Thursday, March 5, 2015

50 FIRST DATES

Last year, I took a look at the first film that had Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore as a couple, which was "The Wedding Singer"; and while not Sandler's worst, it was still a bad and cliche romantic comedy, with boring characters and unfunny 80s Pop culture references. Now I'm going to review the second Romantic comedy that the two starred in, which everyone tells me is one of Sandler's best films, this is...

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Taking place in Hawaii; Adam Sandler plays a womanizing playboy that hits on female tourists, as he works at a Sea Park. One day, Sandler meets a beautiful woman played by Drew Barrymore, and the two hook up instantly. The next day, Sandler meets Barrymore again, but this time, she has no memory of meeting him at all. Sandler eventually finds out that Barrymore has suffered from short-term memory loss, from a car crash at her Father's Birthday, and can only remember her life before the accident. I must honestly say, when the film started, I felt like it was going to be absolute crap, and to be honest, the film for the majority is crap!



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Much like most of Sandler's movies (if not all) the humor and jokes suck! I mean, the humor is just as annoying, childish, and juvenile as most of Sandler's films, with nothing clever, or surprising at all. The slapstick (with the exception of the scene between Barrymore and Rob Schneider) is desperately forced; the dialogue that tries to be funny with its sex jokes and potty humor is really stale; the sea animals that Sandler works off of with his matting jokes, as well as having the animals act cute, and do disgusting things (Such as vomiting) is boring and tasteless; and the running gags in this film are lame and lead to no good payoff, and even the ones that start out funny, get annoying as the film pushes it. Aside from laughing on one or two occasions, I for the most part kept a straight face, while rolling my eyes.


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The film's supporting characters are for the most part really painfully lame and not funny. The two Hawaiians who run the Cafe that Sandler and Barrymore constantly go too, are annoying, even when given a subtle scene. Barrymore's brother played by Sean Astin is not only annoying too, but he also has zero character, and the running jokes of him obsessing over his muscles and using steroids are bland and forced. Allen Covert starts out funny as a guy who forgets things in 10 seconds, but then sadly got annoying and made the joke feel weak when he kept appearing after his introduction scene. Lusia Straus who I found funny in the Nickelodeon show "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide", is not only just as obnoxious as the rest of the characters I mentioned, but the gender jokes that Sandler and the cast crack at her, which should be smart and clever are sadly just as stale as the rest of the dialogue in the film. Even Dan Akyord as the Doctor, while doing a good job with the serious moments, sadly fails whenever he's given jokes that feel last minute. The biggest offense in both casting and character is Rob Schneider as Sandler's Native Hawaiian friend. My god, is Schneider painfully unfunny as hell as this racist character. Who thought casting him, and making him look Native Hawaiian was a good idea? This is probably one of the most racist performances I've ever seen. The character is a complete idiot, with childish humor that gets more and more painful to watch; and the way he looks and talks in that over the top accent is very cringe worthy and offensive to the max. Every time I saw him on screen, I kept wishing for this film to get this Native Hawaiian minstrel show out of here, and when Barrymore surprisingly starts beating him up, I was happy. The only supporting actor who does a decent job is Blake Clark as Barrymore's Father, but with that said his performance isn't anything memorable.


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If there's one thing that the film did get right, it's the relationship between Sandler and Barrymore. When I first met these two characters, while knowing the film's concept, I thought their performances were going to be annoying, bland, and corny. Sandler started out being dull, unlikable, and even annoying at times; and Barrymore looked like she was going to be an obnoxious dimwitted character, where her short-term memory would be played out for comedy like Ellen DeGeneres as Dory in "Finding Nemo", only without it actually being funny. To my surprise though, that aspect is actually not done for comedy, it's actually treated for the most part seriously and emotionally. I actually did feel the pain, the confusion, and the emotions from Barrymore suffering from short-term memory loss; I did feel Sandler's determination of making his relationship with her work, as well making the character become likable; and their performances along with the writing for their struggling relationship doesn't feel half-assed or forced, well, with the exception of the unnecessary break up scene, that really felt hammered in. However, I still admire the writing of how Sandler tries to keep his relationship with her going, especially with the idea of making videos that tell her what has happened to her and what she's been doing since the accident; which, of course, sadly gets ruined by some forced humor, including a scene with a Native Hawaiian Rob Schneider dressing in drag. I also love the sequence and the idea that Barrymore's Family have to keep repeating her Father's birthday over and over, to protect her from the truth, which is both funny and tragic at the same time, and yes, we do get some occasional half-assed humor during this (for the most part) well written sequence.

While I do really admire the interesting and engaging relationship between Sandler and Barrymore, as well as having some occasional clever writing, the film is still sadly disappointing since the film's humor is for the majority based on forced and half-assed childish humor to get a cheap laugh, while having supporting characters who are annoying and forgettable, with Schneider being the film's Native Hawaiian Mr.Yunioshi from "Breakfast At Tiffany's". If the film was a drama, romantic comedy, that eliminated its forced over the top and cheap childlike comedy, as well as making their characters less annoying, and completely dropping Rob Schneider’s character, this film could be Sandler's masterpiece. However, since Sandler has to resort to his annoying gimmicks to attract and entertain audiences; we get a film that's trying to be Sandler's masterpiece, but sadly has a large amount of the things that make a Sandler film bad.

RATING 2/5

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