50 First Dates

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50 First Dates
50FirstDates.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Segal
Produced byJack Giarraputo
Steve Golin
Nancy Juvonen
Written byGeorge Wing
Starring
Music byTeddy Castellucci
CinematographyJack N. Green
Edited byJeff Gourson
Production
companies
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • February 13, 2004 (2004-02-13)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$75 million[1]
Box office$196.3 million[1]

50 First Dates is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Peter Segal and starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider, Sean Astin, Blake Clark, and Dan Aykroyd. It follows the story of Henry, a womanizing marine veterinarian who falls for an art teacher named Lucy. Realizing she has anterograde amnesia, he resolves to win her over again each new day.

Most of the film was shot on location in Oahu, Hawaii on the Windward side and the North Shore. Sandler and Barrymore won an MTV award for Best On-Screen Team. The fictitious memory impairment suffered by Barrymore's character, "Goldfield's Syndrome", is similar to short-term memory loss and anterograde amnesia. 50 First Dates inspired a number of international remakes, including the 2014 Malayalam film Ormayundo Ee Mukham, the 2007 Telugu film Sathyabhama, and the 2018 Japanese film Fifty First Kisses [ja].[citation needed]

Plot[edit]

Henry Roth is a womanizing veterinarian at Sea Life Park on Oahu who preys on tourists. His closest friends are Ula, a marijuana-smoking Islander; his assistant Alexa, whose sexuality and gender is unclear; Willy, his pet African penguin and Jocko, a walrus.

Henry’s boat breaks down, so he goes to the Hukilau Café to wait for the Coast Guard. He sees Lucy Whitmore make architectural art with her waffles. Henry assumes she is a local, which prevents him from introducing himself, but the next day he comes back and has breakfast with her. Lucy asks to see him again tomorrow morning.

The next day, Lucy shows no recollection of ever meeting him. The restaurant owner Sue explains to Henry that one year ago, Lucy and her father Marlin went up to the North Shore to pick a pineapple for his birthday. On the way back, a car accident left Lucy with anterograde amnesia. She wakes up every morning thinking it is October 13. To save her the heartbreak of reliving the accident, Marlin and Doug, Lucy’s lisping steroid-addicted brother, re-enact Marlin's birthday.

Despite Sue’s warning, Henry tries to get Lucy to have breakfast with him again. It ends poorly when Henry unintentionally hurts Lucy’s feelings. At her house, Marlin and Doug instruct Henry to leave Lucy alone. Henry begins concocting ways to run into Lucy through the following days. Marlin and Doug figure this out due to Lucy singing the Beach Boys "Wouldn't It Be Nice" on the days when she meets Henry.

One day, as Henry is about to sit with Lucy at breakfast, she notices a police officer writing her a ticket for her expired plates. Lucy attempts to argue that they are not yet expired, and takes a newspaper to prove herself, but sees that the date on all the newspapers is not October as she thought, and Marlin and Doug are forced to admit their ruse when she confronts them.

Henry comes up with an idea to make a video explaining to Lucy her accident and their relationship, and plays it every morning for her. She watched the tape and is hurt, but eventually comes to her senses and she is able to spend the day by picking up where the tape says she left off. She spends more time with Henry and goes to see some of her old friends. Lucy decides to erase Henry completely from her life after learning of Henry's decision not to take a sailing trip to Bristol Bay to study walruses, something he had been planning for the past 10 years. Henry reluctantly helps her destroy her journal entries of their relationship.

A few weeks later, Henry is preparing to leave for his sailing trip. Before he goes, Marlin tells him that Lucy is now living at the institute and teaching an art class. As a parting gift, he gives Henry a Beach Boys CD. While listening to the CD, Henry becomes emotional and curses Marlin for giving him the CD and making him feel so emotional. He soon realizes that Lucy would sing "Wouldn't It Be Nice" on days that she met him and assumes that she has regained her memories of him. Henry abandons his trip and travels to the art class. Lucy tells him that she does not remember him, but that she dreams about him every night. They reconcile.

Some time later, Lucy wakes up and plays the tape marked “Good Morning Lucy”. It again reminds her of her accident, but ends with her and Henry’s wedding. From the tape, Henry says to put a jacket on and come have breakfast when she is ready. Lucy then sees that she is on Henry’s boat, which finally made it to Alaska. She goes up on deck and meets Marlin, Henry and their young daughter, Nicole.

Cast[edit]

  • Adam Sandler as Henry Roth, a marine veterinarian with a habit of wooing women and a fear of commitment
  • Drew Barrymore as Lucy Whitmore, Henry's love interest with short-term memory loss
  • Rob Schneider as Ula, Henry's marijuana-smoking, wealthy native Hawaiian assistant and best friend; he is unhappily married to an overweight native woman and has five young, athletically talented children
  • Sean Astin as Doug Whitmore, Lucy's older brother, a lisping, steroid-dependent bodybuilder
  • Blake Clark as Marlin Whitmore, Lucy's widowed father, a professional fisherman
  • Lusia Strus as Alexa, Henry's ambiguously gendered assistant
  • Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Joseph Keats, a physician specializing in brain disorders
  • Amy Hill as Sue, the Hukilau café manager and friend of Lucy and her late mother
  • Pomaika'i Brown as Nick, the Hukilau café chef
  • Allen Covert as Ten-Second Tom, a hospital patient with severe memory impairment
  • Missi Pyle as Noreen, a tax attorney Henry meets at a bar but then tries to fix up with Alexa
  • Maya Rudolph as Stacy, pregnant friend of Lucy's at the beach party
  • Lynn Collins as Linda
  • Kevin James as Factory worker

Production[edit]

The film was originally titled "50 First Kisses".[2] Drew Barrymore, who knew of the original script, wrote a letter to Sandler and suggested it as their next film together. In 2014, Barrymore said it had been more of a drama and was re-written by Sandler and they reworked it into more of a comedy.[3] Originally, Seattle was supposed to be the film's main setting, but Sandler later switched it to Hawaii. Sandler said that "it just seemed like the very best possible place to do it for many different reasons. You don't see many movies [set] there, so it was a great experience to film in a different locale. And it is such a spectacularly beautiful place for a romantic comedy."[4]

Locations[edit]

Most of the film was shot on location in Kaneohe, Kaʻaʻawa, Wahiawa, Makapuʻu, Waimānalo, and Honolulu, as well as in Kāneʻohe Bay.[5] The Hukilau Cafe where Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler had breakfast each morning is still standing at Kualoa Ranch,[6] as well as the roadway and gate in the valley where they met each day. Due to the high cost of filming outside of the studio zone, some interior scenes (such as inside the Whitmore residence) were shot on sets in Los Angeles carefully decorated to look like they were in Hawaii.[5]

The walrus tank is actually in Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California, and the golf course is the Ocean Trails Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Critical reception [edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a score of 45% based on 176 reviews from critics, with an average rating of 5.41/10. The website's consensus states, "Gross-out humor overwhelms the easy chemistry between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, who bring some energy and yucks to this tale of a girl with short-term memory loss and the guy who tries to get her to love him."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 48% based on 38 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[8] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A- on scale of A to F.[9]

Critics who enjoyed the film (such as The New York Times reviewer A. O. Scott) praised the uplifting story while lamenting the seemingly excessive and incongruous amount of crude humor and drug references.[10] Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars, saying "The movie is sort of an experiment for Sandler. He reveals the warm side of his personality, and leaves behind the hostility, anger and gross-out humor... The movie doesn't have the complexity and depth of Groundhog Day... but as entertainment it's ingratiating and lovable."[11] Rex Reed was more negative in his review for The New York Observer, calling the film "stupid, coarse and abysmally unfunny" while singling out offensive humor about brain damage.[12]

Sandler and Barrymore won the award for Best On-Screen Team at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. The two actors, who had previously worked together in the film The Wedding Singer, are said to regard 50 First Dates as one of their favorite collaborations as professional "soul mates".[13]

Fictional medical condition[edit]

In an article in The BMJ on depictions of amnesia in film, clinical neuropsychologist Sallie Baxendale writes that 50 First Dates "maintains a venerable movie tradition of portraying an amnesic syndrome that bears no relation to any known neurological or psychiatric condition".[14]

In 2010, researchers described a woman who developed the kind of memory impairment after she was involved in a car accident. She described that her memory was normal for events on the same day and that overnight memories for the previous day were lost. However, a neuropsychological test did reveal some improvement in recall for tasks which she had, unknowingly, performed the previous day. Though the woman claimed not to have seen 50 First Dates prior to her 2005 accident (but has watched it several times since), she stated that Drew Barrymore was her favorite actress, leading researchers to conclude that her condition might have been influenced by some knowledge of the film's plot, and its impact upon her understanding of amnesia.[15] Similarly, in the Truman Show delusion, patients believe that they are living inside a reality television show, as in the 1998 film The Truman Show.

In July 2015, two people were discovered to have a form of anterograde amnesia that resembles the one depicted in the movie. One is a man in the UK, originally from Germany. He wakes up every day thinking it is March 14, 2005, because that is the day he underwent anesthesia for a dental procedure which led to this condition as a rare, unexplained complication (however, his anterograde amnesia, like that of others with the condition, causes him to forget facts not daily, but within 90 minutes).[16] The other is a woman who reportedly believes every day is October 15, 2014. She used to be a pub manager and was visiting Kettering General Hospital for a kickboxing injury when she slipped and hit her head on a metal pole.[17][18]

Ten-Second Tom's ten-second memory is similar to the second-to-second consciousness of Clive Wearing, a British man whose long- and short-term memory centers were destroyed from a viral infection of the brain caused by the herpes virus.

Real world application[edit]

The Hebrew Home of Riverdale, Bronx has started an experimental program in which residents with early dementia watch a video every morning in which they see comforting messages and reminders from family members that they may still know. After April 2015, the program may include more residents. Robert Abrams of NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital considered this idea "both innovative and thoughtful." Charlotte Dell, director of social services for the home, said the program was inspired by 50 First Dates.[19]

Soundtrack[edit]

50 First Dates: Love songs from the Original Motion Picture
50 First Dates cover.jpg
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedFebruary 3, 2004 (2004-02-03)
GenreSka, reggae, new wave
Length49:37
LabelMaverick Records
ProducerNick Hexum

The soundtrack contains cover versions of songs that were originally recorded in the 1980s. This includes mostly reggae covers, due to their emphasized upbeat that gives a tropical or Hawaiian feel. It was a moderate commercial hit, reaching #30 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top Soundtracks chart and Top Reggae Albums chart in the United States.

Despite being prominently featured in the film, neither Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" nor The Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was included on the soundtrack.

The soundtrack was produced by 311's frontman, Nick Hexum. 311 provided a cover of The Cure's "Lovesong" for the soundtrack. It is heard over the film's end credits.

No.TitleWriter(s)ArtistLength
1."Hold Me Now" (Thompson Twins)Tom Bailey, Alannah Currie, Joe LeewayWayne Wonder4:12
2."Lovesong" (The Cure)Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Pearl Thompson, Boris Williams, Roger O'Donnell3113:28
3."Lips Like Sugar" (Echo & the Bunnymen)Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les PattinsonSeal featuring Mikey Dread5:00
4."Your Love (L.O.V.E. Reggae Mix)" (The Outfield)John SpinksWyclef Jean featuring Eve4:13
5."Drive" (The Cars)Ric OcasekZiggy Marley of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers4:26
6."True" (Spandau Ballet)Gary Kempwill.i.am and Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas3:47
7."Slave to Love" (Bryan Ferry)FerryElan Atias featuring Gwen Stefani4:24
8."Every Breath You Take" (The Police)StingUB403:55
9."The Ghost in You" (The Psychedelic Furs)Richard Butler, Tim ButlerMark McGrath of Sugar Ray4:24
10."Friday I'm in Love" (The Cure)Smith, Gallup, Thompson, Williams, Perry BamonteDryden Mitchell of Alien Ant Farm3:01
11."Breakfast in Bed" (Dusty Springfield)Eddie Hinton, Donnie FrittsNicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls3:22
12."I Melt with You" (Modern English)Robbie Grey, Gary McDowell, Stephen Walker, Michael Conroy, Richard BrownJason Mraz3:36
13."Forgetful Lucy"Sandler, Allen Covert, Tim HerlihyAdam Sandler1:53
Total length:49:37
Other songs in the film

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "50 First Dates". The Numbers. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  2. ^ Edelstein, David (February 13, 2004). "Adam Sandler Makes Nice". Slate. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  3. ^ Jacobs, Matthew (May 22, 2014). "Why Drew Barrymore Loves Making Movies With Adam Sandler". Entertainment. The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "50 First Dates". CinemaReview. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "A LocationsHub Movie Marathon: Escape to Hawaii". LocationsHub. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  6. ^ Rellihan, Kathleen (November 3, 2015). "Picture-Perfect Movie Locations To Visit on Your Next Trip to Hawaii". Travel+Leisure. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  7. ^ "50 First Dates (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  8. ^ "50 First Dates reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  9. ^ "50 FIRST DATES (2004) A-". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  10. ^ Scott, A.O. (February 13, 2004). "FILM REVIEW; A Love That's Forever, If Only for a Day". New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (February 13, 2004). "50 First Dates". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 15, 2018.[dead link]
  12. ^ Reed, Rex (February 24, 2004). "Wish I Could Forget 50 First Dates". The New York Observer. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  13. ^ Bonos, Lisa (November 5, 2015). "Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, professional soul mates". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  14. ^ Baxendale, Sallie (December 18, 2004). "Memories aren't made of this: amnesia at the movies". BMJ. 329 (7480): 1480–1483. doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7480.1480. PMC 535990. PMID 15604191.
  15. ^ Christine N. Smith; Jennifer C. Frascino; Donald L. Kripke; Paul R. McHugh; Glenn J. Treisman; Larry R. Squire (May 2010). "Losing memories overnight: a unique form of human amnesia". Neuropsychologia. 48 (10): 2833–40. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.05.025. PMC 2914200. PMID 20493889.
  16. ^ Sarah Kaplan (17 July 2015). "Reverse Groundhog Day: U.K. man wakes up every day thinking it's March 14, 2005 and doctors have no idea why". National Post.
  17. ^ Plymouth Herald (17 July 2015). "Groundhog Day: Woman with rare amnesia wakes up thinking every day is October 15, 2014". Plymouth Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-07-21.
  18. ^ "Amnesia sufferer Nikki Pegram loses benefit". BBC. 8 September 2015.
  19. ^ Jim Fitzgerald (20 April 2015). "Idea from Adam Sandler film used to soothe dementia patients". NBC New York. Associated Press.

External links[edit]