Movie Review 2008 #71: Fifty First Dates

Another Adam Sandler movie, with some of its weaknesses, but also hidden strengths not found in his cruder films.


Adam Sandler plays Henry Roth, Hawaiian zoo marine biologist with committment issues. In point of fact, he’s mastered the art of seducing tourists for short stands, breaking off contact just before they return to the States.
His happy world is turned upside down when he meets Lucy (the luminous Drew Barrymore). Lucy has a problem with her memory. In a very cinematicized version of a very real condition, Lucy cannot retain any new memories more than a day. Her family has arranged her life to make her believe its always the same day she expects it to be.
Henry’s intrusion into his life changes her…and it changes him, too.
Aside from the cruder aspects of the comedy, Fifty First Dates is truly a sweet little comedy set in gorgeous Hawaii. Barrymore is always an impish, enchanting presence on the screen, and she works well with Sandler. Sandler does well as a romantic lead here, better than I would have expected given his major reputation (Happy Gilmore, rather than Punch Drunk Love)
It’s an inoffensive movie that won’t change your life, but its an entertaining way to spend your time.
And, this movie managed to give me a craving for the one thing Minnesota and Hawaii have in common–Spam.