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Best Chick Flicks-50 First Dates

Updated on August 24, 2013
Henry Roth played by Adam Sandler
Henry Roth played by Adam Sandler | Source

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 played by Drew Barrymore
Lucy Whitmore played by Drew Barrymore

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!

Ula played by Rob Schneider
Ula played by Rob Schneider
Alex and Henry...and friend
Alex and Henry...and friend
Henry sings 'Forgetful Lucy' to Lucy, playing his ukelele but next day, she doesn't remember it.
Henry sings 'Forgetful Lucy' to Lucy, playing his ukelele but next day, she doesn't remember it.

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

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    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      7 years ago from North-East UK

      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!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      7 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      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

    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      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).

    • Cogerson profile image


      8 years ago from Virginia

      This has to be one of the Best Chick Flicks....and here is my evidence.....Judge 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 excellent selection in your Best Chick Flick movies..voted up and awesome

    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      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.

    • unknown spy profile image

      Life Under Construction 

      8 years ago from Neverland

      hi jools.. i have a copy of this movie but haven't seen it yet.. now i'll have to watch your hub

    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      Deborah, yes, it's a great little movie - feel good and comedy combined :o) Many thanks, as always, for your comment.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      8 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I love this movie.. so entertaining.. so funny...

      voted up


    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      Danette, I agree. He's not one of my favourite actors but I do really like him in this one.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      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.

    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      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)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for doing a rview of this of my favorites! Rob Schneider was outstanding, just as the rest of the cast! You get a perfect 10 for writing this!

    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      teaches12345, I understand your feelings about Sandler, Barrymore has excellent comic timing though and this is well worth seeing. Many thanks for your comment.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      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.

    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      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( I care! Take care x

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      8 years ago from Winter Haven, FL

      Great hub Julie, I don't care much for Adam Sandler, but you did a great job with this hub.

      Voted up and away


    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      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+ :)

    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      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.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      8 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Jools, great job! I didn't like Sandler earlier stuff (Waterboy, etc), but I did like this one. VUM!

    • carter06 profile image


      8 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Good job Jools with your review...really well done...and loved the movie...VUA & Shared

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      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!

    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      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.

    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      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.

    • Jools99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      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!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania


      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!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      8 years ago from Northern, California

      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!


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Okay, Julie, we have a problem....I honestly don't like Adam 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!


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