Chick Flick Hawaii Style - 50 First Dates
This is the fifth of my Chick Flick series and features one of my favourite chick flicks, 50 First Dates.
Please don't click away now just because you might not be an Adam Sandler fan because 50 First Dates really is a very watchable, heartwarming, romantic comedy. A lot of that is down to Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore and their on-screen chemistry.
They are reunited in this movie for the first time since The Wedding Singer and the magic from the first movie is just as present in 50 First Dates. Sean Astin as Barrymore's brother Doug is also very funny.
As well as the two excellent lead roles there are a plethora of supporting roles which deserve a second look. Rob Schneider takes a co-starring role as native Hawaiian, Ula and he is laugh out loud funny during the movie.
50 First Dates does have a few gross out scenes but not so many that you will want to switch off the TV.
Let yourself be guided by its romantic super-plot and you will have enjoyed one of the greatest chick flicks out there.
Henry Roth - Hawaiian Vet and Big Time 'Player'
Adam Sandler stars in the lead role of 50 First Dates as Henry Roth, the vet who works at the local marine centre and is notorious throughout his local area as a womaniser par-excellence.
Henry is a player. He doesn't just use these women, he creates a whole alter-ego for himself, usually playing a spy of some kind working undercover in Hawaii.
This gives his a good cover with which to blow off the many female holidaymakers who fall for his charms.
His best friend, Ula (Rob Schneider) is usually on hand to play a co-starring role in Henry's dating games. His escapes on jet skis in the azure waters whilst a girl looks on in astonishment at his bravery and guile shape him in the viewers mind as a bit of a mysogynist making the most of ladies only in situ for two weeks or so.
When you see his antics, you will smirk and see him for what he is - a player.
But 50 First Dates' director, Peter Segal counterpoints this cleverly by showing us early in the movie that Roth's work as a vet in the marine centre is certainly worthy of our admiration. He works hard with the sealions, walruses and dolphins and so whilst slightly disliking his attitude with the ladies, we also like the fact he's a good guy who works wonders with some pretty funny marine mammals.
Bottom line though, any woman is easy game - Henry does not do commitment!
Lucy Whitmore - Trapped in the Past but She Doesn't Know It
Our first introduction to Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) takes place when we see her buying breakfast in the Hukilau Cafe. She knows the owners who chat to her before serving her waffles and she takes her seat watched over at the bar (and then the next booth) by Henry Roth, enjoying a coffee having broken down in his boat in the cove.
He watches intrigued as Lucy tries to build a house with her waffles, finally intervening by showing her a way to keep the structure all together with a toothpick.
Barrymore is sassy in her response to this support by being annoyed that he has used his bare hands on her food.
So Henry does not get off to a great start and for once, this woman does not fall for him but he is attracted enough to turn up again the next morning in the hope of seeing Lucy again.
He is surprised to find that Lucy doesn't have a clue who he is and does not remember him from the day before. Initially, he thinks she is being coy and trying to put him off but Henry Roth is not a man to be turned down.
The cafe's staff, all comprising from one family, led by matriarch Sue, do their utmost to put him off his pursuit of Lucy and he wonders why but doesn't ask.
Again and again though, she does not know him. Henry is intrigued.
50 First Dates' Clever Plot Device
50 First Dates plot device is not the first of its kind - two movies of more recent years, Memento and Groundhog Day both use a plot involving waking up in the morning with either a horrible sense of deja vu (Groundhog Day) or no recollection of any of your life's past events (Memento). One is a comedy and one is a dark drama, surely a sign that this is a flexible plot device, well suited to a number of genres.
But writer George Wing goes one step further and has Lucy waking up with the belief that it is exactly the same date every day - October 13th.
Sue, the restaurant owner explains to Henry that Lucy and her dad went to pick a pineapple on that date for his birthday and were both involved in a terrible car crash which left Lucy with Goldfield's Syndrome, short term memory loss and anterograde amnesia.
Her father and brother Doug, and indeed all who know her pretend it is October 13th every day to save her the terror of reliving the memory of the car crash.
