Tonight’s Viewing: 50 First Dates

Pop Quiz: What is to The Wedding Singer, as You’ve Got Mail is to Sleepless In Seattle?

Yes, that’s right, 50 First Dates starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore! They’re together again creating more romantic comedy as you like it!

When this was originally released I couldn’t be bothered. It just cried out as a desperate attempt to mechanically reconstruct a previous success.

Flash forward four years. A friend insists I watch it. It’s a fun date movie, she says. She lends me her copy.

Flash forward several months later, during which time I still couldn’t be bothered.

I started to feel guilty I still have her copy, so I finally watched it.

After a serviceable opening establishing Adam Sandler’s character as a deceptive womanizer, things get pretty rough. Some really forced attempts at humor that pretty much fall hard and flat. Walrus vomit. Sexual androgyny. Rob Schneider. Hoo doggy, what fun.

Then Drew Barrymore’s character shows up and meets Adam Sandler’s character. And in tip-toes a song from The Wedding Singer soundtrack. What a coincidence!

Just as I’m starting to regret the invention of the DVD player, it finally gets to its premise, and things start to sort of settle in. And then a charming little movie comes out for a while. And hey, it’s Dan Aykroyd! Sadly underutilized, but still. Unfortunately there are lapses back to walrus and penguin tricks and Rob Schneider’s butt crack, but there’s just enough heart to carry through to the end. (Probably not with a second viewing, though.)

Disclaimer: Tolerance for the two leads is required, which I realize is tough for some. Your miles will vary wildly with this one. Like I said, it’s not a classic but it had its moments.

So, that’s my hearty recommendation! Happy Viewing!

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