50 First Dates
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|50 First Dates|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Segal|
|Produced by||Jack Giarraputo|
|Written by||George Wing|
|Music by||Teddy Castellucci|
|Cinematography||Jack N. Green|
|Edited by||Jeff Gourson|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$198.5 million|
50 First Dates is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Peter Segal and starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider, Sean Astin, Blake Clark, and Dan Aykroyd. It follows the story of Henry, a womanizing marine veterinarian who falls for an art teacher named Lucy. When he discovers she has anterograde amnesia and forgets him a day later, he resolves to win her over again each new day.
Most of the film was shot on location in Oahu, Hawaii on the Windward side and the North Shore. Sandler and Barrymore won an MTV award for Best On-Screen Team. The fictitious memory impairment suffered by Barrymore's character, "Goldfield's Syndrome", is similar to short-term memory loss and anterograde amnesia. 50 First Dates inspired a number of international remakes, including the 2014 Malayalam film Ormayundo Ee Mukham, the 2007 Telugu film Sathyabhama, and the 2018 Japanese film Fifty First Kisses.
Henry Roth is a womanizing veterinarian at Sea Life Park on Oahu who preys on tourists. His closest friends are Ula, a marijuana-smoking Islander; his assistant Alexa, whose sexuality and gender is unclear; Willy, his pet African penguin and Jocko, a walrus.
Henry's boat breaks down, so he goes to the Hukilau Café to wait for the Coast Guard. He sees Lucy Whitmore make architectural art with her waffles. Henry assumes she is a local, which prevents him from introducing himself, but the next day he comes back and has breakfast with her. Lucy asks to see him again tomorrow morning.
The next day, Lucy shows no recollection of ever meeting him. The restaurant owner Sue explains to Henry that one year ago, Lucy and her father Marlin went up to the North Shore to pick a pineapple for his birthday. On the way back, a car accident left Lucy with anterograde amnesia. To save her the heartbreak of reliving the accident, Marlin and Doug, Lucy's lisping steroid-addicted brother, re-enact Marlin's birthday.
Despite Sue's warning, Henry tries to get Lucy to have breakfast with him again. It ends poorly when Henry unintentionally hurts Lucy's feelings. At her house, Marlin and Doug instruct Henry to leave Lucy alone. Henry begins concocting ways to run into Lucy through the following days. Marlin and Doug figure this out due to Lucy singing the Beach Boys "Wouldn't It Be Nice" on the days when she meets Henry.
One day, as Henry is about to sit with Lucy at breakfast, she notices a police officer writing her a ticket for her expired plates. Lucy attempts to argue that they are not yet expired, and takes a newspaper to prove herself, but sees that the date on all the newspapers is not October as she thought, and Marlin and Doug are forced to admit their ruse when she confronts them.
Henry comes up with an idea to make a video explaining to Lucy her accident and their relationship, and plays it every morning for her. She watched the tape and is hurt, but eventually comes to her senses and she is able to spend the day by picking up where the tape says she left off. She spends more time with Henry and goes to see some of her old friends. One night Henry sleeps with Lucy and the next morning she awakens screaming, due to having no memory of him and knocks him out. Later that day Lucy decides to erase Henry completely from her life after learning of Henry's decision not to take a sailing trip to Bristol Bay to study walruses, something he had been planning for the past 10 years. Henry reluctantly helps her destroy her journal entries of their relationship.
A few weeks later, Henry is preparing to leave for his sailing trip. Before he goes, Marlin tells him that Lucy is now living at the institute and teaching an art class. As a parting gift, he gives Henry a Beach Boys CD. While listening to the CD, Henry becomes emotional and curses Marlin for giving him the CD and making him feel so emotional. He soon realizes that Lucy would sing "Wouldn't It Be Nice" on days that she met him and assumes that she has regained her memories of him. Henry abandons his trip and travels to the art class. Lucy tells him that she does not remember him, but that she dreams about him every night. They reconcile.
Some time later, Lucy wakes up and plays the tape marked “Good Morning Lucy”. It again reminds her of her accident, but ends with her and Henry's wedding. From the tape, Henry says to put a jacket on and come have breakfast when she is ready. Lucy then sees that she is on Henry's boat, which finally made it to Alaska. She goes up on deck and meets Marlin, Henry and their young daughter, Nicole.
