The Wedding Singer

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) 1 - 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced, MPEG 2.0 (Rental & Retail 1 versions)
1 - 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 2.0 (Retail 2 version)
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1-Dolby Digital Egypt (Retail 2)
Year Released 1998 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time
92:54 minutes (Rental, Retail 1)
93:27 minutes (Retail 2)
(not 97 minutes as stated on the packaging - note the Retail 2 is longer because of the inclusion of the Dolby Digital Egypt trailer before the movie)
Other Extras Unseen Footage (all versions)
Featurette (all versions)
Cast Biographies (all versions - additional bios on Retail 2 version)
Menu Audio & Animation (MPEG audio for the Rental and Retail 1 versions, Dolby Digital 2.0 audio for the Retail 2 version)
Music Video-Video Killed The Radio Star, The Presidents of the United States of America (Retail 2 version only)
Cast & Crew Interviews (Retail 2 version only)
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie (Rental, Retail 1)
Menu (Retail 2)
Region 4 Director Coraci, Frank 

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Adam Sandler
Drew Barrymore
Christine Taylor
Case Roadshow Home Entertainment Old Style (Rental, Retail 1)
Transparent (Retail 2)
RRP $34.95 Music Teddy Castellucci 

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages Rental
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
English (MPEG 5.1)
Retail 1
English (MPEG 5.1, 192Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
Retail 2
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 384Kb/s)
English (MPEG 2.0 silent, 112Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes 
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement Yes 
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    The Wedding Singer is a movie that you will either love or hate. You will know which of these two categories you fall into within 5 seconds of the movie starting. If you start bopping along to the title music, you will love this movie. If you hate the title music, you will hate this movie. By the way, the opening song is You Spin Me Round. Me, I love this movie. It's one of my all-time favourites.

    The story at one level is a basic romantic comedy; boy meets girl, they fall in love, and despite seemingly insurmountable odds, they get together by the end, which is how you want it to be. It rises above the genre, however, both by being very funny, and by being set in 1985, which allows you to laugh at the fashions and the social mores of a period not all that long past.

    The movie opens with the aforementioned song, being sung at a wedding by Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler). Robbie Hart is a Wedding Singer, and a very good one at that, as he quickly demonstrates by salvaging the best man's speech from this wedding. We also learn that Robbie is a very kind, generous and caring kind of guy. We also get to meet Julia (Drew Barrymore), a waitress who has just started work at this particular reception hall. Julia is a wonderful, sweet human being. Robbie and Julia develop an instant rapport, and we learn that Robbie himself is getting married next week and Julia is involved in a long term relationship at the moment which doesn't appear to be progressing towards the altar.

    Robbie's wedding day arrives, but unfortunately, he is left standing at the altar by Linda (Angela Featherstone) whereupon he falls into a deep depression. Robbie's best friend, Sammy (Allen Covert) convinces Robbie to return to work, and an absolutely hysterical sequence follows revolving around the songs Holiday and Love Stinks.

    Robbie gets to meet Glen, Julia's fiancé (by now he has proposed). Glen (Matthew Glare) is a big-time Don Johnston wannabe. Julia convinces Robbie to help her with her wedding plans. They have a lot of fun together, including another hysterical scene involving Jimmie Moore and his band (Michael Jay in a cameo role). As a result of this, Julia's cousin, Holly (Christine Taylor) takes an interest in Robbie. This leads to a double date with Robbie, Glen, Julia and Holly, where Robbie learns that Glen is a big-time fink, and has no intention of changing even after he marries Julia.

    Robbie and Julia's romance now takes a seriously rocky course, with seemingly endless obstructions to their getting together. However, with a little help from Billy Idol and the entire First Class section of a flight to Las Vegas, Robbie and Julia finally get together. And that's how we really want it to be.

Transfer Quality

General Comments

    Before I describe the video and audio quality of this DVD, I feel that I need to explain some facts about the release of this movie. Roadshow Home Entertainment have released three different DVDs of this movie. One version was released to video rental stores. This version will not play in Creative Encore DVD drives. Another version which does play in Creative Encore DVD drives was released for sell-through at the same time. Once this second version was sold out, a third version has been released which fixes a lot of the issues pertaining to the first two releases.

