Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

Having a hard time planning that perfect first date? Imagine if you had to come up with ideas for 50 of them! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Columbia Pictures released the new romantic comedy “50 First Dates” starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. It opened at the box office last weekend, bringing in over $45 million.

Sandler plays Henry Roth, an arctic marine life veterinarian who works on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Henry only dates women who are visiting the island so he doesn’t have to make any commitments (he doesn’t want to ruin his 10-year plan of sailing to Alaska to study the underwater life of walruses). He romances them for a week and forgets about them the minute they leave.

One day, by accident, Henry finds himself at the Hukilau Caf and runs into Lucy Whitmore (Barrymore). Mesmerized by her beauty and subtle charm (she is making teepees out of waffles), Henry falls hard for her.

As for Lucy, Henry had her at “aloha.” She couldn’t resist his comedic personality. The fishy smell on his hands worked much like an aphrodisiac. Both were smitten with each other, and agreed to meet the next morning for breakfast.

The only problem is that Lucy was in a car accident and has lost her short-term memory. When she wakes up in the morning, all of her memories from that day’s events are erased. She can’t remember anything except for the events leading up to her accident.

When Lucy doesn’t know who Henry is the next day, the workers at the diner she visits each morning explain what happened and warn him not to hurt her.

Lucy has no clue that she has lost her memory. Her father Marlin (Blake Clark) and brother Doug (Sean Astin) work hard to keep up the charade. Every day is the same for Lucy. She reads the same fake newspaper that her father had printed, she eats waffles for breakfast every morning, and she paints lilies on the walls in her family’s garage in the afternoon. For dinner, it’s the same dishes every night: spaghetti and pineapple upside-down cake for dessert. When that is over, the family watches “The Sixth Sense” and Super Bowl XXII for the umpteenth time, with Lucy being surprised by the endings each time.

After hearing the truth for himself, Henry realizes that if he wants to win Lucy’s heart, he must start over again every day for the rest of his life. Lucy and Henry’s “first dates” are different every day. Some are sweet, funny, or even flat out stupid. But all of them work at winning her heart, and ours.

As in most of Sandler’s films, there are tons of goofballs to provide even more laughter. Rob Schneider is hilarious as Ula, Henry’s stoner friend with three kids, one blind eye, and an overweight wife who we never see. Henry’s co-worker Alexa, played by Luisa Strus, is sure to gross you out. He or she, you can’t tell the difference, makes sexual advances towards everyone.

Though many only know Sandler to be a funny man, this film demonstrates his ability to diversify into different roles. “Sandler was both canny and romantic at the same time. Drew was her usual bubbly, charming self,” said WCU student Holly Wielebinski.

Some critics will say that this film is similar to “Groundhog Day,” where Bill Murray relives the same day over again until he gets the story straight. Unlike “Groundhog Day,” writer George Wing came up with many charming techniques to keep us from leaving the theater before the film ends. How many times can a couple say that they share a first kiss every day?

Even with some of the gross-out humor, the romanticism of this film makes it a great date movie. Make “50 First Dates” a date you won’t forget.

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