50 First Dates

"OK"

50 First Dates Review


Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore have some kind of remarkable romantic-comedy alchemy together that makes him seem like a genuine catch of a lovable man-boy and makes her flightiness seem cute.

In "The Wedding Singer" they turned one of Hollywood's most insipid clichés (the guy in love must save the apparently blind and stupid girl from marrying a jerk) into a funny little charmer despite its dependence on a "remember when" gimmick of 1980s excess.

They've succeeded again in "50 First Dates," in which Sandler plays a Sea World veterinarian and commitment-phobe who habitually seduces pretty tourists into one-week flings (yeah, right!), and Barrymore stars as the girl who finally captures his heart -- a bright-eyed darling with short term memory loss, so the poor guy has to keep wooing her over and over and over.

At first the movie has trouble finding its footing, limping along on the kind of lowbrow schtick we've come to expect from Sandler (a jet-barfing walrus, Rob Schneider as an obnoxious sidekick) and later going overboard in the degree to which Barrymore's father (Blake Clark) and brother (Sean Austin) try to hide her condition so she can live the same day again and again in blissful ignorance.

But with the couple's meet-cute in a rusty, tin-roofed cafe (absentmindedly playing with her knife, she glints sunshine into his eyes), "Dates" hits its stride with Sandler wracking his brain for new and comical ways to make her fall in love with him day in, day out.

The movie is at its funniest on the days when Sandler strikes out (there aren't enough of these scenes) and at its most affable after he convinces Barrymore's over-protective family to let him try to jog her routine repeatedly in the hopes of making her remember him. While not exactly on the road to recovery, she soon becomes an accessory to her own repeated amorous ensnarement. "I don't want you to strike out tomorrow," she smiles sweetly after one particularly good day together, "so why don't you talk to me about lilies?"

Unlike in most gimmick-driven comedies, first-time writer George Wing and director Peter Segal ("Anger Management") don't ignore their character's outside lives once the plot gets into full swing (Sandler still goes to work most days) and do make an effort to give their characters some real emotional depth. Barrymore has different reactions every day to Sandler and to learning about her condition -- sometimes she's charmed, sometimes she's devastated, and sometimes she's selfless, breaking up with Sandler in the hope that he'll give up on her and get on with his regular life, and his dreams and aspirations.

For the sake of developing an aww-worthy romantic story arc, Segal eventually resorts to the narrative short-hand of montage sequences of their happier times (cue the sunset-silhouetted kisses) and abandons the more amusing bad days all together. Another problem is that it's sometimes hard to not second-guess Sander. Since Barrymore always loses her memory overnight, why doesn't he try keeping her up for 24 hours just to see what happens?

But "50 First Dates" never tries to wiggle out of its memory-loss plot, even when searching for a happy ending, and because it remains true to its characters, the movie overcomes its faults with good humor (after the tactless first act anyway) and genuinely appealing performances (it's certainly the most likable Sandler's ever been).

This may not be a romantic comedy classic, but you don't have to have memory problems to want to see it more than once.



50 First Dates

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th February 2004

Box Office USA: $120.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $196.5M

Budget: $75M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Happy Madison Productions, Anonymous Content, Flower Films (II)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 44%
Fresh: 77 Rotten: 97

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Henry Roth, as Lucy Whitmore, as Ula, as Doug Whitmore, as Alexa, as Dr. Keats, as Marlin Whitmore, as Sue, as Ten Second Tom, as Stacy, Pomaika'i Brown as Nick, Joe Nakashima as Old Hawaiian Man, Jonathan Loughran as Jennifer, as Security Guard, Dom Magwili as Security Guard

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.