    I have viewed all three versions of the movie, utilizing two different DVD players for my review; a Pioneer DV-505 and a Noriko DVD-390K. A summary of the differences between the three follows.
"Rental" version
"Retail 1" version
"Retail 2" version
Catalogue Number
Disc Number
101887-9 #01
101887-9 #04
Default Audio
Dolby Digital 5.1
MPEG 5.1
Dolby Digital 5.1
Plays on Creative Encore DVD
Additional Extras;
Dolby Digital Egypt Trailer
Music Video
Cast & Crew Interviews
Extra Cast Biographies


    This is a good DVD transfer in the video department, with only minor video flaws. The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was clear and sharp at all times. Shadow detail was good, with no low level noise interfering with the picture quality.

    The colour was well rendered in this transfer. Overall, they were perhaps slightly subdued, but the colour balance was the same throughout the entire transfer, so it was certainly perfectly acceptable. I don't know if it is my imagination or not, but I did not have this criticism of the Retail 2 version of this movie - it seemed excellent in this department.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted mainly of a number of scenes with minor to moderate aliasing. The usual culprits were the cause of these artefacts, such as wicker chairs, venetian blinds, automobile grilles and brick walls. They were not particularly distracting, but they were noticeable at times. Film artefacts were non-existent. In particular, there is a glitch in the Region 1 DVD of this movie in the nightclub scene (at 59:46, between the words "Hotter....and younger" and "How'd you do it man?") which is not present in this transfer. There were a few very minor vertical jumps, presumably at the reel change points, but they were barely noticeable. The aliasing seemed less of a problem with the Retail 2 version of the movie.

    Overall, bearing in mind that it is nearly a year since I viewed the Rental and Retail 1 versions of this movie, I felt that the Retail 2 version of the movie had a superior video transfer. I don't know if this is totally my imagination, or a function of the different DVD player that I used to view the Retail 2 version of the movie (Noriko DVD-390K) which seems to output a more saturated picture than the Pioneer DV-505 that I used to review the Rental and Retail 1 releases.


    I felt that the best approach to this section was to discuss the audio sync of the Rental and the Retail 1 versions first, leaving my original comments intact, and then following up with my comments on the audio sync of the Retail 2 version later.
Rental Version and Retail 1 Version
    Unfortunately, the audio on this DVD is severely problematic. There are two audio tracks on this DVD. The default audio is English MPEG 5.1 sound on the Retail 1 version and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound on the Rental version. Having Dolby Digital as the default audio is a step in the right direction for Roadshow Home Entertainment.

    Dialogue was variable in its intelligibility, but was usually clear. Singing was also variable in audio quality, due mainly to the fact that the majority of the singing in the movie was done 'live' whilst it was filmed, and the sound was taken from the handheld microphones that the performers were holding. At times, this leads to some distortion of the audio. However, it does give these scenes a certain authenticity.

    The worst problem with this soundtrack was the fact that the audio was frequently out of sync with the video. I would estimate that approximately 25-30% of the movie soundtrack was sufficiently out of sync to be severely distracting. The audio was delayed from the video by approximately 0.2 seconds, which made it very hard to watch and listen to the movie at the same time since you could clearly see the actors say their lines a fraction before the audio arrived. Both versions of the DVD are equally affected by this problem. I made notes of the specific scenes affected, and following is a complete list of definite problem areas. Some sections of the movie seemed to come in and out of sync, so I have attributed these problems to possible ADR problems rather than encoding problems.
The best man's speech.
Conversation between Julia, Holly and the cook in the reception hall kitchen area.
Robbie and Julia talking behind the reception hall.
Rosie's singing lesson.
Romantic dance song at the Bar Mitzvah and then negotiating with the photographer. This latter section is where the problem is the worst in the movie as the photographer speaks very quickly and the audio lag is very noticeable.
Robbie and Julia talking in the ice cream parlour.
Sammy's driving test, the "pretend" kiss scene, and in the nightclub.
Robbie and Julia's argument at Robbie's home where she throws the music sheets in the air.

