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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.82%
Worth A Look32.24%
Just Average: 19.74%
Pretty Crappy: 23.68%
Sucks: 10.53%

10 reviews, 92 user ratings

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50 First Dates
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by Josh Gryniewicz

"'50 First Dates' is like 'Groundhog Day' – with brain damage."
2 stars

The concept of "50 First Dates" seems like something Oliver Sacks might have written in "An Anthropologist on Mars": a painful, awkward romance about a woman with an inability to form any long term memory and a man determined to love her. In the hands of Happy Madison Productions, however it is a comedic vehicle for Sandler’s wackiness, with somehow creepy undertones.

Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) is marine vet at a Hawaiian sea world (which is little more than a set-up for too-many jokes about walrus “schlongs” and dancing animal cute-ness) who also happens to be somewhat of a player among attractive tourists (an unintended punch line itself). That is until he meets the sweet, artistically eccentric, mentally impaired Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) who wakes up every morning perpetually convinced that it is October 13th (the morning of her accident). She suffers from a head injury that has rendered her unable to form new memories, leaving Roth constantly making a first impression to get her to fall in love with him (think "Groundhog Day" (1993)) -- her neurological disorder providing a perversely perfect loophole for his fear of commitment. In the meantime, he must win over her deeply compassionate father Marlin (Blake Clark) and her over-aggressive, steroid pumping brother Doug (Sean Astin).

As a love story "50 First Dates" is somewhat uncomfortable, only Barrymore and Clark seem to appreciate the gravity of Lucy’s situation and as with her character Barrymore seems to forget this depth when the plot requires her to (remember this is a zany comedy). The supporting characters are grafted over the movie for comedic purposes making their roles somehow disjointed from the actual story. As a result the chemistry Sandler and Barrymore shared in "The Wedding Singer" (1998) is glimpsed here in their characters first meeting at the restaurant and then vanishes for the remainder of the film to make room for on-screen wackiness.

Barrymore as always is ‘Cute’ (with a capital ‘C’) -- cute in interviews, cute in romantic comedies, cute as the free spirited, adorable Lucy and given the material ‘Cute’ works; she strikes the perfect balance between allowing very limited glimpses into the depth of her character and just being cuddly. Similarly, Sandler is always an endearing goofus, here he has expanded to the limits of his acting range making it through an entire film without throwing a temper tantrum and inappropriately beating on himself, someone else or an inanimate object. Together, however, the couple doesn’t work – Sandler manages better chemistry with the walrus.

The movie does have its funny moments, as with anything Sandler these are exponentially enhanced with alcohol and also pretty predictable, but most of the amusing bits are given to the supporting cast. Rob Schneider portrays a pot smoking, Hawaiian native Ula, prone to visual gags, flanked by an army of native children and surprisingly entertaining. Sean Astin gets all the awkward aggressive scenes that at one-time would have been signature Sandler and decked out in see through mesh shirts, over concerned with his appearance and speaking in an absurd lisp is even more comic in doing so.

These elements combined are not enough to make the film (even with an ample supply of alcohol) because at heart there is something creepy about this romance. Lucy is forever confined to forgetting the life she leads and forever dependent on Henry to recreate it for her. Furthermore, neither character can ever really know the other – Lucy constantly experiencing first impressions, Henry never being able to share a new experience with his love, but the movie doesn’t burden itself with such heady concepts, its too preoccupied with walrus anatomy to bother.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8698&reviewer=362
originally posted: 02/16/04 12:33:21
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User Comments

