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50 First Dates (Dol Slip) (2004)

A comedy movie directed by Peter Segal

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Is It Worth Going on 50 First Dates?

  • Mar 2, 2004
  • by
Rating:
+1
Pros: Excellent casting; Story tugs on the heart strings; some funny bits

Cons: More sad/serious than funny, and audiences aren't prepared for it.

The Bottom Line: If you're going to see it, wait for video. It's really nothing spectacular. There are a lot of better movies playing right now.

This is an entry into the Epinions Before & After Valentine's Day Write-Off. I went to see 50 First Dates after dinner at Mamma Lombardi's on Valentine's Day.

I don't really like Adam Sandler. He's in the "Ben Stiller" category for me. To much physical humor; not enough intelligent comedy.

I do, however, like Drew Barrymore. She's cute, funny, and I've never seen a bad movie with her. Some people may say that she plays cookie-cutter characters. I don't entirely disagree with that, but it works for her.

In the battle of whether or not to see 50 First Dates, Barrymore won the tug of war. So, on Valentine's Day, my date and I went to a lovely dinner at Mamma Lombardi's, followed by 50 First Dates in the Directors Hall of the Island 16 Cinema du Lux in Holtzville.

The Plot
Henry Roth (Sandler) is a vet at an aquarium in Hawaii. He is known to wine and dine female tourists and give them a romantic interlude that they will - ahem - remember fondly. The thing is, it's always a fling and Henry never has to be tied down. Because of this, his married friend Ula (Rob Schneider) lives vicariously through him, encouraging his "playa" ways.

Thanks to fate and bad ship maintenance, Henry meets Lucy Whitmore (Barrymore) in a diner. The two hit it off very well and make a date for the next morning at the same diner.

Henry shows up for breakfast with Lucy, but she doesn't remember him. Sue (Amy Hill), a waitress in the restaurant, explains to Henry tht Lucy was in a car accident and lost her short term memory. Therefore, Lucy always thinks that it is Sunday, October 13th. henry makes it his mission to get Lucy to take an interest in him again.

Unfortunately, Lucy's friends and family have convinced her that every day is October 13, rather than telling her the truth. Henry soon joins forces with Lucy's dad Marlin (Blake Clark) and brother Doug (Sean Astin) to try to change things. Together, they all visit Dr. Keats (Dan Akroyd) help Lucy live her life with her condition.

Even looking at the plot on paper, it doesn't make for a very funny plot. Reading it, the plot seems quite sad. Obviously, if you're looking for a romantic comedy, the plot tells you that this might not be the movie for you.

Casting
All of the characters are terrific. All of the actors did a fantastic job with each individual role, too. I will review them in order or my favorites.

Rob Schneider plays Ula, a native Hawaiian and Henry's best friend. The makeup is absolutely unbelievable. I had to do a doubletake and asked my date if he realized it was Rob Schneider. Schneider does an awesome job with the accent, body language and overall character. Schneider didn't break character once.

Sean Astin plays Lucy's brother, Doug Whitmore. Doug is obsessed with his body, and is clearly on steroids (though he refuses to admit it). Astin is hilarious in his portrayal of Doug. He speaks with a lisp, which had me rocking with laughter from the get-go. The chemistry between Astin and Clark is fantastic. Add Barrymore to the mix, and you've got a great on-screen family.

Drew Barrymore, one of my favorite actresses, is terrific as the sweet Lucy Whitmore, a free-spirited teacher with strong ties to her family. She is funny where she should be, and serious (and very believable) where she needs to be. She nearly had me in tears when she found out about her accident. Of course, this won't get her any sort of award nod, but I don't think that was ever her intention. Her adaptation of the different moods and emotions that Lucy goes through is wonderful.

Blake Clark is awesome as Marlin Whitmore, Lucy's father. His portrayal of the protective, sad, guilty father is phenomenal. The audience ends up really feeling bad for this man, but understanding why he goes to the lengths he does for his daughter: because he loves her. Clark is more of the "straight man" to the funny characters played by Astin and Sandler. (Barrymore is a little in between those two extremes.) This role couldn't have been cast better.

Sure, Adam Sandler is funny. But, this just isn't a funny movie in the way that Sandler portrays his characters such as Longfellow Deeds (Mr. Deeds) and Happy Gilmore (Happy Gilmore). I don't think he was cast appropriately in this role. However, this film was a joint project between Flower Films and Happy Madison Productions, so there really wasn't any doubt that Barrymore and Sandler would play the title roles.

The Story
Like I said before, this is a sad story. Henry must make the girl of his dreams fall in love with him for the first time every day. A love like that is so amazing, and it hurts so much to see him go through it all-- even if he does portray it in a funny manner. For example, Henry asks Lucy to marry him. She accepts, then he says, "Don't forget." The next morning, they wake up next to each other, and she beats the heck out of him with a lacrosse stick. The story soon becomes about how Henry not only will make Lucy fall in love with him, but how he will remain a staple in her life-- even if she has to be reminded of it every day.

The ending is very sad. To be honest, I thought that Lucy was going to get knocked in the head, like in a cartoon or a soap opera, and remember everything. After all, this is an Adam Sandler movie. But, that doesn't happen. I'm not going to spoil the ending for you. Just be prepared to break out tissues if you're an emotional sort of person.

Chick Flick vs. Date Movie
I'm having a hard time between choosing whether or not this is a chick flick or a date movie. I went to see this movie on a date on Valentine's Day, like many of the other couples in the theater. I didn't hear any guy say that he loved it or what-have-you. My date didn't think it was all that great.

