After his performance in 2002's Punch
Drunk Love, it's hard to accept
Adam Sandler as just a goofy guy with an overactive temper anymore. Now we
know he's capable of some depth and range. Not a lot, mind you, but at least
more than he ever showed before that P. T. Anderson film gave him the opportunity
to stretch a bit.
First Dates (2004)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore,
and Rob Schneider
Drunk Love, his last really romantic role was in The Wedding
Singer, which also paired him with Drew Barrymore. The two have a certain kind
of chemistry and she brings out the best in him in 2004's 50 First Dates.
Sandler plays Harry, a commitment-phobic veterinarian at a Hawaiian aquatic
zoo, who's romantic life involves short trysts with tourist women that always
end with an unbelievable excuse. Then he meets Lucy (Drew Barrymore) at a local
cafe. After one conversation with her, he's smitten and ready to give up his
womanizing ways. But there's a catch. About a year previous to their meeting,
Lucy received a head injury in a car accident that has robbed her of her short
term memory. When she goes to sleep at night, she immediately forgets the previous
day and everything that's happened since the accident. Harry is determined
to make their relationship work and 50 First Dates documents his many attempts
to get things working right.
The plot, while clearly gimmicky, is fun and allows for some truly hilarious
moments. Rob Schneider, a Sandler comedy staple, is in rare form as Ula, Harry's
married Hawaiian friend who tries to live vicariously through Harry's romantic
misadventures. He provides the majority of the film's low-brow humor while,
almost unbelievably, Sandler stays on the high road most of the time, save
an incident with walrus vomit. Barrymore is her typical self, but remains likeable
and plays off Sandler's performance quite well. They make a good pair. Sean
Astin (The Lord of the Rings' Sam) and Blake Clark (also a Sandler comedy regular)
are both good as Lucy's steroid-ingesting brother and over-protective father
While it's never going to be mistaken for fine art or much else, 50
First Dates is a great date movie. And, honestly, that's all it should be expected
to be. In that light, it works well and comes with a recommendation as such.
Just be warned, if seeing a walrus vomit might offend you, you may want to
try The Wedding Singer first.
an early scene, Rob Schneider attempts a golf drive by running up to the
tee before swinging. Adam Sandler says, "That's the stupidest looking
swing I've ever seen." This is a joke based on Sandler's character's
trademark golf swing in Happy Gilmore. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)