It happens almost all the time. Somebody has an unexpected success with a movie, and then they try to repeat that success by following the same basic formula again. I really enjoyed “The Wedding Singer”. That’s why I expected the new Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore vehicle, “50 First Dates”, to totally suck. I was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t suck at all.
Sandler plays Henry Roth, a veterinarian at an aquarium park in Hawaii, who’s personal life is an endless series of one-night stands with women tourists. Then he meets Barrymore in a local diner, and finds himself wanting a longer relationship. Unfortunately for him, Drew’s character, Lucy, has suffered a serious head injury and her short term memory is erased every night as she sleeps. It’s “Groundhog Day” and “Memento” and a number of other film plots cast into a very good romantic comedy. It shouldn’t work, but it does.
I think it works mainly because Sandler and Barrymore are not your average romantic leads. It’s easier to see ourselves in them than it is with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts or some other model couple. Also, the story highlights their gentler, more likable qualities, rather than trying to be either too juvenile or witty. The low brow humor is left to Rob Schneider, who play’s Henry’s best friend and coworker. Fortunately, there is a limit put on the lowbrow stuff.
Don’t think too hard about the logic of the plot. It’s really just a device for setting up the romance. Since Lucy forgets Henry each night, he has to make her fall in love with him again each day. Things never have a chance to grow old or routine. Each day is a new “first kiss”. Sure, it’s sappy. Go ahead and call me a sap, because I liked it.
It’s a perfect Valentine’s Day date movie, and is funny enough to be enjoyed any time of year. Grab the love of your life or your love for right now and go have a good laugh and maybe even a little cry. It’ll do you good.Powered by Sidelines