They carry a paper around from that date, go through similar routines, even to the degree of her father having to pretend it is his birthday every day.
Henry's intrigue is piqued again because he really liked Lucy. In his meetings with her, he tries harder and harder to get her to remember him and she has fallen in love with him over the 24 hours they are together but next day - nothing!
And It's Not Just About Henry and Lucy
This movie has such a great plot that you will be glued to your seat until the end just to see whether Henry gets his girl.
But you will also fall in love with Hawaii which is presented in a really wonderful way - the colours of the sand, land and ocean are very vivid. The Hukilau Cafe looks like a place you might want to eat breakfast (even though it doesn't exist - it was shot on a sound stage in LA), the marine centre is a place you would like to visit and the island is just full of quirky locals.
Take Ula, loving father and seemingly fearless wing man to Henry Roth's cool Hawaii beach bum. Ula is like a stuntman without any of the safety gear or even the training :o)
Henry's partner at the Marine Centre is the strangely sexless Alexa, brilliantly played by little known actress,Lusia Strus who has fine comedic timing. Some of the scenes at the centre with her and Sandler are laugh out loud funny.
Sean Astin as Lucy's steroid fuelled brother Doug is also very good with the pleasant addition of a lisp to his speech giving him a vulnerability which adds to his flaws.
50 First Dates works as a great chick flick because of Drew Barrymore's stand out performance as Lucy. From the first second she is on the screen, she is perfect and you can understand why Henry Roth falls in love with her the moment he sees her.
Sandler and Barrymore re-establish their screen partnership from The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates cements their on-screen chemisty. One critic has joked 'they should make all of their movies together' but their chemistry is palpable to anyone who watches them together. Maybe they are good friends in real life?
50 First Dates has a great story line, a great comedy script which does not overdo the gross out stuff but instead bubbles with romantic possibility for the two lead characters.
You will want to sit back, maybe with your Hawaiian shirt on and a cocktail in hand and see whether Lucy learns to reinvent October 13th in her mind or snap out of it.
Clever, funny chick flick which will leave you feeling warm and satisfied at the end of it - job done!
Best Chick Flicks-50 First Dates Comments
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on June 02, 2013:
Maria, he's a bit hit and miss at times bless him but this movie gets my vote every time, I love it and I think I've now seen it about 25 times - my own personal groundhog day with love thrown in!
Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on June 01, 2013:
It is a nice bonus to be able to wish Jools a wonderful 50th birthday and to learn of an Adam Sandler flick I have not seen. I am actually goofy enough to think he's funny.
Hope you are having a wonderful birthday.
Voted UP and across the board. Hugs, Maria
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on August 25, 2012:
Bruce - Thanks for your comment. Your wife and I are both in the same corner re: Mr Sandler, I don't really liked his movies very much, I find him a bit sameish but I also just love this movie. I never get sick of seeing it but I also like Rob in it too (and I don't usually like him either).
UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on August 24, 2012:
This has to be one of the Best Chick Flicks....and here is my evidence.....Judge Jools......my wife hates and I mean hates Adam Sandler movies. She would rather have her wisdom teeth pulled than watch a Sandler movie. There is one exception to that rule.....she not only will watch 50 First Dates....but she actually likes to watch it.....although she still grimaces every time Rob Schneider is on the screen.
Thanks for your review on Henry and Lucy....an excellent selection in your Best Chick Flick movies..voted up and awesome
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on August 24, 2012:
unknown spy - Many thanks for your comment - what has been keeping you? You need to watch this movie today - it is a wonderful film, you will love it.
Life Under Construction from Neverland on August 24, 2012:
hi jools.. i have a copy of this movie but haven't seen it yet.. now i'll have to watch it.love your hub
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on July 31, 2012:
Deborah, yes, it's a great little movie - feel good and comedy combined :o) Many thanks, as always, for your comment.
Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on July 31, 2012:
I love this movie.. so entertaining.. so funny...
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on July 30, 2012:
Danette, I agree. He's not one of my favourite actors but I do really like him in this one.
