Eye For Film >> Movies >> 50 First Dates (2004) Film Review
It's pretty easy to pigeonhole Adam Sandler. With the exception of Punch Drunk Love, which was altogether a darker account, most of his characters are goofball comics with hearts of gold.
50 First Dates is no exception. Sandler plays Henry Roth, a marine biologist in Hawaii, who's bored of his rampant sexual proclivities with women off the island and wants a local girl.
One morning, in between barffing walruses and his horny ladyboy colleague Alexa (Lusia Strus), he spots the cute young Lucy (Drew Barrymore) in a café. As usual, the self-deprecating Sandler charm works a treat and he's in there. Or so he thinks, until next morning when his initial wit and charm takes a sharp nosedive. He soon learns that as the result of a car accident with her father, en route to pick pineapples, Lucy suffers from amnesia and has a memory span of less than 24 hours. This means that everything she does one day is forgotten the next.
Her father (Blake Clark) and brother Doug (Sean Astin) play the fool, lying to her and setting up everything as if time has stood still. Doug is straight out of a comic book, with a dodgy lisp, recurring wet dreams and a daily routine of popping steroids and pumping iron in a feeble attempt to make up for his lack of height, in order to impress his old man. Arguably, this character is funnier than Sandler's, whose roles are becoming increasingly generic - same guy in different situations.
There are some good gags along the way, as Henry attempts to woo Lucy afresh each day, making a diary of what's happened to remind himself. Heading to the Memory Loss Institution, they meet Ten Second Tom, named after his memory span. He introduces himself to the same people every 10 seconds. Ok, it's funny when you see it!
Dan Ackroyd makes a cameo appearance as the doctor, but doesn't do much. Barrymore does well, though, suitably cast as the cute girl next door, with a feisty undertone.
While Sandler always sings optimistic praise for the not-so-good-looking romantic strugglers out there, it seems that he's quite happy taking a back seat now, as the lovable rogue with a passion for golf.
If you're a fan of the man, you'll like 50 First Dates. If not, you won't.Reviewed on: 08 Apr 2004