Best Chick Flicks-50 First Dates
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 - 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!
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!