Danette Watt from Illinois on July 29, 2012:
I absolutely can't stand Adam Sandler! But when I happened to see this movie (was basically 'trapped' b/c my computer is in the LR and my kids had this movie on the tv) I could see that he played a decent (non-moronic, non-adolescent boy) role in it. The other movie where he plays a decent role too is Spanglish.
Anyway, I did like this movie, thought it was sweet at the end and thought Drew Barrymore did a great job. She has really turned out to be a fine actress.
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on July 21, 2012:
Audra - I am not usually a Rb Schneider fan but I think he is really funny in this movie. Many thanks for your kind comment :o)
iamaudraleigh on July 21, 2012:
Thanks for doing a rview of this movie...one of my favorites! Rob Schneider was outstanding, just as the rest of the cast! You get a perfect 10 for writing this!
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on July 15, 2012:
teaches12345, I understand your feelings about Sandler, Barrymore has excellent comic timing though and this is well worth seeing. Many thanks for your comment.
Dianna Mendez on July 14, 2012:
I have never really been fond of Sandler, but do find some of Barrymore's film interesting. She is really quite a beauty now and her make-up commercials show it. If it comes on TV, I might take a chance on watching this. Thanks for the information.
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on July 12, 2012:
John, Christy, Nell, Mary - many thanks for your kind comments. Writing these chick flick hubs has made me go back and watch 'em all again which has been great for me but not so great for my housework :o(
Yeah....like I care! Take care x
John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on July 12, 2012:
Great hub Julie, I don't care much for Adam Sandler, but you did a great job with this hub.
Voted up and away
Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on July 12, 2012:
Your series is great - another awesome movie (and hub that I vote awesome too). There are so many great scenes in this movie. I'm excited to share here and on Google+ :)
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on July 11, 2012:
Terrye, I'm not a fan of his early stuff or some of his latest stuff either but he hits the mark in this movie, mainly thanks to Drew Barrymore - it's all about chemistry.
Many thanks for your comment.
Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on July 11, 2012:
Jools, great job! I didn't like Sandler earlier stuff (Waterboy, etc), but I did like this one. VUM!
Mary from Cronulla NSW on July 10, 2012:
Good job Jools with your review...really well done...and loved the movie...VUA & Shared
Nell Rose from England on July 10, 2012:
Hi, I never knew that it was about that, I just thought it was a chick flick that looked a bit boring, now I know its about her memory and thinking its the same day I am definitely going to watch it, thanks!
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on July 10, 2012:
India, many thanks for your comment and yes, of course she gets reintroduced to that feeling of falling in love every day - lucky her!
Thanks for the votes etc, I appreciate it.
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on July 10, 2012:
Aw Josh - you're a good 'un! You put the idea to me and I just had to do it and I'm so glad I did. Now, I just want to watch it again :o)
Many thanks for your comment.
Jools Hogg (author) from North-East UK on July 10, 2012:
Bill, trust me! He isn't one of my favourites, I find him a bite 'same-ish' but Bev is right this time, he is very good in this movie and rather likeable once he's met Drew. The story is very good, well worth the watch if Bev can get you in front of the telly!
Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 10, 2012:
You have done it! You went above and beyond my expectations! I thoroughly enjoyed this review, and it did it justice and even more! You nailed all of the major points any movie review should have. Yes, Hawaii was presented beautifully, and yes, Barrymore and Sandler had excellent chemistry. Thanks for this review, I am very proud of it! You have done an amazing job! My favorite review by you, I would have to say! Many votes and sharing!
India Arnold from Northern, California on July 10, 2012:
Jools this is my all time favorite chick flicks! Your hub is a wonderful look at 50 First Dates and the characters it introduces. Full of magical bits of romance and an unstoppable love. Who wouldn't want to fall in love in every single day with person of their dreams!!? Great read. Voting up across the board!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 10, 2012:
Okay, Julie, we have a problem....I honestly don't like Adam Sandler...it might be a character defect that I have, but I just don't like the guy. Bev, on the other hand, thinks he is hilarious. Sigh! I do like Drew Barrymore; in fact, I have always thought that she was adorable and a genuinely nice person. So....maybe....just maybe....I'll watch this.
Great review as always!