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50 first dates


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#1 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 02:54 AM

Yay! The first great movie of 2004 is upon us!

Okay, I exaggerate. But hey, for an Adam Sandler movie, this one's pretty good!

And come to think of it, the only movie of his I've really liked, prior to this (apart from Punch Drunk Love, which is in a class all its own) is The Wedding Singer, which also co-starred Drew Barrymore, and which also featured Sandler singing a rather goofy yet tender balled to Barrymore. She really does bring out the best in him. And what really makes her participation in THIS film work is the fact that her character exists very much for her own sake, and not just as The Girl That Sandler Wants -- there is a fairly lengthy sequence in which Barrymore goes home and hangs out with her father and brother, and you really get a sense of the love they all have for each other, and Sandler is absolutely nowhere to be seen. (I can imagine a lamer script would have had Sandler follow Barrymore home and spy on her and see all this stuff for himself, but no, this film trusts us to want to get to know Barrymore for ourselves.)

There are a few mis-steps here and there -- jokes that fall flat, serious moments that are treated with a gravity that seems to belong in another movie altogether (no thanks to the Zimmer-esque score) -- but there's real heart to this film, and while it does engage in SOME wishful thinking near the end, it actually doesn't tie things up as neatly as I expected it to.

Keep in mind that I say all this as one who is a sucker for movies about memory loss, and as one who is a sucker for movies about adult brother-sister relationships (though it IS a bit of a shock to see Sean Astin as Barrymore's lispy body-building nocturnal-emitting sibling), and as one who is a sucker for movies in which family is an integral part of building relationships, so I'm probably not responding to this film in the most, um, 'objective' fashion.

Also interesting to see three generations of Saturday Night Live in this film -- Sandler and Rob Schneider (early '90s) as the star and his sidekick, Dan Aykroyd (late '70s) as Barrymore's doctor, and Maya Rudolph (early '00s) as one of Barrymore's friends.

Oh, and the music! There are some really cool covers on this soundtrack. I want the CD.

Possibly the scariest moment in the film: Near the beginning, Sandler's character -- a vet at a Hawaii aquarium -- openly suggests he might have to perform an "emergency tracheotomy" on an animal. And the scene is NOT played for laughs. But you get used to that sort of thing.

As you can see, I'm not really arranging my thoughts in any coherent order here. It's too late and I'm too tired, but I did want to say how much I liked this film.

#2 Ron Reed

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 01:36 PM

Thanks for the tip, Peter. While I don't have the widely held aversion to Mr Sandler, his movies never look like anything I'd enjoy, so I just I don't go see them. (Which probably explains why I lack the aforementioned aversion.) Except for, curiously enough, THE WEDDING SINGER (because my daughters recommended it) and of course the extraordinary PLD. (Oh, and then, having seen PDL, I watched ANGER MANAGEMENT, which I liked fine for what it was.). All that to say, without your tip I would have skipped this on. But it sounds fun!

QUOTE
...Keep in mind that I say all this as one who is a sucker for movies about memory loss...


What is it about memory loss these last few years, at the movies? It used to be nothing but a creaky plot device in black and white melodramas. Now it's in everything from MEMENTO to that fish cartoon. Is this an unconscious embodiment of something unseen that permeates the zeitgeist? Or are they all just a bunch of copy-cats?

QUOTE
Oh, and the music!  There are some really cool covers on this soundtrack.  I want the CD.


Ummm... Any Beatles? :largerockband:


Ron

#3 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 02:02 PM

Ron wrote:
: (Oh, and then, having seen PDL, I watched ANGER MANAGEMENT, which
: I liked fine for what it was.)

I found that film very disappointing -- especially considering how outrageously funny the original trailer for it was. It made me laugh Every Single Cotton Pickin' Time that I saw it. But the film was a big let-down, for reasons I hope I spelled out on the mother board.

: What is it about memory loss these last few years, at the movies? It
: used to be nothing but a creaky plot device in black and white
: melodramas. Now it's in everything from MEMENTO to that fish cartoon.

Not only that, but one of the trailers I saw before 50 First Dates was for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a Charlie Kaufman-written film in which Jim Carrey has some bad memories deleted, and on the way home, I read in the paper that Robin Williams is starring in The Final Cut, a film that just played the Berlin festival this week, in which people's memories are recorded through memory implants or something, and then after they die, it's up to Williams's character to edit their memories down to the "good parts", or something.

: Ummm... Any Beatles?

No covers, that I can recall, though Paul & Linda McCartney's 'Another Day' does play on the soundtrack at one point. The Beach Boys' 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' is used prominently throughout the film, though, and there's a cool cover of it that changes the rhythms a tad.

#4 Ron Reed

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 03:32 PM

QUOTE
Ron wrote:
: (Oh, and then, having seen PDL, I watched ANGER MANAGEMENT, which
: I liked fine for what it was.)

I found that film very disappointing -- especially considering how outrageously funny the original trailer for it was.  It made me laugh Every Single Cotton Pickin' Time that I saw it.  But the film was a big let-down, for reasons I hope I spelled out on the mother board.


I found it uneven. But when it was good, it was very very good. The fight with the monk had me screaming. (Good pacifist humour, that.)

QUOTE

: What is it about memory loss these last few years, at the movies? It
: used to be nothing but a creaky plot device in black and white
: melodramas. Now it's in everything from MEMENTO to that fish cartoon.

...The Final Cut, a film that just played the Berlin festival this week, in which people's memories are recorded through memory implants or something, and then after they die, it's up to Williams's character to edit their memories down to the \"good parts\", or something.


Sounds like an interesting Compare And Contrast to AFTER LIFE (Wandafuru raifu), which I loved so much.

#5 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 03:52 PM

Ron wrote:
: Sounds like an interesting Compare And Contrast to AFTER LIFE
: (Wandafuru raifu), which I loved so much.

Heh. I mentioned that, too, in an e-mail to someone yesterday ... I do sense a theme piece emerging here ...

#6 LoneTomato

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 10:48 PM

QUOTE
Sounds like an interesting Compare And Contrast to AFTER LIFE (Wandafuru raifu), which I loved so much.


Is that the Japanese movie where people who've died get to reenact one memory from their life which they will carry with them in the afterlife? That was a beautiful film.

Can't wait to see 50 First Dates, not only because of Peter's surprising recomendation but also because I'm curious to see how they treated Hawaii.

BTW, last year I did an ATV tour of Kuuloa Ranch where lots of films were shot like Windtalkers, Godzilla, a couple of the Jurassic Park films, Tears of the Sun, and some others. I think I got to ride down the very road that's in the trailer - the one where Barrymore almost runs over a penguin and beats up Rob Schneider.

#7 Ron Reed

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 12:26 AM

QUOTE
QUOTE
Sounds like an interesting Compare And Contrast to AFTER LIFE (Wandafuru raifu), which I loved so much.


Is that the Japanese movie where people who've died get to reenact one memory from their life which they will carry with them in the afterlife? That was a beautiful film.


That's the one. Just the other day I was looking at the IKIRU picture I have in the background of my computer screen, with the main character sitting on the swing, and I flashed on AFTER LIFE. Wasn't there a scene with a character sitting on a swing? Wonder if there's an intentional reference there? The themes of the films are different, but not dissimilar.

#8 MattPage

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 05:19 AM

I saw this last night and really enjoyed it. I like both the Wedding Singer & Groundhog Day and this film is a pretty neat combination of the two. It's not really funny, a couple of laugh out loud moments, but otherwise weak, but definitely in that romantic comedy genre.

I liked the resolution at the end. Perhaps a bit neat, but not as cheesy as I thought it was going to be, and actually involved a degree of realism which is unusual in Rom-Coms which tend to assume its plain sailing once you've had that first decisive kiss / sexual act toward the end of the film (actually its usually the second in Rom COm's. There's the initial get together and then there's the misunderstanding and the argument, and then the climatic get together). Actually come to think of it its a very heart warming genre but so well worn and cliched that part of the reason I liked this I guess was just cos it avoided those things.

weak points were Sandlers image t the start of the film ust distances you from him, meant it took too long before the film got going and lacked a bit of credibility. Also the sidekicks didn't really work for me at all.

But i liked it, it was a bit deeper, than your average rom com and it seemed to understand love as being primarily about comittment rather than about sex or emotion which is a message so depressingly absent from Romantic films that it was good to see someone fall for someone else, and face the fact that they were going to have to work through those issues rather than them dissappear as is normal.

And the soundtrack is good, though mainly reggae style cover version of 80s classics.

Matt

#9 Kyle

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 03:54 PM

I got a chuckle the other day when I was reading through Seattle Pacific University's student newspaper and in a student newspaper this movie was described by a girl as "the best movie ever". Hyperoble? I would think so, but it was funny all the same. My first thought was that Jeffrey Overstreet needs to do some more work on that campus! biggrin.gif