After watching the trailer for 50 First Dates which includes a scene where Adam Sandler pretends to be beaten up by Rob Schneider so he can be “rescued” by Drew Barrymore, only to have Barrymore retaliate and repeatedly strike Schneider’s head with a bat, I had a strange feeling. Then I remembered the scene in Mr. Deeds where Winona Ryder pretends to be mugged by a friend so she could be “rescued” by Adam Sandler, who unwittingly beats up the friend by kicking his head in. Then I recognized that strange feelings as “taking a several hits to my own head from the dumb stick”. Why would I pay to see this? Let’s just say I didn’t. Let’s just say if the movie had made me laugh really hard and if I happened to be drinking milk at the time, I would have ruined my keyboard.
Adam Sandler plays Henry Roth, a zoo veterinarian living in Hawaii. This was the first thing that bothered me, because it always bothers me when Adam Sandler plays someone who isn’t named Adam Sandler. I mean really, what’s the point? Drew Barrymore plays Lucy, who has short term memory loss and is constantly reliving the same day over and over. While her on screen relationship with Sandler is not nearly as toxic as the one she shares with Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu, it’s not nearly as charming as the chemistry between Sandler and the pet penguin.
There are many things that are hard to explain about this movie. Why does Lucy’s family go to such elaborate lengths to fool her into thinking nothing is wrong? Why does “Henry” come up with a crazy new scheme every day to get her to fall in love with him instead of sticking with one that works? I estimated 26 at most, where did the number 50 come from? Was a lame, gay stereotype on ‘roids the best role Sean Austin could land with all his Samwise Gamgee heat? He’s killing my portfolio on the Hollywood Stock Exchange.
Some have called 50 First Dates a cross between Groundhog Day and Memento. I like to think of it more as a cross between Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dare to Love, the Lifetime TV movie about the toll a young woman’s schizophrenia takes on her lover – thus proving the old adage that two wrongs make a worse. On a scale of things that happen on actual first dates, where throwing up after dinner is a 1 and sex is a 10, I rate 50 First Dates as being taped for an appearance on The 5th Wheel and then being voted as the fifth wheel, the numerical equivalent of a 3.