50 First Dates

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:36 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

50 First Dates
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider, Sean Astin, Dan Aykroyd
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Kiddie Movie: There’s a lot of crude humor. Keep it to the teens.
Date Movie: It is a decent romantic comedy.
Gratuitous Sex: Nothing gratuitous.
Gratuitous Violence: Lucy beating up Henry when she wakes up in bed with him and doesn’t know who he is.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Some good ones.
Memorable Scene: Nothing stands out.
Memorable Quote: Henry, when trying to cop a feel: "After the 12th date, I’m entitled to unlimited boob access."
Directed By: Peter Segal
Produced By: Jack Giarraputo, Steve Golin, Nancy Juvonen

Maybe it’s just Adam Sandler’s way to make sure guys can have some fun when they have to go see romantic comedies with their dudettes – toss in some vomit joke, some nipple rubbing, and jokes about wet dreams. Me, I actually thought those jokes took away from what was developing into a sweet, romantic movie. Maybe I’m just becoming a puss as I age. Here’s the story.

Sandler plays Henry Roth. Marine veterinarian by day, dude to show tourist women a good time by making up all kinds of professions only to leave them without even a phone number by night. Opening the movie we are treated to an onslaught of testimonials of Henry’s ability to show a good time, so Henry is instantly painted as a womanizer. Then one day he finds himself in a café and sees Lucy (Drew Barrymore). For a change he finds a girl that makes him happy, actually can see himself getting in a real relationship with her, and his womanizing ways might be over. After their getting-to-know-each-other breakfast, they agree to meet each other for breakfast the next day, only when Henry arrives for their breakfast date, he is shocked that Lucy doesn’t remember him. It is explained to him that Lucy has short-term memory loss caused by a car accident about a year ago. Pretty much all of her memories lead up to the day of the accident and every time she goes to sleep, well, the previous day is gone. Henry then learns that her father and brother, along with the café patrons, do their best to keep each day the same so she doesn’t freak out finding out about the accident. This leads to every day being the same for dad and brother, watching a tape of the same football game they were scheduled to watch, and seeing “The Sixth Sense” every night because Lucy was giving it to dad as a birthday present. Lucy constantly thinks it’s the Sunday of her dad’s birthday, and everyone else plays along. But Henry thinks things can be different.

After slowly getting approval from dad to start seeing his daughter, and seeing how a day goes when Lucy finds out what happened, Henry develops a plan so that every morning Lucy starts the day watching a video tape explaining the accident, how her friends and family love her, and how she is dating Henry. An hour or two after this, Lucy accepts her fate and at least now gets to have a new day, with new discoveries, and Henry not having to work as hard to get her to like him because the tape already explains that they’re dating. All is going well for our happy couple until one day Lucy discovers that Henry is giving up on his dream to sail to Alaska and study walruses so he can be with Lucy. She decides to dump Henry, erase him out of her journal she has now been keeping, and he’ll be able to get on with his life. Blah, blah, blah, yea, they live happily ever after, although the ending isn’t as cookie cutter as you might think, which I did find refreshing.

Anyway, the movie is cute in the aspect of the chemistry between Lucy and Henry that develops every day. There’s a scene where Lucy has a beach party with the friends she hasn’t seen in a year, comments on all of their changes, and when one of Lucy’s girlfriends questions Adam on his having to make sure Lucy falls in love with him every day, she slaps her husband asking him why he can’t do the same. It’s those cute moments that make the film. But, in Adam Sandler tradition, the film is laced with uncomfortable weirdness and sexual humor that, although funny in their weirdness ways, I found took away from the movie. Case in point – Ula (Rob Schneider), Henry’s friend, being a sort of creepy sidekick who likes to rub his nipples and stores a joint down his butt-crack.

I liked the movie, but for a change found the sexual humor mostly stupid and unnecessary. Sure the premise for the movie is sort of out there, but there is a sweetness in Henry that Sandler plays well, and Barrymore does a great job with the Lucy character treating each new day with an innocence of that first date, that first kiss, that first time you realize you love someone. The movie really didn’t need a walrus barfing on Henry’s vet assistant, Alexa (Lusia Strus), whom we are pretty sure is a woman, but looks like a man, nor the idea that Doug (Sean Astin), Lucy’s brother, wants to know if steroids can cause wet dreams. It stood as a better romantic comedy on its original premise and really didn’t need the crude humor. 2 ½ stars out of 5. I probably would have given it 3 ½, but the unnecessary stabs at humor cost it a star in my book.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!