Saturday, November 12, 2016

50 First Dates

50 First Dates
Director: Peter Segal
Cast: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider, Sean Astin, Blake Clark 
Released: February 13, 2004
Viewed in theaters: February 16, 2004

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are like the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan of my generation in that they have starred in three movies together just like Tom and Meg did. Those three movies are The Wedding Singer (1998), this one, and Blended (2014), the last of which I've never seen. I haven't seen The Wedding Singer in awhile, but that's probably my favorite of the trio of movies they've done together, but this movie is very cute, albeit pretty stupid at times. It's simultaneously sweet and raunchy.

Sandler plays Henry Roth, a guy who lives and works in Hawaii as a veterinarian at an aquatic park. He is a bit of a player (okay, that may be an understatement!) and has commitment issues because when the movie opens, we see a montage of women (and Kevin James, haha) who are talking to their friends about this amazing guy they met and had a fling with while on vacation in Hawaii. He never dates women who are from Hawaii so he doesn't have to be tied down. He always has some kind of excuse to end a relationship and makes up some elaborate lie whether it be he's a secret agent or married or gay. I don't know why he has to come up with these excuses when all he has to say it won't work because none of the women lived in Hawaii! 

One day, by chance, he has breakfast at a place he's never been to before and that's where he sees the quirky Lucy (Barrymore). She is making an architectural design out of her waffles and he's intrigued by her, so much so, that he goes to the same place the next morning where she is also back, and starts a conversation with her. They hit it off and he becomes smitten with her and she invites him to have breakfast with her the next morning, which he accepts. There's a funny scene where they're each by their car, both of which are blocked by a large truck. They both start dancing in front of their cars and when the large truck between them moves, they catch each other dancing and sheepishly look at each other.

Henry goes golfing with his friend, Ula (Schneider) who gives him a phone number of an attractive woman he met. Ula is married with four kids and lives vicariously through Henry's trysts. To Ula's shock, Henry doesn't want the number. That is, until he gets hit in the head by a golf ball and has a daydream of Lucy wanting to date him and it freaks him out, so he agrees to go on a date with the woman, but when he's with her, he discovers he's not interested in her and keeps thinking about Lucy. He also tells his date, who claims she's drunk enough to go back to his place and have sex, that there wasn't even any alcohol in the fishbowl drink she had, haha. I think that would be an interesting experiment and I'm sure it's been done before: tell people they are drinking an alcoholic drink when there's no alcohol in it at all and see how they act. I'm sure many would act drunk.

When he goes back to meet Lucy the next day, she has no idea who he is. When he introduced himself the first time the other day, he apologized that his fingers smelled like fish because he had been feeding the walrus where he works. She said that she liked the smell because it reminded her of her father and brother who are fishermen who are gone for months at a time, so when they come back, she gives them long hugs and they smell like fish. So, the next day, when Henry arrives for their second date, he tells her, "My fingers are extra fishy today if you care to take a whiff" and wiggles them in front of her face and she says, "What was that?" and he says, "I was petting my walrus this morning and thinking of you" and she goes, "Okay, pervert, I think that you should leave." The waitress, who has known Lucy for quite some time because she was friends with her mother, takes Henry, who is obviously confused, aside and tells him that Lucy lost her short-term memory and doesn't retain any new information. Every day she wakes up, the previous day has been wiped from her memory. This happened nearly a year ago when Lucy and her dad were in a car accident. Her dad broke some ribs, but she suffered a terrible head injury which resulted in her short-term memory loss. I guess being a guy, Henry never noticed or thought it odd, on his third day in a row of seeing Lucy, that she was always wearing the same outfit: a pink shirt and white pants. (Actually, I never caught that on my first viewing!)

