The wedding movie genre, especially in the ‘90s and the early ‘00s, spotlighted figures and vendors essential to nuptials. For example, Jennifer Lopez’s event planning figure in 2001’s The Wedding Planner, Steve Martin’s character in Father of the Bride, and, Adam Sandler’s “wedding singing” persona in The Wedding Singer.
On February 13, Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s beloved romantic comedy The Wedding Singer turns 20 years old, prompting a look back at the plot line, the set and the stars from the film’s director Frank Coraci.
The movie itself grossed upwards of $125 million globally, and was turned into a musical back in 2006. “A lot of magic happened on the movie,” Coraci told E! News. “We had no idea, by the way, that it was gonna be a success [when we were making it]. Nothing like that had ever hit that big.”
In the ‘80s-set film, Sandler’s character Robbie Hart, a titular “wedding singer,” falls for Barrymore’s waitress character. Though both are engaged at the start of the storyline, they eventually—in that typical roundabout movie way—fall for each other.
At the time, Barrymore and Sandler had barely secured their A-list statuses. “Drew hadn’t been in a big movie in a while,” Coraci continued. “She really hadn’t gotten to be funny at that point.”
Sandler’s wildly popular comedy, Big Daddy, was one year away from release, and both stars were on the horizon of a longterm Hollywood partnership of sorts. “Adam had some good little movies that did well, but [this] took us to the next level,” Coraci continued. “At the time, everyone was questioning, ‘Is Adam a leading man?’ I had no doubt that he would be a great leading man. I knew he was charming and funny—it was definitely the right place for him to go next.”
Since its release, both Sandler and Barrymore have looked back at the film fondly. “You were cooler than me. No doubt you were cooler than me,” Sandler remarked to Barrymore in an Entertainment Tonight interview in 2014. “You dressed cool. Girls always were bananas over Drew. The fact that I knew Drew made some ladies think I was cooler than I actually was.”
He reaffirmed those words in a separate interview with Howard Stern in 2015. “Drew liking me made it seem like girls were allowed to like me in movies,” Sandler mused.