#7 | 50 First Dates or 50 Waking Nightmares?
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Depending on your level of cynicism, 50 First Dates is either a charming romantic comedy or a chilling depiction of an amoral sexual predator lying to, manipulating and ultimately kidnapping a severely mentally ill woman with minimal resistance from her family and friends.
Released in 2004, the movie was the second screen outing for Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, following 1997 hit The Wedding Singer. The two are genuinely charming together in that earlier movie, with Barrymore’s sunny presence and knack for physical comedy effectively counterbalancing Sandler’s two main acting modes of blind rage and half-hearted mumbling.
In 50 First Dates, Barrymore’s memory-afflicted Lucy plays a largely passive role, as Sandler’s character employs various deceptions to make her fall in love with him. If you don’t find that concept particularly charming, the film also devotes plenty of screen time to Sandler hanging out with a dubious Hawaiian stereotype played by notably non-Hawaiian Rob Schneider, and humiliating his Eastern European assistant, who is spewed with Walrus vomit and verbally abused throughout the film, yet inexplicably still has the patience to listen to her boss’s romantic problems.
Questionable message aside, the movie was a big hit at the time, raking in just shy of $200 million at the global box office. However, with the exception of the recent Grown Ups t̶a̶x̶ ̶w̶r̶i̶t̶e̶ o̶f̶f̶ franchise, Adam Sandler doesn’t really tend to do sequels, so sadly we’ll probably never learn how Lucy survived waking up every day with teenage daughters, a middle-aged husband and a world in which VHS is an obsolete format. Unless the Hollywood powers that be are fans of this podcast, of course…
John’s Pitch | 50 First Dates Two: 50 Waking Nightmares
Harry’s Pitch | 50 First Days
Our 50 First Dates episode is available through iTunes, Stitcher, acast and various other podcast hosting channels, so please listen, review and subscribe. As ever, we’d love to hear your own pitches for a 50 First Dates sequel, prequel or remake, so share your ideas in the comments section below and we’ll give you a shout out on a future episode. You can also contact us via Facebook or Twitter.