The day of the accident was October 13, which is also her dad's birthday, so she wakes up each day thinking it's her dad's birthday. When she parted ways with Henry yesterday, she told him she had to go because it was her dad's birthday and they have a tradition of picking a pineapple. Her dad, Marlin (Blake Clark) and brother, Doug (Sean Astin) do the same thing every day so they won't upset Lucy with the fact that she lost her memory and nearly a year has passed. They're living their own Groundhog Day! They got a bunch of papers of the day of the accident that she reads so she thinks it's October 13 everyday. As the waitress explained to Henry, she has breakfast at that place every Sunday, and since October 13 was a Sunday, she starts her day every morning having breakfast there.

When she gets home, she's ready to go pineapple picking, but her dad tells her he already got on at the farmer's market. Now I'm not sure if he does this because of the traumatizing accident when they went to pick a pineapple on his real birthday or because he doesn't want to drive all the way out to pick a pineapple every day, but I guess it could be a combination of both. Instead, he tells her he painted his workshop white, but it's too white and wants her to paint something. Since she teaches an art class at an elementary school, she loves painting. She tells him to watch a football game the Vikings are playing (hmmm, they must originally be from Minnesota!) she knows he's been looking forward to, so they watch a tape of the show. They're not even paying attention to it while she's painting, but when she comes in the house, they turn their attention to the TV and act like they're interested in the game. Lucy makes a bet with her brother about a play and he in return bets there's going to be a very specific play, and of course, having seen the game hundreds of times, he's right.
 My favorite part of the movie (and the only thing I really remembered from seeing it in theaters) was when Marlin opens his birthday present from Lucy and it's a copy of The Sixth Sense. Now you all know how big I am a fan of that movie (do I need to remind you?) so I got a big kick out of that. I love the looks on her dad's and brother's faces when she suggests they watch it right away because you know they've been watching this movie every day for nearly the past year! I don't care how much you love a movie; I would get so sick of watching the same movie every day! I can't even watch the same movie once a year! And after the movie Lucy is like, "I can't believe it! The whole time, Bruce Willis was a ghost! Did you guys see that coming?" and both of them go, "No, I had no idea!" (At least Lucy didn't give her dad Groundhog Day because that would be a really sick joke!)

Once Lucy goes to bed, they get ready to do the whole thing again the next day: they repaint over the wall Lucy has painted on, they wrap up the copy of The Sixth Sense, they find a pineapple, they wash her pink shirt and white pants she always wear, and they get the October 13 newspaper ready for her.

Why Marlin and Doug just didn't do what Henry did, I will never understand. He makes a video that he has her watch everyday explaining how she was in a car accident and how they met. Of course, she is very upset when she learns this information (which is new to her each time she starts a new day), but at least she isn't living a lie and her dad and brother don't have to re-live the same day over and over again! Lucy starts keeping a journal to help her remember things. As the title of the movie, Lucy and Henry go on 50 "first" dates and each time Lucy tells him she wishes she had met him before the accident. There's a funny montage where they share their "first" kiss about five different times and after each one, Lucy says, "There's nothing like a first kiss!" Of course the morning after they sleep together, Lucy wakes up to find a stranger in her bed and she screams bloody murder at her. Henry had said the night before he should probably leave, but she insisted he stay a little longer and they both fell asleep. It did take Henry awhile before he became a part of Lucy's life. Each day at the restaurant he would try to reintroduce himself, but it didn't always work. He even sets up a scenario where he's pretending to be mugged by Ula so Lucy will see them when she's driving by. She does and gets out a bat to beat Ula with it. Ouch.

When Lucy discovers that Henry wants to go out to sea to study walruses, she decides to erase him entirely from her life because she doesn't want to hold him back, but being that this is a romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, of course Henry finds a way to win her back and tells her he loves her and wants to be with her. And we learn, that even though she doesn't remember him, there is some part of her that does because she's been painting pictures of him in her studio so we know he has made an impression on her. At the end of the movie they are married and have a kid and both are out at sea so Henry can study walruses. Each morning, when Lucy wakes up, she has a video to watch to remind her what's going on in her life.

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