Movie #216 2020: 50 First Dates (2004)

We’ll take a break from the Conjuring Universe franchise that I’ve inexplicably decided to take on to jump back to a more jolly Sandler/Barrymore affair now!

50 First Dates is the second one of the S/B joint adventures, but is a rather different story than the one we saw them undertake in The Wedding Singer. Sandler’s Henry goes out for breakfast one morning when he accidentally meets Barrymore’s Lucy. They hit it off right away: with a beautiful Hawaiian backdrop, they have a great, unexpected first date, and agree to meet up again the next day. When the time comes, Henry gets something he never dreamed of. It is explained to him that Lucy has short term memory loss and every night when she goes to sleep, her memory is completely wiped to the day before. And so, the film is born, and Henry makes it his mission to get the girl of his dreams to remember him.

Firstly, I feel like people only rate this lower than The Wedding Singer because it’s newer. This movie is just as good in my opinion, and it seems that Wedding has fallen victim to those people who glorify older movies just because they were good at the time. If anything, the subject matter is way more interesting in 50 First Dates, and I felt entirely sucked in by it.

On the casting side of things, Drew Barrymore is just perfect, isn’t she? I know that these movies are technically Adam Sandler‘s brain child, but they would be absolutely nothing without her and I’m sure that he knows that. Conversely, the fact that Sean Astin chose to have a lisp in this is really fucking distracting. I’m not sure if that was his artistic choice or if it was actually part of the script, but he’s the worst part of the movie. Sorry, not sorry.

Sure there are a bunch of plot holes but the most unrealistic thing is that all these women (and especially Drew Barrymore) would fancy Adam Sandler. Sorry dude. The entire thing was extremely improbable, actually, and the ending in particular left me with that ‘would never happen’ mentality. Nevertheless, it was still a cute idea for a movie.

A solid movie, 50 First Dates is pretty entertaining all the way through with the exception of a couple of sequences here and there. But, as I always say, it’s a truly tough challenge for a movie to keep my attention 100 per cent of the way through. Though not technically much of an achievement – the cinematography, soundtrack, and costuming are professionally executed, but nothing new or exciting – it’s worth the watch purely for its entertainment value.

So no, this is not as well made as The Wedding Singer, but it’s plot and it’s pace are far better. For a modern audience? I’d definitely go with this.

50 First Dates is available to stream on Netflix, Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

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