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:: 50 First Dates

Why can’t life be more like an Adam Sandler movie? Whether it is Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison or Water Boy, he just has a way of making everything seem okay. Actually better than okay, great. And did I mention funny? In 50 First Dates, Sandler teams up again with Drew Barrymore in another romantic comedy after the success of their previous collaboration onscreen in The Wedding Singer.

Based on a similar premise to Memento starring Guy Pierce, but much less harrowing, Drew Barrymore’s character in 50 First Dates, Lucy, a high school art teacher, suffers from a neurological disorder which causes her to forget everything that happens each day when she falls asleep that night. Since the day of an accident that caused the disorder, Lucy has made no new memories and wakes up thinking it is the same day, Sunday, her father’s birthday, each and every day.

With the help of her father Marlin (Blake Clarke), her brother Doug (Sean Astin in a role about as far removed from Samwise Gamgee as you could possibly get), and other Hawaiian locals who go along with the plan, as far as Lucy is concerned it is the same day every day, the 31st of October 2003. She relives that day over and over again for a year, happy and carefree in her own naivety, and spared the trauma of having to experience the grief of her actual situation again and again.

Lucy’s fantasy life continues uninterrupted until Sandler’s character Henry Roth, a womanising marine veterinarian, walks in to a diner where Lucy has breakfast each day and breaks his own cardinal rule of falling for a local. When of course, Lucy does not remember him the following day, Henry decides that from that day forth he will just have to find a way to make Lucy fall in love with him all over again, every single day.

The comedic abilities of Sandler and Barrymore combined, with a little bit of help from a script chocked full of gross out one liners often involving the size of a Walrus’ nether regions, simply makes for a very watchable film. Set in a beautiful part of Hawaii with a comically gifted supporting cast including Rob Schneider as Ula, Henry’s stoner best friend, you get the impression that just like the Charlies Angels films, this is just a bunch of friends having a damn good time and making a movie while they are at it.

The movie is filled with hilarious stand-alone scenes, often characterised by a slapstick physical humour that would have made the Marx Brothers proud. In particular a scene where Barrymore’s character wields a baseball bat in the direction of Ula and others involving a character called 10 Second Dave. 50 First Dates is everything it sets out to be, to make use of a well-worn phrase, it is simply an enjoyable romp. Sit back and let Sandler and Barrymore do what they do best and convince you that indeed everything is going to be okay.