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Overall Rating
3.15

Awesome: 13.82%
Worth A Look32.24%
Average: 19.74%
Pretty Bad: 23.68%
Total Crap: 10.53%

10 reviews, 92 user ratings


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50 First Dates
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Sandler should team up with Barrymore more often."
4 stars

A future as a romantic-comedy lead is Adam Sandler's for the asking, if he asks for it.

Thirty-eight this year, Sandler must know he's getting a bit old for slob humor (even if his frequent confederate Rob Schneider, who turned 40 last year, doesn't). His most appealing role in recent memory remains his good-hearted, gel-headed Robbie Hart in 1998's The Wedding Singer, in which Sandler struck offbeat sparks with Drew Barrymore. Well, no one could accuse Sandler of not doing what worked before; his new 50 First Dates both reteams him with Barrymore and opens, like The Wedding Singer, the day before Valentine's Day.

50 First Dates has a near-fatal flaw, but most of it moves with a genial, lulling rhythm, taking its cue from its setting (Hawaii) and its soundtrack full of '80s hits recast as island melodies. Sandler is Henry Roth, a veterinarian at a Sea World-like park, administering remedies to penguins and dolphins and a dyspeptic walrus (the walrus is terrific, by the way). Awaiting breakfast in a diner new to him, he notices a radiant blonde -- Lucy Whitmore (Barrymore) -- building little houses out of her waffles. Henry has enough sense to be smitten by this detail, and the pair hit it off nicely. The next day, he sits across from her at the same diner and gets a cold brush-off.

Lucy has the movie version of short-term memory loss -- like Guy Pearce in Memento, she can't retain new memories. Every day is the same day for her, and she forgets it all the next morning, so Henry has to work that much harder for her love. He works in collaboration with Lucy's dad (Blake Clark) and doofus brother (Sean Astin, bulked up and lisping insecurely) to break Lucy's situation gently to her each morning; her dad and brother have been spending the past year making her believe that nothing has changed and that every day is the same day (which strikes me as a little creepy, but never mind -- in any event, even if they were honest with her, she'd forget it the next morning).

It's a neat premise, but maybe it would've worked better with a couple with a weaker rapport than Sandler and Barrymore. When they walk together mid-day, having built up enough familiarity to joke and mock-insult each other, they move and speak in tandem. This could be a magical screwball couple to brighten many other romantic comedies, but in 50 First Dates we keep getting pushed back to square one. It feels unnatural that their connection isn't allowed to build, and though it allows Sandler some moments of pathos, we really don't want to accept that Lucy doesn't remember Henry from day to day. The comedy has a built-in depressing subtext, and not everyone finds the idea of catastrophic memory loss all that funny.

Still, the moments that Sandler and Barrymore can steal together are golden, and this might be the comic role Barrymore was born to play -- her persona has always been built on flitting from one thing to the next while enjoying the ritual of her life. I won't mind a bit if these two reconvene every few years; as Sandler approaches forty and Barrymore closes in on thirty, they might turn into the millennial version of Astaire and Rogers -- she gives him sex appeal, and he gives her a liberating lack of class.

'50 First Dates' isn't quite up to 'The Wedding Singer,' with its lovelorn hopes spinning 'round like a record, but it makes Sandler into a hero of romantic perseverance and Barrymore into a glowing candle worth the chase.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8698&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/02/07 13:22:05
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User Comments

4/09/14 Heidi Embrey Love this movie. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore have great chemistry together 5 stars
2/19/13 the truth a real man only needs 1 3 stars
11/19/12 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
10/25/10 Frank Fontaine If you stop and think about it for 1 second a very depressing movie. Agressively unfunny. 1 stars
9/27/10 jennifer kimberly super funny never get tired of it 4 stars
3/06/09 Elaine i love this film so much.. i saw it with my friends.. and i fell in love with it!! 5 stars
11/28/08 Shaun Wallner Very Funny! 4 stars
7/30/08 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
12/15/07 Pamela White Sweet romantic comedy one to see over and over 5 stars
6/09/07 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
4/04/07 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
3/06/07 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
12/06/06 Sharon I LOVE this movie! Great love comedy, A+! 5 stars
11/30/06 Stanley Thai A good funny film. 4 stars
7/10/06 R.W.Welch Hardly Neil Simon stuff, but has some effective scenes. 3 stars
7/08/06 NS Rob Schneider is hilarious! 4 stars
6/09/06 Wendy I love the film very much ! 4 stars
5/18/06 Roy Drew, as cute as ever 4 stars
5/02/06 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
3/07/06 Steven Lewis Adam Sandler is still just as funny in a more calm romantic comedy. 4 stars
12/20/05 kr another great Adam Sandler movie gotta love it 4 stars
12/10/05 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
7/18/05 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
5/12/05 Mike Better than I expected, quite funny in parts. 3 stars
4/11/05 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
1/29/05 blueviolet Such a sweet love story, one of my faves 5 stars
1/27/05 Stephanie It was an awesome movie, but not the GREATEST from Drew and Adam 4 stars
12/10/04 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
7/31/04 John Aster Habig it's ok but Roger Ebert has really lowered the bar 4 stars
7/24/04 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
7/21/04 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
7/09/04 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
7/06/04 James Kustes One of the worst Sandler movies 1 stars
7/05/04 michaelb14 one of Sandlers better, a funny sweet movie 4 stars
6/27/04 cinkcool Not bad. 4 stars
6/22/04 Marc Basque One of Sandler's better films...though that's not saying much. 3 stars
5/29/04 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
4/13/04 Chris Sandler made up for "Anger Mangement" with this. Cute, funny but still Sandle = gross 4 stars
4/08/04 Valarie Funny!! 5 stars
4/05/04 David Ground Hog Day clone, but an extremely funny one 5 stars
4/05/04 Charlene Javier Worth the price of admission. 4 stars
3/29/04 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
3/26/04 Amy Adam and Drew team up once again for another unforgettable romantic comedy 4 stars
3/24/04 Reini Urban Drew was always one of favorites, and though it's not a top movie I love it. 5 stars
3/24/04 sophia 2 THUMBS UP 5 stars
3/21/04 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
3/18/04 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
3/08/04 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
3/01/04 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
2/20/04 LEHUA IT WAS AIIGHT, HAWAII SCENES WAS SWEET 3 stars
2/19/04 Cheeseball!!! I love this movie !!! It's my all time favourite! 5 stars
2/18/04 Allie E. I thought this movie showed the sensitive and loving side of Adam Sandler. It was great. 4 stars
2/18/04 Jin This drivel is an insult to Groundhog Day. 1 stars
2/18/04 wicked_3 IT BLOWS 1 stars
2/17/04 ian TERRIBLE 1 stars
2/17/04 Henry Kay I kind of liked it. It's Sandler not Sean Penn. It entertains. 3 stars
2/17/04 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
2/16/04 Linzo The best part of the movie was the Hawaii scenes. And that just sucks. 1 stars
2/16/04 the gourd Anyone who enjoys this type of shit needs to have their fucking head caved in with a brick. 1 stars
2/15/04 Tony this is getting some harsh reviews 4 stars
2/14/04 cd funny 5 stars
2/13/04 Todd Typical Sandler bullshit. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  13-Feb-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 15-Jun-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Mar-2004


Directed by
  Peter Segal

Written by
  George Wing
  Lowell Ganz
  Babaloo Mandel

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



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