- Adam Sandler as Henry Roth, a marine veterinarian with a habit of wooing women and a fear of commitment
- Drew Barrymore as Lucy Whitmore, Henry's love interest with short-term memory loss
- Rob Schneider as Ula, Henry's marijuana-smoking, wealthy native Hawaiian assistant and best friend; he is unhappily married to an overweight native woman and has five young, athletically talented children
- Sean Astin as Doug Whitmore, Lucy's older brother, a lisping, steroid-dependent bodybuilder
- Blake Clark as Marlin Whitmore, Lucy's widowed father, a professional fisherman
- Lusia Strus as Alexa, Henry's ambiguously gendered assistant
- Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Joseph Keats, a physician specializing in brain disorders
- Amy Hill as Sue, the Hukilau café manager and friend of Lucy and her late mother
- Pomaika'i Brown as Nick, the Hukilau café chef
- Allen Covert as Ten-Second Tom, a hospital patient with severe memory impairment
- Missi Pyle as Noreen, a tax attorney Henry meets at a bar but then tries to fix up with Alexa
- Maya Rudolph as Stacy, pregnant friend of Lucy's at the beach party
- Lynn Collins as Linda
- Kevin James as Factory worker
On October 29, 2002, Variety reported that Columbia Pictures had bought a spec script from screenwriter George Wing, titled Fifty First Kisses, with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore originally in negotiations to star in the lead roles. Barrymore was sold on the script and wrote Sandler a letter suggesting it as their next film together since The Wedding Singer. Sandler joined the cast in December 2002, and was announced as co-producer under his film studio Happy Madison Productions along with Steve Golin's Anonymous Content. Sandler then recommended the script to director Peter Segal while they were working post-production on Anger Management. Segal agreed to direct, leaving him with only two days of break from work before filming. The director revealed that the studio had changed the original title to 50 First Dates because "marketing found that the term 'kisses' was turning off guys".
While the script is primarily credited to George Wing, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Tim Herlihy, and Allen Covert did uncredited rewrites on it as well. Adam Sandler had also reworked the script, significantly transforming its genre from drama to comedy. Additional changes Sandler made to the script include moving its setting from Seattle to Hawaii and rewriting a decent amount of interior scenes that takes place in a café. Director Peter Segal felt these scenes were "very claustrophobic" as well as derivative of My Dinner with Andre, encouraging Sandler to rewrite these and move the location to the Kualoa Ranch. Sandler said that shooting in Hawaii "just seemed like the very best possible place to do it for many different reasons. You don't see many movies [set] there, so it was a great experience to film in a different locale. And it is such a spectacularly beautiful place for a romantic comedy."
Most of the film was shot on location in Kaneohe, Kaʻaʻawa, Wahiawa, Makapuʻu, Waimānalo, and Honolulu, as well as in Kāneʻohe Bay in 2003. The Hukilau Cafe where Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler had breakfast each morning is still standing at Kualoa Ranch, as well as the roadway and gate in the valley where they met each day. Due to the high cost of filming outside of the studio zone, some interior scenes (such as inside the Whitmore residence) were shot on sets in Los Angeles carefully decorated to look like they were in Hawaii.
|50 First Dates: Love songs from the Original Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||February 3, 2004|
|Genre||Ska, reggae, new wave|
The soundtrack contains cover versions of songs that were originally recorded in the 1980s. This includes mostly reggae covers, due to their emphasized upbeat that gives a tropical or Hawaiian feel. It was a moderate commercial hit, reaching #30 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top Soundtracks chart and Top Reggae Albums chart in the United States.
Despite being prominently featured in the film, neither Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" nor The Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was included on the soundtrack.
- Other songs in the film
- The Beach Boys – "Wouldn't It Be Nice"
- The Cure – "Boys Don't Cry"
- The Beat - "Hands Off She's Mine"
- The Flaming Lips – "Do You Realize??"
- Wyclef Jean – "Baby"
- Israel Kamakawiwoʻole – "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" medley (Originally recorded by Judy Garland/Louis Armstrong)
- The Maile Serenaders – "My Sweet Sweet"
- The Makaha Sons of Ni'Ihau – "Aloha Ka Manini"
- Manfred Mann – "Blinded by the Light"
- Bob Marley and the Wailers – "Could You Be Loved" and "Is This Love"
- Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney – "Another Day"
- No Doubt – "Underneath It All"
- O-Shen – "Throw Away The Gun"
- Harve Presnell – "They Call the Wind Maria"
- Leon Redbone and Ringo Starr – "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii"
- Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider – "Ula's Luau Song"
- Snoop Dogg – "From tha Chuuuch to da Palace"
- 311 – "Amber" and "Rub A Dub"
- Toots and the Maytals – "Pressure Drop"
- The Ventures – "Hawaii Five-O"
- Patty and Mildred Hill – "Happy Birthday to You"
Critical reception 
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a score of 45% based on 176 reviews from critics, with an average rating of 5.41/10. The website's consensus states, "Gross-out humor overwhelms the easy chemistry between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, who bring some energy and yucks to this tale of a girl with short-term memory loss and the guy who tries to get her to love him." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 48% based on 38 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A- on scale of A to F.
