50 First Dates


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 "It has a nice message of love that transcends any obstacle.  It also has animals projectile vomiting."



50 First Dates
The Masked Reviewer

It's been months since the viewing public has seen a comedy with Adam Sandler.  And it's been longer still since we've seen a romantic comedy in the vein of Mr. Deeds, Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore, or Billy Madison.  The Masked Reviewer classifies those films as "romantic comedies" since there was a love interest that was in some way kind of sort of important to the plot.  What do those films have in common?

a) most of the films mentioned  are named for the main character.

b) they're all goofy.

c) they all suck.

d) none of them are as successful as a romantic comedy as The Wedding Singer.

Whichever other choices you may have selected, "d" is definitely true.  So, the film makers decided to re-unite the winning team of Drew Barrymore (she was the little girl in E.T., you know) and Adam Sandler but THIS TIME they threw a healthy dose of Rob Schneider into the mix.

Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider are like chives and bacon bits on a baked potato.  Usually when you get one, you'll find the other.  Whether you want them or not.  What's the biggest movie Rob Schneider has ever been involved in?  Was it Home Alone 2?  Or maybe it was one of his infamous pairings with Sylvester Stallone?  In any event, Rob Schneider is in this film too, and that will be enough information for some people as to whether they want to see it or not.  Have you seen The Animal?  How about The Hot Chick?  The Masked Reviewer isn't going to use this space to say anything bad about those films, but they are useful as a frame of reference.

This is another one of those films that's difficult to review without potentially spoiling plot elements.  Although, the Masked Reviewer would like to point out here that in this film, spoilers are given for The Sixth Sense!  If you haven't seen The Sixth Sense and have somehow avoided having it spoiled for you, don't go see 50 First DatesIt'd be a shame if you've somehow missed any pop culture reference to The Sixth Sense over the last several years, and you planned to rent it next week, and then you see 50 First Dates and have the big surprise ending ruined for you!  So, you're warned.

Anyway, the premise of the film will be revealed in this paragraph.  If you want to be completely surprised, don't read this paragraph.  Okay?  Good.  So, Drew Barrymore's character has no short term memory (like Ellen Degeneres'ss's fish in Finding Nemo).  Every day when she wakes up, she's forgotten what happened the previous day.  Adam Sandler falls for her, and every day he's got to make her fall in love with him again.  It's reminiscent of Groundhog Day, without the unexplained mystical element.  This movie is based in science.  It's her brain, man!  It's messed up.  It's real.  Very soap opera-ish.

The movie combines a variety of styles: there's your typical Adam Sandler/Rob Schneider goofball comedy (like Little Nicky) with lowbrow jokes, slapstick, and gross humor.  It also has elements of straightforward romance stories, and some genuine sweetness like The Wedding Singer or Punch Drunk Love.  The mix is usually entertaining, though the two approaches are so different that it's sure to leave almost everyone unsatisfied at times. 

However, they don't overdo the sick stuff and the sweet stuff is never too mushy, which makes for a film that's often kind of enjoyable.  It has a nice message of love that transcends any obstacle.  It also has animals projectile vomiting. 

There are a lot of "cute animal" scenes, featuring a penguin, walrussesess, and dolphins.   Trained animals appeal to some people (the ones who go "awwwww") when an animal gives a Pavlovian response that took hundreds of hours and thousands of treats (and millions of electric shocks) to elicit. 

In addition to Rob Schneider (don't worry!  He gets to do a wacky accent -- Hawaiian this time!), the film also features Sean Astin (from all those Lord of the Rings movies).  He doesn't seem all that much taller in this film.  He has, however, slimmed down and began working out.  He plays a guy with a lisp, for those of you who like guys with lisps.

Drew Barrymore is the character that Drew Barrymore seems to always play in romantic comedies: the feisty, cute, loveable woman.  The one who seems fun, witty, and excellent in bed, with her sexy body and smoldering eyes...calling out..."Oh, Masked Reviewer!  Take me!"  Of special note to you Drew Barrymore fans is the fact that in one scene, she stands in the rain in a shirt...a very wet shirt.  A very wet and tight shirt.  And it's cold outside.  Just so you know.

Adam Sandler plays, not surprisingly, the typical Adam Sandler character.  He gets to ham it up, he gets to do a lot of aw-shucking and golly-geeing, and he sings a silly song. 

In short, it's a film that will be a big hit with people who like Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in the kind of movies that they both seem to do a lot of.  It's a bit better than average with some good and varied laughs.  Worth checking out if you like their other films, though it leans more towards Little Nicky than Punch Drunk Love


Expectation from the Title: A movie about the history of the politics of dried fruit and the stories of the four dozen and two wives of the dried fruit President.  Uh...whatever.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Rob Schneider gives his best effort in everything he's in, and that's respectable.

The Pros: Funny moments, interesting premise, sweetness, cuteness, nice message about love.

The Cons: Strange mix of sweet romantic comedy with gross-out, slapstick, and adolescent humor.  Many parts are predictable.

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