The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

50 First Dates

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Judy Thorburn

"50 First Dates" Is All Too Forgetable

Las Vegas Tribune - http://www.lasvegastribune.com
Las Vegas Round The Clock
- http://www.lasvegasroundheclock.com

The Women Film Critics Circle - http://www.wfcc.wordpress.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
">
kreatia@
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

“50 FIRST DATES” IS ALL TOO FORGETTABLE

I am sure everyone has at one time or another thought about how great it would be to relive the moment when you first met the love of your life, significant other, husband or wife. It would be a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to stay there. Who would want to be stuck starting at the same time and place repeatedly, and not be able to remember all those great experiences that made you fall in love? Well, Adam Sandler finds he has to start from scratch over and over and again with the object of his affection in this improbable, uneven romantic comedy.

Sandler plays Henry Roth, marine veterinarian for Sea Life Park in Hawaii.  He’s a playboy  (already unbelievable) with a history of casual flings with visiting tourists that range in age, looks and even sex (that’s right, that includes a man). The only thing he likes better than living the ideal bachelor life is his schooner, which he hopes to some day use to sail around the world. But, that all changes in a flash when he eyes beautiful blonde, Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) building teepees and log cabins out of her waffle breakfast, at the local Hukilah Café.   The problem is the smitten animal doc is unaware of how hard it will be to build a memorable relationship with her. Let’s make that almost impossible.  The fact is, the next day Lucy has no idea who this guy is, and even when they hit it off, by the next morning that memory is forever erased.

You see, Lucy suffers from what her doctor calls the “Goldfield Syndrome”, or in lay terms, acute short-term memory loss caused by brain damage as a result of a terrible car accident.  After a three-month stay in the hospital, Lucy was left with memories only up to the day of the crash. So, as far as she is concerned, every waking day is the same date, unaware that she is reliving it over and over again. But, her devoted dad, Marlin (Blake Clark) and body builder brother, Doug (Sean Astin) came up with a plan in order to protect her and keep her from learning the shocking truth about her condition. Working hard they have re created every aspect of the day from that Sunday’s newspaper to her dad’s birthday cake, which also includes the diner staff in on the scheme.  They didn’t figure a boyfriend would enter the picture to upset the apple cart.

The scenario revolves around the different situations Henry comes up with to reintroduce himself into Lucy’s life and how he finally figures out a way to make her fall in love with him on a daily basis.  The message is of course, how truelove can conquer all. And that is all so sweet and heartwarming. Too bad a charming story got lost in a floundering, problem filled script.  It sets off in the right direction, but gets sidetracked by jumping from sweet sentimentality to occasional tasteless or just plain silly humor.

Badly written characters that are disturbing or annoying don’t help either. Poor Sean Astin, I just don’t believe his thankless role of Lucy’s jerk, steroid taking brother Doug, with that ridiculous lisp, was the best offer he could get after The Lord of the Rings.  Alexa (Lucia Strus) is another thing altogether. As Henry’s sexually ambiguous marine park assistant, he/she is the recipient of a huge walrus’s projectile vomit.  That was disgusting!  Did we really need to see that?  I still don’t know what sex Alexa is supposed to be and I found that character unlikable, vile, and totally unfunny.

Some likeable characters have little or no character development.  Waitress Sue (Amy Hill) was a nice addition. But, even though she at one point mentions how Lucy’s mom was her best friend and she promised to look after Lucy, we never learn much about her. No way do we see or feel any special, loving interaction between the two. Maybe their closer connection wound up on the cutting room floor. Whatever!

What is typical of any Sandler movie is that you can expect to see some Saturday Night Live castmates showing up.  Dan Akroyd (my, how fat he’s become) makes a cameo appearance as Lucy’s Dr. Keats, and current SNL player, Maya Rudoph gets one line as a pregnant Hawaiian native. Both are totally wasted. But, Rob Schneider is along for the ride as Henry’s pot smoking, half blind Hawaian sidekick, Ula, who is quick to lend some advice or some help in situations that give him a chance to let loose with some very funny humor.  His mission gets accomplished. But, what can I say when the best laughs appear to come from the human like reactions delivered by Jocko, the walrus or Willie the penguin?  Do I have to say more?

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler reunited once again, years after the successful Wedding Singer, show they continue to have a nice little chemistry going.  It’s good to see Sandler moving away from those angry, vulgar, immature characters from his earlier movies and show a more vulnerable soft side. I am actually starting to like him. Drew, looking radiant with blonde locks flowing, appearing in healthy voluptuous form, and not anorexic, is adorable and creates an endearing sympathetic character we care about. However, I would like to see her branch out into more dramatic, noteworthy roles that would display her capable range.

50 First Dates could have been a memorable romantic comedy.  But, it suffered from lack of focus.  As a result, we are left disappointed by one date at the movies that is unfortunately, very forgettable.