Critics who enjoyed the film (such as The New York Times reviewer A. O. Scott) praised the uplifting story while lamenting the seemingly excessive and incongruous amount of crude humor and drug references. Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars, saying "The movie is sort of an experiment for Sandler. He reveals the warm side of his personality, and leaves behind the hostility, anger and gross-out humor... The movie doesn't have the complexity and depth of Groundhog Day... but as entertainment it's ingratiating and lovable." Rex Reed was more negative in his review for The New York Observer, calling the film "stupid, coarse and abysmally unfunny" while singling out offensive humor about brain damage.
Sandler and Barrymore won the award for Best On-Screen Team at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. The two actors, who had previously worked together in the film The Wedding Singer, are said to regard 50 First Dates as one of their favorite collaborations as professional "soul mates".
Depiction of amnesia
In an article in The BMJ on depictions of amnesia in film, clinical neuropsychologist Sallie Baxendale writes that 50 First Dates "maintains a venerable movie tradition of portraying an amnesic syndrome that bears no relation to any known neurological or psychiatric condition".
In 2010, researchers described a woman who developed the kind of memory impairment after she was involved in a car accident. She described that her memory was normal for events on the same day and that overnight memories for the previous day were lost. However, a neuropsychological test did reveal some improvement in recall for tasks which she had, unknowingly, performed the previous day. Though the woman claimed not to have seen 50 First Dates prior to her 2005 accident (but has watched it several times since), she stated that Drew Barrymore was her favorite actress, leading researchers to conclude that her condition might have been influenced by some knowledge of the film's plot, and its impact upon her understanding of amnesia. Similarly, in the Truman Show delusion, patients believe that they are living inside a reality television show, as in the 1998 film The Truman Show.
In July 2015, two people were discovered to have a form of anterograde amnesia that resembles the one depicted in the movie. One is a man in the UK, originally from Germany. He wakes up every day thinking it is March 14, 2005, because that is the day he underwent anesthesia for a dental procedure which led to this condition as a rare, unexplained complication (however, his anterograde amnesia, like that of others with the condition, causes him to forget facts not daily, but within 90 minutes). The other is a woman who reportedly believes every day is October 15, 2014. She used to be a pub manager and was visiting Kettering General Hospital for a kickboxing injury when she slipped and hit her head on a metal pole.
Real world application
The Hebrew Home of Riverdale, Bronx has started an experimental program in which residents with early dementia watch a video every morning in which they see comforting messages and reminders from family members that they may still know. After April 2015, the program may include more residents. Robert Abrams of NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital considered this idea "both innovative and thoughtful." Charlotte Dell, director of social services for the home, said the program was inspired by 50 First Dates.
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- Harris, Dana (October 29, 2002). "Col Pix plants 'Kisses'". Variety. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
- Russell, Jamie (October 28, 2014). "50 First Dates — Peter Segal". BBC. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
- Harris, Dana (December 8, 2002). "Columbia puckers up for 'Kisses'". Variety. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
- Slnha-Roy, lya (February 18, 2019). "50 First Dates wasn't originally set in Hawaii — and had a completely different ending". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
- "50 First Dates - Credits". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
- Jacobs, Matthew (May 22, 2014). "Why Drew Barrymore Loves Making Movies With Adam Sandler". Entertainment. The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
- "50 First Dates". CinemaReview. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- "A LocationsHub Movie Marathon: Escape to Hawaii". LocationsHub. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
- Rellihan, Kathleen (November 3, 2015). "Picture-Perfect Movie Locations To Visit on Your Next Trip to Hawaii". Travel+Leisure. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
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- "50 FIRST DATES (2004) A-". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
- Scott, A.O. (February 13, 2004). "FILM REVIEW; A Love That's Forever, If Only for a Day". New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
- Ebert, Roger (February 13, 2004). "50 First Dates". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 15, 2018.[dead link]
- Reed, Rex (February 24, 2004). "Wish I Could Forget 50 First Dates". The New York Observer. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- Bonos, Lisa (November 5, 2015). "Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, professional soul mates". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
- Baxendale, Sallie (December 18, 2004). "Memories aren't made of this: amnesia at the movies". BMJ. 329 (7480): 1480–1483. doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7480.1480. PMC 535990. PMID 15604191.
- Christine N. Smith; Jennifer C. Frascino; Donald L. Kripke; Paul R. McHugh; Glenn J. Treisman; Larry R. Squire (May 2010). "Losing memories overnight: a unique form of human amnesia". Neuropsychologia. 48 (10): 2833–40. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.05.025. PMC 2914200. PMID 20493889.
- Sarah Kaplan (17 July 2015). "Reverse Groundhog Day: U.K. man wakes up every day thinking it's March 14, 2005 and doctors have no idea why". National Post.
- Plymouth Herald (17 July 2015). "Groundhog Day: Woman with rare amnesia wakes up thinking every day is October 15, 2014". Plymouth Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-07-21.
- "Amnesia sufferer Nikki Pegram loses benefit". BBC. 8 September 2015.
- Jim Fitzgerald (20 April 2015). "Idea from Adam Sandler film used to soothe dementia patients". NBC New York. Associated Press.
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