We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, "50 First Dates" is a spin on the "Groundhog Day" notion of a day that keeps repeating itself. This time, though, the recycling takes place entirely inside the mind of Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore), who was in an accident that caused short-term memory loss. Every night while she sleeps, the slate of her memory is wiped clean, and when she wakes up in the morning, she remembers everything that happened up to the moment of the accident, but nothing that happened afterward.
Is this possible? I'd like to bring in Oliver Sacks for a second opinion. Seems to me that short-term memory loss doesn't work on a daily timetable, but is more like the affliction of "10-Second Tom," a character in the movie who reboots every 10 seconds.
Still, this isn't a psychiatric docudrama but a lighthearted romantic comedy, and the premise works to provide Adam Sandler and Barrymore with a sweet story. They work well together, as they showed in "The Wedding Singer"; they have the same tone of smiling, coy sincerity.
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. To be sure, there's projectile vomiting on a vast scale in an opening scene of the movie, but it's performed by a walrus, not one of the human characters, and the walrus feels a lot better afterward. This is a kinder and gentler Adam Sandler.