4/08/14 Heidi Embrey Love this movie. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore have great chemistry together 5 stars
2/18/13 the truth a real man only needs 1 3 stars
11/18/12 Sean Harrison Not that grate but still better than anything Sandler has done recently. 3 stars
12/21/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Has some funny moments, but not enough to make up for a dumb ("cute") ending 2 stars
10/24/10 Frank Fontaine If you stop and think about it for 1 second a very depressing movie. Agressively unfunny. 1 stars
9/26/10 jennifer kimberly super funny never get tired of it 4 stars
3/05/09 Elaine i love this film so much.. i saw it with my friends.. and i fell in love with it!! 5 stars
11/27/08 Shaun Wallner Very Funny! 4 stars
7/29/08 the dork knight Adam Sandler is no longer evil. He makes good movies now 4 stars
3/02/08 SamanthaPayntr i really liked this movie! very funny. but sad at the end. 4 stars
12/14/07 Pamela White Sweet romantic comedy one to see over and over 5 stars
6/08/07 Danielle Ophelia You'll laugh, you'll puke, you'll roll your eyes, you'll lapse into a diabetic coma. 4 stars
5/11/07 MP Bartley I'm with Rob - surprisingly sweet, touching and winning despite Schneider's awful presence 4 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK Unfunny and as deep as a thin crust pizza, this marks the beggining of the end for sandler. 3 stars
4/03/07 David Pollastrini Drew Barrymore is hot in this! 4 stars
3/30/07 fools♫gold creative, funny, probably Sandler's best, what more can convert you to watching? 5 stars
3/05/07 Robin Hudspeth Really a tragic story underlying some good comedy. 5 stars
2/01/07 Matt Silly premise, but who cares? Light fluff, enjoy it for what it is. 3 stars
12/05/06 Sharon I LOVE this movie! Great love comedy, A+! 5 stars
11/29/06 Stanley Thai A good funny film. 4 stars
7/09/06 R.W.Welch Hardly Neil Simon stuff, but has some effective scenes. 3 stars
7/07/06 NS Rob Schneider is hilarious! 4 stars
6/09/06 Wendy I love the film very much ! 4 stars
5/17/06 Roy Drew, as cute as ever 4 stars
5/01/06 Anthony Feor Barrymore and Sandler were good once, don't push it! 2 stars
4/28/06 Annie G The only Adam Sandler film I like ... in fact, I actually bought this one. 4 stars
3/06/06 Steven Lewis Adam Sandler is still just as funny in a more calm romantic comedy. 4 stars
12/19/05 kr another great Adam Sandler movie gotta love it 4 stars
12/09/05 cody a very good movie staring adam and drew in best perfomances ever, nice ending 4 stars
8/31/05 natalie love it 5 stars
7/17/05 Nicole Eh....not really my type of film, as I typically do not like Adam Sandler 2 stars
5/20/05 dwarzel Hey Drew...lisping isn't acting. 1 stars
5/11/05 Mike Better than I expected, quite funny in parts. 3 stars
4/10/05 The Talking Elbow Great Premise meets bad Rob Schneider and Sandler jokes 3 stars
2/10/05 Just Me Horrible, like every other Sandler movie. 2 stars
1/28/05 blueviolet Such a sweet love story, one of my faves 5 stars
1/26/05 Stephanie It was an awesome movie, but not the GREATEST from Drew and Adam 4 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams I thought it was cute. 4 stars
10/28/04 Georgie Porgie How sweet was Doug! lother doth the dithes 5 stars
9/27/04 silver I like how Adam Sandler carried the movie 4 stars
7/30/04 John Aster Habig it's ok but Roger Ebert has really lowered the bar 4 stars
7/23/04 Sandy Turynowicz Different,sometimes funny & sad. 4 stars
7/23/04 Jannet Kwan This movie is sort of funny. Rob Schneider stole the show! 3 stars
7/20/04 Harry J Barely an average rating. Not half as good as Happy Gilmore. 3 stars
7/17/04 legend A fairly decent date movie. Had some funny moments. 4 stars