    These problems were not corrected by pausing and restarting the movie, by stopping the movie and restarting it, or even by ejecting the movie and restarting it. To add some mystery to this problem, this problem only occurred with the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix when listening to the digital data stream. Listening to the analogue downconverted mixes from both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and the MPEG 5.1 audio tracks demonstrated no sync problems. I verified the configuration of my Dolby Digital processor, and also checked several other Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks on other DVDs and none of these exhibited any problems whatsoever, so this appears to be a characteristic inherent to this specific DVD.

    Two other specific audio problems that I noted were an audio dropout during the opening New Line Cinema logo (0:01-0:05) and stuttering sound during the Roadshow Home Entertainment logo at the end of the movie.

    These problems are not present on the Region 1 version of this DVD and are completely unacceptable as it makes the movie nearly unwatchable a significant amount of the time.

Retail 2 Version
    I watched the Retail 2 version of this movie on two different DVD players; I watched the entire movie on a Noriko DVD-390K, and then I watched the problematic audio sequences from the Rental and Retail 1 releases of this movie on a Pioneer DV-505.

    On the Noriko DVD-390K DVD player, there were no audio sync problems whatsoever. Audio sync was perfect.

    On the Pioneer DV-505, audio sync was still problematic. A constant lag was noted where the audio would trail slightly behind the video. This was not as bad as the original versions of this movie, but it was still unacceptable. It was particularly noticeable during the opening speeches with Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi. However, the Faye scene was significantly better.

Audio Continued
    The musical score makes a major contribution to this movie. Some well known and many more not so well known songs from the 80s appear in this movie, and will make you smile as you recognize them. They'll get your foot tapping.

     The surround channels were frequently utilized, particularly for music. There was also pleasing ambience present during scenes involving large crowds such as wedding scenes and cafe scenes. At times, the movie has a somewhat up-front feel to it, but generally the surround channels are reasonably well used.

    The .1 channel was used to enhance the music. It got a good workout during this movie.


    This DVD is the first Region 4 DVD to have animated menus. The animation consists of a beating heart subpicture for most of the menus, and rotating stars as a background for the scene selections. Music from the movie is also present underscoring the menus. On the first two versions of this disc, the menu audio was in MPEG audio only. On the third version of this disc, the audio is in Dolby Digital.
Rental and Retail 1 Versions
    Five minutes of unseen footage and out takes are presented on this DVD. I found this material to be of limited interest as there was no attempt to put any of it into context.

    The theatrical trailer is present on this DVD. It is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio with an MPEG soundtrack only, no Dolby Digital soundtrack at all.

    Finally, we have some still frame cast biographies for Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore and Allen Covert.

Retail 2 version
    The Retail 2 version eschews the MPEG audio for Dolby Digital Audio (excellent), adds some additional extras, and has had a minor rejigging of the main menu.

Music Video - Video Killed The Radio Star, The Presidents of the United States of America

Cast & Crew Interviews

Additional Cast Biographies

R4 vs R1

    The Region 4 Retail 2 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     For the majority of DVD owners out there, there is no reason to prefer one version over the other. For Pioneer DVD owners, the audio sync problem leads me to recommend the Region 1 version over the Region 4 version.


    The Wedding Singer is one of my all-time favourite movies. It is hysterically funny at times, and unashamedly schmaltzy at other times. It will make you remember the 1980s with fond nostalgia.

    The video quality is quite good, though with a little more aliasing artefact than I am used to seeing.

    The audio quality, and particularly the sync problem with the Dolby Digital track, is a major problem if you have a Pioneer DVD player which is a pity as if there was no sync problem, then this would be a fantastic soundtrack.

Ratings (out of 5)

Audio (Most DVD owners)
(Pioneer owners)
Extras (Rental and Retail 1)
(Retail 2)
Overall (Rental and Retail 1)
(Retail 2 non Pioneer DVD player)

Michael Demtschyna
27th November 1998
updated 29th November 1998
further updated with Retail 2 information 23rd October 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505 & Noriko DVD-390K (Retail 2), using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer