"50 First Dates"
Directed by Peter Segal.
Written by George Wing.
Starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore and Sean Astin.
Release Year: 2004
Review Date: 2/12/04
Singles Awareness Day is upon us once again,
and that means sappy horseshit romantic comedies...and “50 First
Dates” is the best our movie studios had to offer.
Luckily for me, my friend Tricia had a pass
for a freebie tonight down in Georgetown at the K Street Theaters,
so since I had no desire to see this movie otherwise, I took her up
on the offer and as usual, my friend Keith Karem says it best...
“That was dogshit!”
Since Adam Sandler—star and producer of “50
First Dates”—hasn’t made a great movie in, oh, eight years (“Happy
Gilmore”, still his only true classic to me), so that his current
offering isn’t great is no big surprise. However, this film tries
almost nothing that his previous effort with Drew Barrymore offered,
“The Wedding Singer.” Holy fuckin’ shit, was this bad. The main
hook for the story of “50 First Dates” is the Titanic all by
itself: a woman (Barrymore) who lost her short-term memory in an
accident forgets everything she knows every night when she goes to
bed. Worse, everyone in her hometown in Hawaii knows this, so
everyone in the girl’s life plays in what is essentially a one-act
play that repeats every morning: they let her eat the same
breakfast every day, she goes to visit her dad every day (it’s his
birthday, so she makes him a birthday cake every day), she paints
the ENTIRE FUCKING GARAGE at dad’s house every day, and she makes
her dad and brother watch
“The Sixth Sense” on videotape every
single day. Enter a walrus veterinarian (Sandler), who one day
meets the girl at her breakfast and falls in love with her...and,
when he learns that she has the memory problem he tries to win her
over anew every morning at the cafe.
There’s more to it than that (a little
more), and then it offers us that ridiculous,
ending that left me shaking my head. The film is chock-full of
those inane Sandler-style beatdowns (punches, kicks and injuries are
made five times louder in his films than anyone else’s), potty jokes
(made worse by the inclusion of Mr. Dogshit himself, Rob Schneider),
and suspension of disbelief that even I could not overcome: women
the world over think that Sandler’s character is hot? You want me
to believe that Sandler could possibly play a veterinarian?
Short-term memory loss might just start to evaporate after a year?
I really hurt inside for Sean Astin, as the
lisping, steroid-loving brother of the Barrymore character. Wow, to
have gone from one of the stars of maybe the best trilogy of all
time (“The Lord of the Rings”) to starring as a guy that tries to
get laughs by flexing his breast muscles had to have an effect on
the psyche. Of course, I would imagine that he wanted to get a bad
movie out of his system and this was the perfect way to do it; this
reminded me of when I had just left Rome, and had an amazing pasta
dinner the night before I left. The next day, when we flew into
Philly International, I just decided to ruin the great taste in my
mouth by ordering pizza at Sbarro. It made perfect sense to me at
Really, the worst part about all of
Sandler’s efforts of late (although, even I did laugh a fair amount
of “Anger Management”) is that the films just aren’t very funny.
Thankfully, I could pass part of my time during “50 First Dates” by
laughing at a hilarious Asian man that hangs out at the diner on the
island; he only has maybe six lines all film, but three of them are
absolutely hilarious. When he asks for a piece of paper that Sandler’s mope has been drawing on by saying
“Excuse me, could I borrow that so I can
wipe my ass?”
I lost it. Old Asian guys spouting off
lines like that always get me. Too bad the movie surrounding him
was such a fucking disaster.
Rating: Hard Vice (remember, I saw this
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard