Film / The Wedding Singer
Who could say no to a face like this?
Father of the Bride: Hey, buddy, I'm not paying you to hear your thoughts on life. I'm paying you to sing.
Robbie Hart: Well, I have a microphone, and you don't, SO YOU WILL LISTEN TO EVERY DAMN WORD I HAVE TO SAY!

A 1998 Romantic Comedy directed by Frank Coraci, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

Robbie Hart (Sandler) is the titular wedding singer, who is all set to be married to his girlfriend, Linda. She leaves him at the altar. His friend Julia (Barrymore) tries to cheer him up, and asks him to help her with her wedding. He agrees, and the two begin to fall in love. There is a problem, however- Julia is engaged to Glenn. And did we mention this story is set in 1985, just so they can make a bunch of jokes about CD players, Van Halen, and the like?

It's a cute '90s movie with likeable characters and a cute ending. What's not to love?

Received a Screen-to-Stage Adaptation in 2006, with Stephen Lynch in the lead.

Tropes include:

  • The '80s: Set entirely in 1985 and is jam-packed with 1980s pop culture references. That said, some of these references may come across as slightly anachronistic, e.g. a reference to Dallas and the infamous "Who shot J.R.?" plotline, which in 1985 was already four-five years old, and the '88 mix of "Blue Monday" by New Order being played at the disco. Then again, the film is a period piece.
  • '80s Hair: Seen everywhere, and lampshaded with the Flock of Seagulls fan who works as a ticket clerk at the airport.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Holly initially acts insulted when Glenn implies that she's easy, but then she admits that it's true.
    Glenn: Who are you going out with?
    Holly: Robbie.
    Glenn: Oh good; that guy needs to get laid.
    Holly: Excuse me! Just because he's going out with me doesn't mean he's going to get laid.
    *Glenn and Julia stare at Holly*
    Holly: *smiles* ...All right, he probably will.
  • All Is Well That Ends Well: Robbie's actions at Cindy and Scott's wedding were absolutely reprehensible. Even though it was the father who threw the punch and attacked Robbie - and even if Robbie refused payment because of what he did, the father probably still would have had grounds to sue. However that's not that kind of movie, there's No Endor Holocaust here.
  • Alliterative Name: Glenn Gulia
  • Anachronism Stew: Apparently, everything 80s happened in 1985. For instance, JR was shot five years before the film's setting, but it's treated as it just happened here. It's a film using the rule of funny to pop off as many references as it can, so it's OK.
  • Anything That Moves: The cook. He treats Holly well because she showed him her boobs, tries to get Julia to do the same, and is clearly enjoying his dance with Sammy halfway through the film (while grabbing his ass, no less; It Makes Sense in Context).
  • Anti-Love Song: "Love Stinks", which is, believe it or not, a real song, recorded by The J. Geils Band in 1980, and is included on the film's soundtrack. Robbie Hart's later song in the film, a pastiche of The Cure, with half of it written when he was in love with Linda and the other half written when she left him at the altar, also qualifies.
  • As Himself: Billy Idol
  • Basement-Dweller: Robbie doesn't have a place of his own, and lives with his sister and her husband.
  • Bitter Wedding Speech: Twice. Before Linda leaves Robbie, the best man at one of the weddings he performs at gives one; Robbie does his best to smooth it over. After Linda leaves Robbie, he gives one himself at another performance.
  • Blackmail: Robbie gets Sammy to pay for a first-class ticket to Las Vegas by threatening to tell everyone what Sammy said at the bar the night before.
  • Brick Joke: The drunk best man played by Steve Buscemi shows up right at the end... as a wedding singer. At Robbie and Julia's wedding no less.
  • The Cameo: Billy Idol helps Robbie tell Julia his true feelings on the plane. Then he offers him a record deal.
  • The Casanova: Sammy admits in the opening act that he wants to be like Fonzie. Glenn is also one of these, and doesn't plan to stop even after he gets married.
    • Later, however, Sammy admits to Robbie that he's not at all happy with his lifestyle. "Nobody wants to see an old guy hitting on chicks."
  • Creepy Monotone: Robbie sounds like this when he's drunk or depressed.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: The old guy at the bar.
  • Cool Car: Glen drives a Delorean.
  • Creator Breakdown: Parodied (and expertly summarized) in-universe. Robbie's breakdown occurred while he was writing a love song for the woman who would later leave him at the altar; the lyrics and style of that song start with fluffy romance, switch suddenly to extreme rage, dissolve into shocked sadness, and finally end with wangsty lyrics outright begging, "Somebody kill me please!"
