TBT: 50 First Dates (2004)

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Tragically, yet another Drew Sandler-Adam Barrymore film is debuting this coming weekend — I don’t know, something called Blended, and to help celebrate this simply FABULOUS event. . . . (he says, with the entire jar of sarcasm spilled out all over the table). . . I am throwing it back to 2004, to a time when the two were reunited for their second go-around in a rom-com (bonus points go to the commenter with the other film they are in). This movie I do have to admit to enjoying on some level roughly approaching loving. I know, I know. I know what this means. Well, I don’t know, actually. . .because I have assumed my little laminated Film Critic Card was revoked the day I started this theme for TBT! So I basically have no apologies at this point. I’ll just come right out and say it. One of my guilty pleasure films is definitely

Today’s food for thought: 50 First Dates

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

Release: February 13, 2004

[DVD]

Adam Sandler has gotten into this very nasty habit of recycling his old friends in his movies. It’s almost as if a phone call is made to each and every one of them — including the Rob Schneiders, the Kevin Nealons, the Allen Coverts — within days of their latest outing being released to international audiences. The phone call probably goes a little something like:

“Hey, you assholes wanna go do that again? Aright, sick! Just come up with another cool, exotic location and we’ll do it; I’ll stuff my egg-shaped head in my private jet and pick ya’ll up on my way. By the way, you’ve still got that really funny-looking penis, right? Okay, alright. Awesome. We’re going to rely on that as our running gag for this next movie. Shut up. It’ll work. Trust me.”

Quite frankly I’d be excited to be receiving that phone call if I were any of those names just mentioned. The one thing about working with a guy like Adam Sandler is you really can’t complain about the job security. He’ll keep you in business, but unfortunately and in no small way ironically, that would be to your career’s detriment in all likelihood.  He’s comfortable magnetizing the same names again and again because that’s exactly what it is: comfortable. While that’s a strategy not likely to benefit Sandler’s acting range, it’s one that has actually produced the odd one or two little charmers.

50 First Dates was a good example of a final product reaping modest benefits of Sandler’s almost defiant conditions of labor. The cast is one that catches sparks, though it never catches fire; and while the contents aren’t anything a Monday-through-Friday Adam Sandler hater would ever bat an eyelid at, it’s with a great sense of relativism when I say you could do a lot worse than when Henry met Lucy.

Henry Roth, the man apparently no woman can resist (what a joke that is!) had stumbled across someone who he considered the woman of his dreams in the totally, amazingly, ridiculously, stupendously romantic locale of Hawaii. One morning while grabbing breakfast at a local diner on one of the main islands, Henry spotted a cute blonde girl sitting alone, and decided to approach her. An employee at the diner cautioned him, informing him she suffered from chronic short-term memory loss following a terrible car accident years back. Henry found himself too smitten to listen, though, and proceeded to do everything in his power to help Lucy remember who he was. The resultant pursuit of love wound up far more interesting than it had any right to be, even as all the jokes still appeared to attend the same old Sandler school of the scatological.

Life lessons are, naturally, in abundance in Adam Sandler flicks. Let’s see all the ways in which I can twist the plot of this one into suiting my blog’s own selfish needs, shall we:

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    Life’s full of tough choices. If it comes down to playing a trick on a really fat, heavily-tattooed bartender, or playing one on an innocent, sweet little girl with memory loss, pick which one will make you the lesser asshole of the two.

  2. MV5BMjAxNzI2MDA4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDExMzE3._V1_SX640_SY720_

    Variety is the spice of life. Tired of the bar scene as a place to pick up girls? Try faking a breakdown, with only a cute little penguin as your road buddy, as an attempt to flirt with potential female passers-by. If this doesn’t work, you could always fake your own kidnapping by hogtying yourself up in the back of your truck. That might be overreaching, though. . .

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    Is today a shirtless day? Or is it a mesh-shirt day? Sometimes it’s f**king impossible to make the decision. Life really is difficult sometimes. Especially if you live in Hawaii.

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    Hey man, if aquariums make you super-horny, then aquariums make you super-horny. Often, life requires no further explanation or conditions other than what’s obvious. Some people are just touched in the head.

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    Life demands you ingest the advice of your elders. With time comes experience, so if you have the legendary Dan Aykroyd in your face telling you your movie needs more ghosts to be busted in it, then by god you should listen. Too bad the advice here falls on deaf ears. . . .

3-0Recommendation: 50 First Dates narrowly avoids being lumped in with the rest of Sandler’s monotonous schlub-fests as it pays attention to something fairly important: chemistry between it’s two leads. Of course, this particular film banks on the fact that Sandler and Barrymore have that already established. Even still, it remains routinely funny, occasionally vulgar and always cliched and predictable viewing that offends the palate far less often than many other Sandler offerings. 50 First Dates is a film with a beguiling charm, if only because it relies on the strength of two actors who have done the very same thing years before.

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 99 mins.

Quoted: “Sometimes I wish my wife had Goldfield Syndrome. That way she wouldn’t remember last night when I called her mother a loud, obnoxious drunk with a face like J. Edgar Hoover’s ass. . .”

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: google images 

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12 thoughts on “TBT: 50 First Dates (2004)

  1. Yeah this one is a pretty fun little rom-com. It’s definitely more unique than Sandler’s usual stuff. From what I hear, it’s better than Blended…lol. Fun fact: Blake Clark, the gentleman who plays Drew Barrymore’s father in this? Totally sat next to him at a play once. Super nice guy!

    • Thanks Cara and yeah I agree, this is nothing but a harmless rom-com in which all the parts work to decent effect and aren’t entirely tacked on. I will probably not see Blended, it looks awful. And nothing different. That’s super cool that you were near Blake Clark, he seems like the kind of guy who detaches and is really chill to hang out with. Envious over here!! 😀

      • Yeah he was cool! Definitely a down-to-earth guy. His son is a friend of my sister’s, actually–they went to college together. He was there to see the show his son was in. Apparently, talent runs in the family! Lol.

  2. You Sandler apologist you! This is one Sandler film I simply couldn’t bring myself to see. What’s that latest thing he’s in? It looks just like this! Another great post incidentally!

    • Hahah thanks Mark! I have to apologize sometimes because I know this month was brutal for a lot of my faithful. (I.e. You. You are the only one who has made complaints. Lol KIDDING!!)

      I actually took last Thursday off, if you noticed. I just couldn’t do it anymore! I was also running out of defensible films.

  3. This is kind of a guilty pleasure for me as well. I quite enjoy Barrymore & Sandler together, despite knowing that, of course, Drew is WAY out of Adam’s league.

  4. The ending’s very dumb, but at least it was charming enough. Much thanks to the chemistry between Barrymore and Sandler, which rarely ever fails. Good review Tom.

    • The ending I liked but yeah it’s cheesy. and formulaic. predictable and really rushed. But like you said, the chemistry between the two is too good to resist. Which says quite something for Adam Sandler’s funny-shaped head.

    • I’m of the same thinking Rob! It’s not a bad movie considering how formulaic and been-there-done-that feel it kind of has. But Drew Barrymore and Sandler are too good together here. I’m pretty sure I won’t be seeing this new one they’re doing as it just looks a much worse version of this. A safari-fied version, pretty much. And based on it’s tragically low initial review scores on RT, I’m perfectly fine with skipping Blended, I think. 🙂

      Thanks man!

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