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Drew Romance.

By Ray Pride

FEBRUARY 16, 1998:  In "The Wedding Singer," Adam Sandler moves from the pursuit of genial slob comedy to an unlikely, sweet-as-can-be love story co-starring Drew Barrymore. Sandler's a lovelorn wedding singer in 1985, giving him room for multiple song parodies and jabs at the thirty or forty oh-so-new-wave songs in the rummage sale of a soundtrack. When his own wedding goes kaflooey, he meets beatific waitress Barrymore, who twinkles and dimples like no one else this side of Gwyneth Paltrow. The movie's clunky-funny throughout -- I probably laughed more than I have in months -- and the romance is perky and puppy-dog.

In person, Barrymore, 23 this month, is cheerily affected in her speech; she still looks like the 8-year-old from "E.T.," the oldest cherub in Hollywood grown buxom and Rubensesque. She's got some ideas on love, such as dismissing Valentine's Day for Halloween, which says to her, "Condone the freak that you are and SHOW IT!" But the notorious child-actor, child-doper waxes ecstatic about her year-and-a-half romance with actor Luke Wilson. "My boyfriend, everything he does for me every day is romantic. The thing I find most romantic is when he makes he laugh. That's it. Laughter. That's why positively I'm in love with him."

Her character in "Wedding Singer" is delightfully sweet and simple, a contrast to the view most have of Barrymore. "I did a slew of bad girls and people thought I was a bad girl. I'm the opposite, I'm getting out my crap through my work!" she continues, "I'm an androgynist, I'm an equalist. I won't say I'm a feminist. I love women but I'm not going to abolish men. I want both! It's actually a mind and a soul and all those important things that's the reason you fall in love with someone." So no love at first sight?

"That's something different, that's not an esthetic, that's an eye meeting an eye, going, 'Omigod, you know something, I know it, too, I think the next move is to look down to the floor and freak out!'"

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