  • Deadpan Snarker: Robbie alternates between this and Large Ham.
  • Despair Speech: Robbie gets a despair song.
  • Disposable FiancÚ: The "evil all along" variation. Robbie was this to his fiance, Linda. but since he's the central character, her decision to leave him is portrayed as shallow and mean. Even so, Linda is less cartoonishly evil than Glenn, who is depicted as a being violent, lecherous liar.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: After their date, Holly straight-up tells Robbie "If you come upstairs, you're gonna get laid."
  • Drowning My Sorrows: When Robby believes that he's lost Julia forever, he goes to a bar and gets drunk.
  • Dumb Blonde: Holly, from both the movie and musical versions, is both slutty and slightly dim. However in the original movie, Julia herself was intelligent with blond hair in contrast to Robbie's stupid brunette ex, Linda. The musical reverses Julia's and Linda's hair colors, with Julia a Brainy Brunette / Girl Next Door type and Linda an even bigger Dumb Blonde than Holly.
  • Embarassing Last Name: If she marries Glenn and takes his name, her new name will be "Julia Gulia" (pronounced Goo-lia).
  • Ethical Slut: By her own admission, Holly is promiscuous. But she really cares about her cousin, and during the film's climax she even helps Robbie catch up to Julia before she marries Glenn.
  • Fake Pregnancy: Julia's mother suggests she try this to get Glenn to set the wedding date. Julia is somewhat horrified.
  • Final Love Duet: The Musical has three for Robbie and Julia. "If I Told You", "If I Told You (Reprise)", and the final final duet, "Grow Old With You" (which, by the way, is now a duet).
  • Green-Eyed Monster: When Julia witnesses Holly acting flirty and affectionate towards Robbie during their double date, the already-intoxicated Julia is so jealous it makes her feel physically ill and she leaves to go throw up in the restroom.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards: The film implies that Sammy and Holly will become an item.
  • In Love with Love: Applies somewhat to Robbie, who has dreamed of falling in love and getting married since he was little. Linda used it as part of her excuse to not show up to the wedding.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Robbie can't bring himself to tell Julia how he feels when he sees how happy she looks in her window (despite it not being for the reason he thinks).
  • It Will Never Catch On:
    • Combined with Analogy Backfire in hindsight: Sammy talks about being miserable because he never settled down, saying that he modeled his antics after Vinnie Barbarino (played by John Travolta) and how "[Travolta's] show got cancelled!" because "No one wants to see a fifty-year-old guy hitting on chicks". Travolta, of course, ended up having a big comeback with Pulp Fiction and became a sex symbol again.note 
    • During Glenn's song "It's All About The Green" in the musical, he shoots down investing in Starbucks because "nobody's going to pay eight bucks for a cup of coffee," then orders one of his clerks to buy all of the Betamax (or New Coke in some performances) stock he can get his hands on.
    • Holly's frustrated opinion of the Rubik's Cube.
  • Jerk Ass:
    "He's losing his mind...and I'm reaping all the benefits!"
    • Linda, the woman who left Robbie at the altar.
  • Heel Realization: Robby has one after he drives Julia away by implying that she's only marrying Glenn because he's rich.
    Robbie: I am an asshole!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sammy.
  • Kavorka Man: Robbie is no great looker, with a loser job and a Hair-Trigger Temper, but he manages to reel in one gorgeous woman after another.
  • Love Epiphany: This happens to both Robbie and Julia. With Robbie, it's not entirely clear as to when it happens. However, Julia's is more clear; it happens when her cousin Holly asks why she wants to marry Glenn anyway, at which she collapses on the table - realizing she actually loves Robbie.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Inverted. After their date, Holly flat-out tells Robbie that she's willing and eager to have sex with him. He turns her down because he's in love with Julia.
  • "Mister Sandman" Sequence: How the Film opens.
  • Mood Whiplash: For comedic purposes. An emotive song about everlasting love is followed by... The Rapping Grandma!
  • My Parents Are Dead: Robbie.
  • The Musical
  • Musical World Hypotheses: Diegetic type. The titular wedding singer performs the musical numbers for the characters In-Universe.
  • Nice Guy: Robbie is definitely this without question. He sings at weddings for low pay just to see the smiles on everyone's faces, he gives an elderly lady voice lessons while accepting meatballs as payment, and he selflessly agrees to help Julia plan her wedding before he falls for her.
