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Film review: Wedding Singer, The

Sandler is great as hopeless romantic — don't laugh

Adam Sandler as a romantic lead? Before you laugh too hard at that notion — and for the wrong reasons — just remember that he's not the first "Saturday Night Live" alum to give the idea a try. (For the record, some of the others include Mike Myers, Chevy Chase and Dana Carvey.)

OK, so most of these experiments failed (anyone remember the late John Belushi's Spencer Tracy-like turn in "Continental Divide?"). But Sandler and co-star Drew Barrymore — who are paired in "The Wedding Singer" — have much more chemistry together than you'd imagine. Consequently, the movie is at least better than Sandler's last couple of efforts ("Happy Gilmore" and "Bulletproof").

However, for every right turn this uneven comedy takes, it also takes an equally wrong one. Sometimes in the very next scene.

For example, the overall sweet-spirited tone is marred by some tasteless sexual humor and inappropriate use of four-letter words. And both also defeat the efforts of cast and crew to set a realistic '80s atmosphere (the movie is set in 1985).

Sandler stars as the title character, Robbie Hart, a hopeless romantic whose love of love shows through in his on-stage performances (besides singing at the ceremonies, he sometimes gives pep talks to the soon-to-be-marrieds).

But when he heads to the altar himself, this at-one-time aspiring musician is spurned by his longtime sweetheart (Angela Featherstone), which destroys his self-esteem and his ability to perform.

While down in the dumps, he meets Julia (Barrymore), a sweet but clumsy young waitress, who unfortunately for Robbie is engaged. Because of his unique expertise with nuptials, Robbie is asked by Julia to help out with her upcoming wedding.

But in spite of himself, Robbie finds himself falling in love with her, which gets even worse when he meets her yuppie boyfriend, Glenn (Matthew Glave), who tells everyone except Julia that he's been two-timing her.

The ending is predictable, but the two stars are appealing, especially since Sandler actually tones down his usual obnoxious shtick. And director Frank Coraci does a nice job of milking the '80s-era music, television series and clothing styles for humorous effect.

"The Wedding Singer" is rated PG-13 for extensive use of profane language, vulgar sexual jokes and references, a violent fist fight and partial nudity.