On February 13, 1998, Adam Sandler provided Valentine’s job sweethearts a retro treat through The Wedding Singer, a 1980s-set rom-com about a heartbroken wedding singer named Robbie Hart (Sandler) who drops in love through a waitress/bride-to-be who married name will certainly leave her together Julia Gulia (Drew Barrymore).

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At this suggest in Sandler’s career, he was known much more for his puerile comedies favor Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, not as a romantic top man. The Wedding Singer changed all that. ~ earning that $18 million budget earlier during its opened weekend alone, The Wedding Singer went on come gross $123 million worldwide—making it Sandler’s highest-grossing movie to day at the time.

Besides being a bona fide box office hit, the film’s two ’80s-heavy soundtracks—which included tunes through The Police, David Bowie, The Psychedelic Furs, brand-new Order, and The Smiths—were likewise popular. For the film’s 20th anniversary, here are 11 funny facts around The Wedding Singer.

1. THE DIRECTOR’S very own REAL-LIFE HEARTBREAK permitted HIM come TAP into THE FILM’S EMOTION.

Longtime Sandler friend and collaborator candid Coraci command The Wedding Singer, and said the his own experience with having actually his heart damaged was part of what allowed him come tap right into the movie’s distinct balance of humor and heartfelt romance.

“I remember lied in bed and not being able come move, so the was straightforward to tap into that pretty quickly,” Coraci told The Hollywood News that his own heartbreak, which occurred a couple of years prior to the movie came along. “I think the distance between those two things was good. The let me look in ~ it in different way and permitted it to be funny. I think if had happened before, The Wedding Singer would have actually been one seriously boring movie.”

2. THE IDEA TO collection THE film IN THE 1980S came FROM THE RADIO.

The Wedding Singer was created by Tim Herlihy, a longtime collaborator that Sandler’s who, in addition to creating for Saturday Night Live, created the scripts for Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Waterboy (among various other Sandler-starring films). Sandler pointed out to Herlihy the he want to do “a film around a wedding singer who gets left in ~ the altar.” for his part, Herlihy let the radio inspire him. “I to be listening come the radio show Lost in the ’80s, and also I said, ‘I desire to carry out a movie collection in the 1980s. Therefore of course, us thought, ‘Why don’t we carry out a story about a wedding singer in the 1980s?’”

3. SANDLER want TO make A “PRO-LOVE” FILM.

While fostering the movie on Late Night v Conan O’Brien in 1998, Sandler said, “We wanted to do a romantic comedy that was hefty on the laughs. It was nice to carry out a movie that was pro-marriage and also pro-love.” He explained men have actually a an overwhelming time fallout’s in love. “You got guys that say lock don’t desire to it is in in love, however those are usually men who have been hurt before.”

4. THE MOVIE doesn’t FEATURE any SEX SCENES, and also THERE’S A reason FOR THAT.

In the very same interview, Conan O’Brien inquiry Sandler why there weren’t any sex scene in the film, which appeared odd because that a rom-com. Sandler to be candid v his answer: “The main reason because that not having actually a sex scene is i’m not good at sex,” the said. “I started once I to be pretty young and I was constantly like, you’ll acquire better. And also I gained older and it’s still no good.”

5. BARRYMORE APPROACHED SANDLER about WORKING TOGETHER.

Since the release of The Wedding Singer, Sandler and Drew Barrymore have gone on to star in 50 first Dates (2004) and also Blended (2014) together, however their original collaboration was really the actress’s doing. Barrymore told Howard Stern she was interested in working through Sandler due to the fact that “ I desire to be a modern-day weird Hepburn, Tracy old Hollywood couple.” Sandler i agree to meet with her. “We looked prefer the worst blind date you’ve ever before seen,” Barrymore recalled, referencing exactly how she had purple hair and wore a leopard coat. Still, together Barrymore said The Huffington Post, she was persuaded that she and also Sandler to be “cinematic spirit mates,” and also wasn’t afraid to tell him so. Soon after this meeting, the manuscript for The Wedding Singer come along.

6. THE “RAPPING GRANNY” live TO be 101.

At the age of 84, Ellen Albertini Dow shown Robbie’s neighbor Rosie, a.k.a. “The Rapping Granny.” during a wedding step in the movie, Rosie it s okay on stage and also raps come The sugar Hill gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” However, as soon as the filmmakers request Dow to execute the rap, she admitted she wasn’t acquainted with that layout of music.