  • Period Piece: A rather unusual one. There's really no reason why this story had to be set in 1985, thirteen years before the film's release, except that it gives a ton of great joke opportunities.
  • Piss-Take Rap: Averted for The Rappin' Granny, who, at her 50th wedding anniversary, belts out "Rapper's Delight" flawlessly.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Linda had been thinking, and talking to her friends about not going through with the wedding for several days, but still did not do anything about it until not showing up. Lampshaded by Robbie:
    Linda: Oh, yeah - sure! Living in your sister's basement with five kids while you're off every weekend doing wedding gigs at a whoppin' sixty bucks a pop?
    Robbie: Once again, things that could've been brought to my attention YESTERDAY!
  • Popular History
  • Practice Kiss: Robbie and Julia practice how Julia should kiss her soon-to-be husband, with the appropriate amount of "church tongue". Needless to say, the kiss is extremely passionate.
  • Precision F-Strike: "I hope you fucking choke!"
  • Race for Your Love: The film climaxes with Robby chasing Julia through an airport in order to stop her from marrying Glenn.
  • Really Gets Around:
    • Holly, by her own admission after Glenn makes an off-handed remark, gets stared at when claiming that it's untrue, and then simply admits that it is true. "If you come upstairs, you're gonna get laid" leaves little to the imagination.
    • Glenn constantly cheats on Julia with younger women.
    • The sweet old lady that Robbie is giving music lessons to mentions that she had sex with several men before she met her husband. Robbie is rather disturbed by the revelation.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Linda breaks up with Robbie because he's in a deadend job, he doesn't have his own place, and she's not in love with Robbie anymore. It's more of a Strawman Has a Point scene, but anyone would not get married realizing how difficult their life would be due to those circumstances.
    • Linda attempts to reunite with Robbie, but it fails. Why? Well, she cruelly gave him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech instead of just saying the marriage won't work, she took Robbie's shirt and went into his home while he was drunk, making Robbie think she's a pyscho, and she's still an insensitive bitch, who's not really sorry for how she treated him.
    • Sammy's lifestyle as The Casanova comes in for some of this when he admits that he's lonely, miserable, and getting increasingly older, and no one wants to see an old man hit on girls much younger than him.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Glenn vs Robbie.
  • Romantic Comedy
  • Runaway Bride: A rare unsympathetic view. Linda leaving Robbie at the altar makes her look like a shallow, self-centered bitch while Robbie is left heartbroken and humiliated. Her claims that Robbie was more in love with the idea of being in love would probably cast her in a more sympathetic light if Robbie wasn't such a Nice Guy.
  • Running Gag: George singing "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" whenever left alone on stage.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation
  • Shout-Out: This movie includes a boatload of references to 1980s pop culture. A few include:
    • In one scene, Glenn is dressed similarly to Don Johnson from Miami Vice. When he pulls up in his Delorean, the theme for Miami Vice can be heard as well. There's also a Shout-Out in the fact that he drives a Delorean.
    • At the bar, Sammy wears a red leather jacket exactly like the one Michael Jackson wore in the music video for "Thriller."
    • The clerk at the airport has A Flock of Seagulls-style haircut (which is immediately pointed out).
    • George is an impersonator of Boy George from Culture Club.
  • Smug Snake: Glenn.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Robbie figures out that Glenn and Julia are on the same plane because one of the stewardesses said that a coach passenger told her she was "grade-A, top-choice meat." Glenn had said the same thing about a waitress halfway through the movie.
  • Take That!: Robbie saying: "Get out of my Van Halen T-shirt before you jinx the band and they break up." It's also a Call-Back of sorts to the scene in Airheads when the Lone Rangers try to determine if someone is a policeman by asking who he sided with in the Van Halen vs. David Lee Roth split. The guy says "Van Halen," and they say, "He's a cop." note 
  • 20 Minutes into the Past: Released in 1998, takes place in 1985.
  • Wedding Deadline: Played straight in the musical, but averted in the film; the break-up happens on the plane to Las Vegas.