The women, on the other hand, were gushing about it and how Henry was such a great guy. A couple of women were wiping their eyes with crumpled tissues as we left the theater. I, personally, am not a chick flick kind of gal. I could have gone either way with this one: see it or not see it. I like Barrymore. That's why I wanted to see it. The previews made the movie seem like it was going to be extremely funny. That's why my date wanted to see it. He was left disappointed in his reasoning; I wasn't.

Overall
In conclusion, this movie was okay. I don't recommend that you run out to the store and rent it. If I happen to see it on HBO or someone rents it, I would watch it again. It's definitely not worth the full-price to see it at the theater, though. It's not even worth the half-price matinee.

There are a lot of other films out right now that are definitely worth passing this one to see. If I were you, I'd just wait until the movie comes out on DVD.

Recommended:
No

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More 50 First Dates reviews
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie had some funny parts in it...but I'm sure it could have been better.
review by . March 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
is absolutely charming. Adam Sandler's girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) loses her short-term memory, so he must find a way to save their relationship when she doesn't remember it. Of course, it's totally unrealistic, but nonetheless heart-warming. This is a light-hearted movie and doesn't really get philosophical about amnesia and love, but it's good for a relaxing date movie.     The movie also has adorable penguins and walruses and other animals, which make great supporting characters. …
review by . March 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
is absolutely charming. Adam Sandler's girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) loses her short-term memory, so he must find a way to save their relationship when she doesn't remember it. Of course, it's totally unrealistic, but nonetheless heart-warming. This is a light-hearted movie and doesn't really get philosophical about amnesia and love, but it's good for a relaxing date movie.     The movie also has adorable penguins and walruses and other animals, which make great supporting characters. …
review by . March 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
is absolutely charming. Adam Sandler's girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) loses her short-term memory, so he must find a way to save their relationship when she doesn't remember it. Of course, it's totally unrealistic, but nonetheless heart-warming. This is a light-hearted movie and doesn't really get philosophical about amnesia and love, but it's good for a relaxing date movie.     The movie also has adorable penguins and walruses and other animals, which make great supporting characters. …
review by . December 05, 2008
... could be cut and re-edited in arbitrary sequences and nobody would notice. Sandler is the apotheosis of the one-trick pony, the actor who is always exactly the same character in every film. In short, he doesn't act at all; like Yahweh, he just 'is that he is.'     Take a look at the expression on the face of Ms Barrymore in the picture on the DVD cover; that's exactly how I look when I find myself watching another Adam Sandler film. Unfortunately, my teenage son and my two …
review by . April 25, 2006
Adam Sandler's movies are oh so goofy. His idea of humor can be annoyhing at times. However, intermixed between all the childish behavior is that true love is oh so beautiful. And Sandler does show his vulnerable side.    Fortunately this movie is relatively short because it is not long on depth. Nonetheless, the characters are all kind of amusing. If you are in the mood for something not overly ellaborate and light-hearted, this flick will fit the bill.
review by . February 17, 2006
This is quite simply a very enjoyable film. It's not, perhaps, a great film, but it is fun and it left me feeling pleasantly content. Drew Barrymore and Mr. Sandler had worked together before to surprisingly good results. They show an easy chemistry between them that serves the movie well. The idea of making Adam Sandler an aquarium doctor offers a lot of possibilities; his scenes with the walrus are hilarious.     The first 5 to 10 minutes do seem a little out of place: I understand …
review by . November 11, 2004
50 First Dates could never quite figures out whether it wants to be a slapstick comedy or a romantic comedy, and really never works at being either. The first half of the movie is tedious and mostly boring, although it does redeem itself slightly by the end as it gets legs and becomes actually interesting for the last half hour or so.    Adam Sandler plays your stereotypical playboy flitting from one woman to the next until one day he espies a cute woman played by Drew Barrymore. …
review by . June 24, 2004
Pros: Great story, great actor chemistry, mix of (good) emotions     Cons: Some minor "reality" flaws     The Bottom Line: A great movie for a date. Filled with laughter, it will please anyone.
review by . March 02, 2004
Pros: Excellent casting; Story tugs on the heart strings; some funny bits     Cons: More sad/serious than funny, and audiences aren't prepared for it.     The Bottom Line: If you're going to see it, wait for video. It's really nothing spectacular. There are a lot of better movies playing right now.     This is an entry into the Epinions Before & After Valentine's Day Write-Off. I went to see 50 First Dates after dinner at Mamma Lombardi's …
About the reviewer
Candice Cain ()
Ranked #409
I own the Candy Cain Travel Co. in Brookhaven, NY. I am a certified Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants and my agency is certified by IATA and CLIA. I specialize … more
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50 First Dates is a 2004 romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore and directed by Peter Segal. 

Henry Roth (Adam Sandler), a womanizing marine-life veterinarian living in Hawaii, meets Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore), an art teacher, in a café one morning. They hit it off and agree to meet in the café the next morning. The following day, however, Lucy claims not to know Henry. The café owner pulls Henry aside and explains that Lucy suffers from anterograde amnesia (called 'Goldfield Syndrome' in the movie) as a result of a car accident she was in a year earlier. Her condition has left her with no memory of anything between the day of the accident and the present, because she is incapable of converting short-term memories into long-term memories. At the beginning of each day, she loses all memory of the past day. She innocently believes every day to be October 13, 2002. Her father, Marlin (Blake Clarke), and brother, Doug (Sean Astin), attempt to re-enact the activities of October 13, her father's birthday, every day, to prevent her from suffering from learning about the accident.

Realizing that he is beginning to fall in love with Lucy, Henry sheds his philandering ways and begins devising new ways to ‘meet’ her again every day, hoping that one day she will retain her memories – and feelings – for him. Henry and Lucy’s ...

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