch." Mentions of prostitutes and the "mile-high club"; lots of characters grab other people's rear ends. In what is now a common-enough feature in Adam Sandler movies, both the very young and the very old use profanity or talk of inappropriate subject matter for the sake of laughs.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
Set in 1985, THE WEDDING SINGER stars Adam Sandler as Robbie Hart, a mullet-wearing singer-songwriter in New Jersey who performs love songs at weddings with his band, which includes a cross-dressing Boy George impersonator. Robbie's great talent isn't his singing but rather his peacemaking. At receptions he smoothly defuses embarrassing, alcohol-fueled blowups between angry in-laws, and he helps bitter best men sober up. Apparently Robbie's having been orphaned at age 10 motivates his ideals of marriage and tranquility. Thus it's a shattering blow when his own fiancée is a no-show at the altar. Now it's responsible Robbie's turn to lapse into drunken bitterness. The friends he's made at the party center help him through the bad time, especially Julia (Drew Barrymore), a waitress engaged to junk-bond dealer Glenn (Matthew Glave). Robbie uses his business connections to help plan Julia's wedding, and in the process the two fall in love. Robbie sees clearly that the Miami Vice-fixated Glenn is a self-centered rat who cares more about his DeLorean than he does for Julia.
Is it any good?
The Wedding Singer is not the most original comedy, but it's cute, and Robbie's situation could inspire the start of a discussion about ethical choices. The movie never stops reminding viewers -- mostly via pop-music references -- that it's set in 1985: Fashions are inspired by Michael Jackson, unspeakable haircuts derive from the group Flock of Seagulls, Billy Idol cameos as himself, and a new $800 tabletop device called a CD player gives great sound (only nobody knows what CDs are).
Sandler is a perennial kids' favorite, thanks to a recurring shtick as a grown man who (mis)behaves like a little boy. This comedy nicely lets Sandler mature a little on-screen, partially by surrounding him with characters significantly dumber and less upstanding than Robbie. Robbie isn't pretentious or stuck on his own gallantry. He's polite in turning down sexual overtures from a Madonna wannabe, and he even tries to convince Glenn to treat Julia better before he realizes that he and Julia are a perfect match.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: September 14, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: September 14, 2004
- Cast: Adam Sandler, Christine Taylor, Drew Barrymore
- Director: Frank Coraci
- Studio: New Line
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexual content and profanity
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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