In time for Valentine’s Day, the movie 50 FIRST DATES is a spin on the “Groundhog Day” notion of a day which keeps repeating itself. This time, the recycling entirely takes place inside the mind of Lucy Whitmore (starred by Drew Barrymore), who was in an accident which caused short-term memory loss. Every night when she sleeps, her memory is wiped clean, and in the morning, when she wakes up, she just remembers everything which happened up to the moment of the accident but forgets everything which happened afterward.
This movie is sort of an experiment for Adam Sandler. He leaves behind the anger, hostility, and gross-out humor, and reveals the warm side of his personality. It is sure that there is projectile vomiting on a vast scale in the opening scene of this film, however, it is performed by a walrus, not a human character, and the walrus feels much better afterward. This is a gentler and kinder Adam Sandler.
He plays Henry Roth, who is a marine biologist in Hawai, healing walruses, dolphins, and sea lions as well as moonlighting as an expert in one-night stands. He romances women in Hawaii on vacation, then immediately forgets them when they go home, so just imagine his amazement when he meets Lucy Whitmore and finds that she forgets him every night.
Lucy is surrounded by a lot of support from her loving dad and the local diner’s staff. They are dubious about the motives of this guy saying he’s so much in love and he’s willing to start over with her every morning.
It may be hard to construct an arc for a story to start fresh every day, but Henry uses videotape to solve that problem – so that Lucy can get a briefing every morning when she wakes up on what she has missed, and also makes daily notes about her strange romance with Henry. This makes her conclude that it’s unfair to Henry to endure her memory losses day by day, and she says that she wants to break up. How the movie solves this is very charming.