Adam Sandler comedies are notable for their crude humor and goofball style. 50 First Dates manages to maintain that Sandler trademark, yet turn it into a caring romantic comedy. It’s funny, heartwarming, dramatic, and memorable.
While it takes a while to find the heart of the story, 50 First Dates has enough material to make it an entertaining comedy throughout. Drew Barrymore is likable as a woman who has her short-term memory reset every morning when she wakes up due to an accident. Sandler is equally likable as her struggling boyfriend, trying to make her remember who he is every day.
The predictable storyline is a set up for a number of hilarious sequences as Sandler’s character makes each morning a new date through any means possible. His creative talents seem wasted (couldn’t he have pulled the same stunt every morning?), though it wouldn’t be as funny without these scenes.
Padded with numerous characters, including the expected Rob Schneider tag-along, each is able to bring something to the table. Funny animals may be reaching for laughs, but it’s impossible to deny their appeal as the react to the human characters.
For a harmless comedy, the story does take a few dramatic turns as Barrymore learns each day of her condition and how she lives her life. It’s what elevates 50 First Dates above cheap slapstick. The extra care taken to show the emotional impact is surprisingly welcome and not out of place.
50 First Dates is a surprise, a nice well-rounded piece of harmless entertainment. It’s one of the better efforts from Adam Sandler to date, and the comedy comes steadily through from the opening scene. This is far better than it could have been.
The Blu-ray edition boasts some wonderful color. Long shots of the islands are stunning, both in detail and their natural beauty. Some shots in the film come off flawlessly, while others appear soft. Detail is relatively sparse and certainly not top-tier, though little touches are noticeable.
Dialogue driven, there are only a few moments of note for this PCM audio track. A rainstorm provides okay surround work, if unspectacular. Some light crowd noise at Sandler’s job is noticed too.
A commentary begins this sparse set of extras. Drew Barrymore and director Peter Segal helm this one. A funny gag reel follows, including clips from a deleted scene during its seven-minute run time. Talkin’ Pidgin is the sole featurette, focusing on the native tongue used in the film. Trailers are all that’s left past this.