7/08/04 Confessions Of A Teenage Trauma Queen How does the doctor know what J. Edgar Hoover's ass looked like? Apart from a few moments, 2 stars
7/05/04 James Kustes One of the worst Sandler movies 1 stars
7/05/04 michaelb14 one of Sandlers better, a funny sweet movie 4 stars
6/26/04 cinkcool Not bad. 4 stars
6/21/04 Marc Basque One of Sandler's better films...though that's not saying much. 3 stars
5/28/04 J Drew Barrymore and Sandler work great together! 4 stars
5/25/04 Sheila Evans At least Drew Scarymore is a bit less scary than when she played Helen Zass. 3 stars
4/15/04 Jeff MacIver Aside from some strange Sandler-movie moments, I *really* enjoyed this light comedy. 4 stars
4/13/04 ME AWESOME! 5 stars
4/12/04 Chris Sandler made up for "Anger Mangement" with this. Cute, funny but still Sandle = gross 4 stars
4/07/04 Valarie Funny!! 5 stars
4/04/04 David Ground Hog Day clone, but an extremely funny one 5 stars
4/04/04 Charlene Javier Worth the price of admission. 4 stars
3/28/04 Blues Singer Babe Awesome i luv the walrus and the penguin ULA ROKS! 5 stars
3/26/04 Vikki Fox very funny and entertaining 4 stars
3/25/04 Amy Adam and Drew team up once again for another unforgettable romantic comedy 4 stars
3/23/04 Reini Urban Drew was always one of favorites, and though it's not a top movie I love it. 5 stars
3/23/04 sophia 2 THUMBS UP 5 stars
3/20/04 avinash its a good date movie!! 4 stars
3/19/04 sarah nicole is going to be famous one day! f*** see her movies!nicoles beautiful! 5 stars
3/18/04 rachel burke its okay not good or bad 3 stars
3/17/04 Maria Loved the show!! A must see!! 5 stars
3/17/04 Mike Erdelyi I had a great time at the Flick It was a good time. 3 stars
3/16/04 alex funny.. at times. most adam sandler movies are funny though 3 stars
3/14/04 E-Rock A cute movie, with funny moments abound. Could do without Schneider, though... 4 stars
3/12/04 Phyllis Not as good as The Wedding Singer, but if you liked that, you'll probably like this one too 4 stars
3/07/04 Marthe Roe enjoy the movie very much 4 stars
3/05/04 Goofy Maxwell Sun-baked Sandler-Barrymore for mindless consumption?... Brilliant! 4 stars
3/01/04 Sir Spam-a-Lot Freaky, but better than expected 3 stars
2/29/04 sarah clarke excellent 5 stars
2/29/04 actionjackson2099 Rob Schnieder was hilarious but, Drew Barrymore isn't the best actress for a comedy. 3 stars
2/23/04 8=====D it was repetive and boring and sad,dull as dirt plot 2 stars
2/22/04 nancy liked it the 1st time i saw it, LOVED it the 2nd time, as it really grew on me! 4 stars
2/18/04 Cheeseball!!! I love this movie !!! It's my all time favourite! 5 stars
2/17/04 Allie E. I thought this movie showed the sensitive and loving side of Adam Sandler. It was great. 4 stars
2/17/04 Jin This drivel is an insult to Groundhog Day. 1 stars
2/17/04 wicked_3 IT BLOWS 1 stars
2/16/04 ian TERRIBLE 1 stars
2/16/04 Henry Kay I kind of liked it. It's Sandler not Sean Penn. It entertains. 3 stars
2/16/04 Ned Rubin Execrable,exploitative sophmoric "comedy" by and about the brain damaged. 1 stars
2/16/04 T.Kittlitz Great Movie - Makes you feel good 5 stars
2/15/04 Linzo The best part of the movie was the Hawaii scenes. And that just sucks. 1 stars
2/15/04 the gourd Anyone who enjoys this type of shit needs to have their fucking head caved in with a brick. 1 stars
2/14/04 Tony this is getting some harsh reviews 4 stars
2/13/04 cd funny 5 stars
2/13/04 Todd Typical Sandler bullshit. 1 stars
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  13-Feb-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 15-Jun-2004



Directed by
  Peter Segal

Written by
  George Wing
  Lowell Ganz
  Babaloo Mandel

  Adam Sandler
  Drew Barrymore
  Sean Astin
  Missi Pyle
  Rob Schneider
  Dan Aykroyd

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