Jenny and Lucy agree; this is an excellent example of how to do a romance right. And everything else wrong. It is also agreed that every movie that has Rob Schneider in it should include him getting beaten to a pulp with a bat.
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Story Analysis & Ratings:
Lucy says: 3 Pops ~ A wonderful romance, told beautifully, but hobbled by comedic attempts that are not only not funny, but are actively antagonistic to the good stuff. I still love it, though.
Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 1, Comedy: 3, Romance: 5
Jenny says: 2 Pops ~ [Jenny Comments]
Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 1, Comedy: 1, Romance: 5
Blog Poll Rating: TBD
Story: A commitment-phobic veterinarian falls in love with a woman who can’t remember him the next morning. Release Date: February 13th, 2004 Writer(s): George Wing
7 responses to “Ep 34: 50 First Dates”
You might find this interesting: interview with George Wing.
“MM: Let’s talk a bit about 50 First Dates: First, it’s such a great idea for a comedy—what inspired you to write this story? When did you complete the first draft of the script?
GW: I read a newspaper article about the actual memory dysfunction that was the basis of the story. I thought it could be a wonderful romantic comedy: what if you finally meet the right person but she’s going to forget you every night? From the day I sold it to the day it was greenlit was about two years.
MM: What has been the process of seeing this film from script to screen?
GW: Long story. The short version is: I was hired by the studio to do two rewrites, after which five other writers worked on it. The end result was kind of a shock to me.”
Sunday night was the second time that I’d seen this movie, and I enjoyed it much more this time around. Unfortunately, the poignant and touching romance in the second half of the film doesn’t make up for the crass comedy or the crippling premise.
For me, Henry’s actions in the first half of the film are selfish and bordering on cruel. I’m uncomfortable with his manipulation of Lucy, and the addition of the bet with the cook at the cafe just underscores how self-involved he is. It’s frustrating, because the movie recognises this fact too late in the story; if they introduced the fact that Lucy sings after meeting him earlier in the plot, or if they had given him some reason to believe that he was special, that he was reaching her, then his actions would be justified, and my most significant objection to the story would fall away.
Ultimately, of course, the romance is beautifully done, but it doesn’t carry the weight of the first half, or the terribly misjudged comedy.
On the positive side, Drew Barrymore is fantastic, and this could well be Adam Sandler’s least objectionable performance. I generally like the supporting cast, and it’s beautifully shot, but for this film to really work, we need to cut all the cruel comedy, bury Rob Schneider alive, and make Henry special to Lucy much earlier in the script.
You know, I was fine with the bet. He wasn’t talking to Lucy to win the bet, he made the bet so Nick would let him talk to Lucy. And I wasn’t upset with the way he treated women, either. They all seemed fine, they had a good time, nobody was broken-hearted. I liked the fact that later he tells the woman with the giant blue drink that he never got anybody drunk, although that was pushing believability. He wasn’t cruel in the beginning, just uninterested in commitment. And then he met Lucy. GHH.
Rob Schneider, however, was unforgivable.
I hate that I get the good ‘ah’ feeling at the end after all the cruel crap that they put us through. Thanks, Jennifer, for the link to the interview with the writer- it helps show that this truly was a good movie that was screwed up by a committee or Adam Sandler.
I did enjoy it more this time than I did before. I also hated it more this time. It has a lot to answer for since it gets the good stuff right and yet does such horrible things along the way.
I meant to say thank you to Jennifer, too, and didn’t. It’s always good to have your thesis confirmed (g).
Really guys? I can watch this movie over and over again. Any time I accidentally run across it, my TV almost always gets stuck on it (unless I was heading to Bones). I think it’s charming all the way through and the great romance makes up for everything. But then, I’m known to have my, “Hi, I’m Tom!” moments.
LOL. Hadn’t thought of that, but I’ve had a lot of “Hi, I’m Tom” moments lately myself.