In a 2008 radio interview, she recounted exactly how Sandler and also Coraci approached her v the idea. Lock told her, “‘We think it might be funny for an older mrs to execute rap,’” Dow explained. “And ns said, ‘what is that?’ I had actually no idea what lab was. They take it me to a soundstage and also handed me this rap song. Ns went in the booth and also it was an extremely foreign come me. Ns said, ‘Can I move a tiny to it?’ they said, ‘Oh, sure.’ I’m not bragging, however I danced every my life, and I play the piano, so I know music. I started to relocate to it and I obtained it ideal it away. I gained it very fast and loved it and had fun v it.” she rapping success resulted in her rapping in a Life Savers commercial, and also she even taken into consideration recording a rap record for children. In 2015, Dow died at the age of 101.

7. That THE very first SANDLER movie TO include A woman PERSPECTIVE.

In ahead Sandler films, women mostly existed just as love interests. Herlihy, however, adjusted that with The Wedding Singer. “Drew elevated things for us,” the screenwriter told Esquire. “The scenes through her and also Christine —the scenes through her without Adam—. You look at the an initial movies and there’s not a lot without Adam because we did test screening and also they said, ‘Get escape of the scene.’ yet this time with attracted we to be able to carry out that and also have those scenes endure to the movie.”

8. THE CREATORS the THE WEDDING SINGER BROADWAY musical KNEW IT to be “BORN come SING.”

The success of the film inspired a Broadway musical adaptation that ended up earning five Tony award nominations and also eight Drama desk Award nods. Matthew Sklar written the music, and also Chad Beguelin composed the lyrics and also co-wrote the book with Herlihy. That premiered in Seattle in January 2006 and then officially opened on Broadway in April 2006.

In the fall of 2007, the music toured nationally, then ultimately landed overseas in London, Abu Dhabi, the Philippines, and Australia. Beguelin said the musical come from that pitching a movie idea to new Line Cinema. “They asked me, ‘What would you execute with ours catalogue?’ Well, ns thought The Wedding Singer was born to sing,” the said. They felt a musical could convey more powerful feelings than what was on the screen. “In the movie, you obtain a close-up of drew Barrymore feather distraught at her reflection in a wedding dress, yet you can’t execute that on stage,” Beguelin said. “That’s wherein you compose a song.”

9. BARRYMORE wanted THE AUDIENCE come “HOLD THE key OF LOVE.”

In a 1998 interview, Barrymore described what drew her to the character of Julia: “She has an lull that follows her and also that’s the energy that she exudes, and also I really, really choose that about her. And she’s a happy girl.”

Barrymore more said she wanted people to be happy and also for the movie to cause the audience “to host the bowl of love and also have those understanding in your eyes and every one of that great mushy stuff we live for."

10. BILLY IDOL STARRED IN THE movie TO APPEASE HIS SON—AND TEENAGERS.

Billy Idol, whose track “White Wedding” appears on the soundtrack, portrays himself during a climactic step on a plane. “My boy loved Adam Sandler and also I thought: ‘I’m walking to need to see it anyway, so why not be in it?,’” Idol said. “I acquired a number of diehard teenage fans v doing it, who are adults now and are still turning up to mine gigs.”

“There’s something about Billy Idol hanging top top a plane, knocking ago champagne, and getting affiliated with my love life,” Sandler claimed of Idol’s cameo. “Everybody assumed that’d it is in fun.”

11. Boy GEORGE to be A fan OF young GEORGE.

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In the film, transgender actress Alexis Arquette play a character named George, who had actually similarities to the iconic culture Club frontman boy George. Wedding Singer George even sings the band’s 1982 hit song “Do friend Really desire to hurt Me” at a wedding in the movie. Arquette passed away on September 11, 2016, and also around the same time the genuine Boy George payment homage to the actress in ~ a concert in Maryland. He committed “Do girlfriend Really want to hurt Me” to Alexis and her family.

“Alexis played me in The Wedding Singer, an extremely hilariously,” he said. “When I checked out The Wedding Singer, i didn’t understand what to be going come happen. When I witnessed Alexis doing an impersonation the me, ns was rolling approximately on the floor laughing.”