Adam Sandler as Henry Roth
Drew Barrymore as Lucy Whitmore
Rob Schneider as Ula
Sean Astin as Doug Whitmore
Blake Clark as Marlin Whitmore
Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Keats
Pomaika’i Brown as Nick
Lynn Collins as Donna
Allen Covert as 10 Second Tom
Amy Hill as Sue
Missi Pyle as Noreen
“50 First Dates” is a sweet romantic comedy that is surely going to do boffo business at the box office. The film is actually a lot sweeter than the commercials let on, which mostly concentrate on the humor. That’s okay though, because the comedy itself makes it worth seeing. The Columbia Pictures feature had the right mix of laughs and romance to keep the audience interested for the 96 minutes. Adam Sandler and scene-stealer Drew Barrymore have great chemistry together, which you previously saw in “The Wedding Singer,” and Rob Schneider, Sean Astin and Blake Clark add strong supporting roles.
Sandler plays marine biologist Henry Roth who has been playing women who come to Hawaii for a while now. But one day his boat ‘breaks’ down and he has to wait for the coast guard at a local restaurant, where he finally meets the perfect woman, Lucy Whitmore (Barrymore). He falls head over heels for her and they agree to have breakfast the next day together at the same place. When Henry shows up in the morning, however, Lucy doesn’t have a clue who he is and he’s told that she suffers from a brain disorder that wipes her memory clean every night. Not willing to give up, Henry has to make Lucy fall in love with him every day, with some help from his best friend Ula (Schneider), Lucy’s father (Clark) and her brother (Astin).
“Dates” shows love on several levels, which really makes this film work. There’s the romance between the two leads, Lucy’s caring friends, and the love of her father and brother for her. It was convincing that Henry wanted to make an attempt at having Lucy fall in love with him, even though he had to it do so many times. He comes up with creative ways to let Lucy know what is going on as soon as she wakes up. Her friends also care a lot for her and aren’t willing to just let anyone, in this case Henry, take advantage of her. And probably the sweetest thing in the film is to see what her dad and brother go through every day to make Lucy happy. It’s pretty tough watching several scenes when Lucy finds out what has happened to her all this time, but Henry, her friends and family are there to help her pull through it.
The film starts with the usual Sandler gags which got a bit silly, but were bearable. Once the actual story kicks-in though, the comedy ties in a lot more and helps it move along nicely. Sandler and Barrymore both have their funny moments, but their romance is concentrated on most here. Rob Schneider is hilarious in his role as the married guy with kids who doesn’t have much to look forward to anymore. Schneider’s scenes will probably get the most laughs as he communicates with his kids and offers advice to Henry throughout. Coming off his strong dramatic role in “The Lord of the Rings,” Sean Astin gets to provide lots of comic relief too. He plays the loser brother with a lisp, who is taking steriods and is obsessed with his pecs. Hats off also go to Blake Clark for his role as the father, he did a great job.
The comedy does have some adult language and references, so be sure to take the PG-13 rating into account when deciding whether or not to take the kids. “50 First Dates” is a sweet, charming, funny and romantic film that everyone can enjoy.