Things You Might Not Know About ‘The Wedding Singer’Published on October 2, 2017. Updated February 3, 2020
Released in 1998, The Wedding Singer is one of the most popular romantic comedies from the ’90s. Starring the iconic duo Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, it tells the story of a wedding singer who falls in love with a waitress. The film turned into a huge box office hit and was critically acclaimed with many people calling it Sandler’s best movie. It’s been 20 years since the film was released, so here’s a look back at some things you probably didn’t know about The Wedding Singer!
8. Butterfly Jean Jacket
The trademark butterfly jean jacket worn by Drew Barrymore’s character, Julia, throughout the film actually belongs to Barrymore. The director saw her wearing it and loved it so much he asked her to wear it as part of her costume.
7. Carrie Fisher Worked on the Script
The late Star Wars actress, Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia, spent her time off-screen doctoring screenplays. She worked on Sister Act, Last Action Hero, and then The Wedding Singer. She wasn’t the only star to pitch in on this film. After making a name for himself on the ’90s cult classic Freaks and Geeks, Judd Apatow showcased his talent by pitching in on the script. And of course, Adam Sandler also worked on the uncredited version of the script alongside his old friend Tim Herlihy.
6. Box Office Sales
Adam Sandler has never been a friend of the movie critics, and despite their bad reviews, he’s still laughing all the way to the bank and has a strong fan following. Many of his films have received extremely low ratings on Rotton Tomatoes, but he does have a few that survived the wrath and The Wedding Singer goes down as his highest-rated picture as of 2016. It was also his first film to gross $100 million at the box office. Since then he’s appeared in 20 films that have cracked this barrier, but this particular movie was a major milestone in his career. It achieved over $18 million in its first week — just behind The Titanic and grossed over $120 million worldwide.
5. How The Script Came to Be
When Adam Sandler was unceremoniously fired from Saturday Night Live he knew he had to start making a name for himself. He partnered up with Tim Herlihy and the two began writing movie scripts together. They started with Billy Madison and then followed it up with Happy Gilmore. Both gained a strong cult following that put Sandler on the map without the help of SNL, but those films were goofy and lacked a female voice which led to Herlihy writing the script of The Wedding Singer. “Drew elevated things for us. The scenes with her and Christine [Taylor] — the scenes with her without Adam — [were all great]. You look at the first movies and there’s not a lot without Adam because we did test screening and they said, ‘Get rid of that scene.’ But this time with Drew we were able to do that and have those scenes survive to the movie,” said Herlihy.
4. Drew Barrymore Turned Sandler into a Leading Man
While on The Howard Stern Show, Barrymore recounted the story of when she first met Adam Sandler. At the time she was in her early 20s, working in a coffee shop, sporting purple hair. She called Sandler up and asked if he wanted to start making movies together. Sandler later confirmed the story and said he thought her purple hair was “bada–.” Once they’d agreed to work together, they set out to find the right project which is when The Wedding Singer came along. “Drew liking me made it seem like girls were allowed to like me in movies,” he said. This particular film helped both of them — it re-launched Drew Barrymore’s career and helped put Sandler on the map with female audiences and paint him as a potential romantic lead. The Wedding Singer was the first of three films they did together. They have also starred in 50 First Dates and Blended.
3. Billy Idol Appearance
Famous musician Billy Idol appeared in The Wedding Singer for a performance of “White Wedding.” Even though Idol isn’t shy about appearing on camera — he’s done numerous cameos in movies and television shows before — he admitted it took some convincing for him to participate in The Wedding Singer. Idol said he took the gig because his son William was a huge fan of Adam Sandler at the time. He also admitted this cameo earned him a lot of teenage fans. “I gained a number of die-hard teenage fans through doing it, who are adults now and are still turning up to my gigs,” he said.
2. From The Wedding Singer to Friends
Usually, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but it’s worth noting simply because of the coincidental number of actors from this film who went on to play small roles on the hit TV series Friends. Christine Taylor, who played the role of Holly in The Wedding Singer, appeared in Friends as Ross’ girlfriend, Bonnie, in season 3. Julia’s mother, played by Christina Pickles, appeared in every single season of Friends as Monica and Ross’ mother, Judy Geller. Jon Lovitz played the role of Robbie’s wedding singer rival, Jimmie Moore, in The Wedding Singer, and then went on to guest star in Friends twice, first as the pot smoking restaurant owner in season 1 and then as the guy who Rachel goes on a blind date with in season 9. Lastly, the woman who leaves Robbie at the altar, Angela Featherstone, went on to play Chloe, the infamous woman who sleeps with Ross while he’s on a break with Rachel.
1. Rapping Grandma
There were tons of great performances in The Wedding Singer. In addition to Adam Sandler’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” actors like Jon Lovitz performed “Ladies Night,” Alexis Arquette did her own rendition of “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” and Steve Buscemi closed the film with a performance of Spandau Ballet’s “True.” But the only cast member (aside from Adam Sandler) to make it on the official soundtrack was Ellen Dow! She played the rapping grandma who takes the stage for a memorable take on “Rappers Delight.” Sadly, she passed away in May 2015 at the age of 101.