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The Wedding Singer Review

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After being ditched on his wedding day, a wedding singer finds it hard to continue in his chosen profession.

★★★★

Anybody still labouring under the illusion that the 70s was the decade style forgot should turn to the 80s for a true depiction of a time unbothered by fashion sense. And nowhere is the world of the spangly glove, the indescribable haircut or, indeed, Miami Vice chic more accurately captured onscreen than in The Wedding Singer. In fact, given that the average age of today's cinemagoer ranks them as teenagers of the 80s, this delightfully silly 1985-set nostalgia trip will cause more cringes than the sight of polyester wing-collars or disco-era flared atrocities ever could.

Sandler, dispensing with the manic persona of Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, here combines a lightweight comic touch with some surprising sensitivity as orphaned "wedding singer" Robbie Hart. A failed rock star, he makes a living churning out Dead Or Alive covers at nuptial receptions.

Until, that is, he is left at the altar by foxy Linda (Angela Featherstone), and suddenly the appeal of the job is lost on broken-hearted Robbie (culminating in a hysterical rendition of Love Stinks at one wedding). He finds solace in waitress Julia (Barrymore) and is smitten, but there's a snag: her own impending marriage to obnoxious 80s whizzkid Glenn (Matthew Glave), all pastel suits, DeLorean car and roving eye.

It's true to suggest that this simple boy-meets-girl story could have been set in any era. As it is, it's the unashamed overplaying of almost every tacky 80s fad that makes this such a joy to watch (and listen to), be it Glenn's wardrobe, Robbie's bad hair year or Alexis Arquette as crimped, face-painted band member George (geddit?), vying with John Turturro in The Big Lebowski for the most inspired support role of the year.

Add to this a script with a streak of clever cynicism and poignancy, a soundtrack of tunes you thought had long since departed to the vinyl graveyard and one of the most adorable screen pairings in ages in Sandler and Barrymore and the result is a film which, while hardly high art, is simply irresistible.

A sweet, rom-com which marked the return to big screen stardom for Drew Barrymore.

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