Tag Archives: romantic comedy

Potted Retro Film Review: 50 First Dates (2004)

Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider

717E8WX+wCL._SX425_What’s it all about?
Adam Sandler is Henry, a marine vet in Hawaii who loves the ladies. He meets Lucy (played by Drew Barrymore), and instantly takes a shine to her. He soon discovers that she was in a car accident the previous year, resulting in her inability to retain any new information, thus, forcing her to relive the same day over and over.

Prior to this outing, Sandler and Barrymore had worked together in The Wedding Singer, and they would do so after this in Blended, so there is obviously some chemistry between them.

50 First Dates is basically Groundhog Day as seen from a different perspective… and with a subject who doesn’t know it’s happening to them, as we watch Henry try to win Lucy’s heart in a different way every day.

Watching it with the kids…
This movie falls at about the same level you would expect from a rom-com. If anything, it’s quite mild, with only a hint of sexual suggestion to go along with the tame language. Nothing to worry about then.

Verdict…
The basic premise is a clever twist on the extremely formulaic rom-com genre, so it gets points for that, but the first half of the movie – when Henry is pursuing an oblivious Lucy – is a lot more enjoyable than once she begins to get a grasp on what has been happening.

Rob Schneider plays Henry’s best friend Ula, and in typical Rob Schneider fashion he drags this movie down. It’s a shame because 50 First Dates would be much better without him in it – with almost anyone else in his place. Unfotunately, that’s the movie we’re left with. It’s still fun, but this had potential for more.

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Monday Movie Mentions #3…

When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

When I still lived at home in my early twenties, I changed the outgoing message on our answerphone to the infamous orgasm scene from this movie – you know, this one…

All these years later I still find it funny, even though my mum doesn’t seem to share the joke, especially as her mother had called from Australia one day and swiftly hung up because she thought she was… well, interrupting something.

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The morning after the night before…

But this movie is more than just a trailer for Meg Ryan’s two minute fake-out. If I’m asked to name my favourite romantic comedy, this is invariably the movie I offer up. It’s a genre traditionally aimed at females and is often loaded with sentimentality and somewhat safe humour.

While it’s fair to say that rom-coms have somewhat saturated the market in recent years, When Harry Met Sally… still feels fresh nearly thirty years on. Released in 1989, the movie manages to swerve the syrup and (for the most part) avoid the potholes of the genre.

Harry: Had my dream again where I’m making love, and the Olympic judges are watching. I’d nailed the compulsories, so this is it, the finals. I got a 9.8 from the Canadians, a perfect 10 from the Americans, and my mother, disguised as an East German judge, gave me a 5.6. Must have been the dismount.

Sure, everyone lives happily ever after by the time the credits roll, but the journey to get there feels real and earned, thanks to its biting and pointed social commentary – usually pitched perfectly by Billy Crystal.