I saw 50 First Dates last night on DVD. Wasn't able to catch it while it was playing in the cinema. I was expecting something like The Wedding Singer, but I've never expected it would be this good. In a better world, critics would be raving about this movie. But since it's an Adam Sandler movie, with a kind of journeyman director, Peter Segal, it will never get the credit it deserves.
I laughed a lot. Smiled a lot. Felt pretty warm and lovey-dovey inside. And was quite surprised to see the way the director handled the movie. He's restrained when he has to, especially during the ending, which could've easily been silly or overtly soppy. And his timing for the gross-out jokes was fantastic too. Even the scene transitions are sometimes startingly creative.
There's a tender quality to the film that will surprise a lot of people. Sandler and Barrymore shares this incredible on screen chemistry, so much so that you wholeheartedly believe that they're in love, despite the far-fetched premise of 1 day short-term memory loss. The guy who plays Barrymore's dad too has this wonderful humanity to him, that you can't help but care for these people. In short, they do look and feel like real people. It's not easy to find this humanity in films, let alone a mainstream romantic comedy.
And who can forget Ula (Rob Schneider) and Sean Astin as Barrymore's brother. Sure, they're caricatures of very obvious types. So you can sometimes spot the jokes from a mile away. But they'll still make you laugh. Now isn't that a sign of a successful joke, dumb or not? I sometimes pity those so called 'intellectual' people with supposedly better 'taste' in art who prefer 'intelligent' British comedy like the Monthy Python guys or Black Adder, or things like that. I really fail to see what's so 'intelligent' with that. They're still dumb jokes. Only delivered with a British accent, that's all. You call that 'wit'? I don't think so. Anyway, I'll talk more about this later.
Back to the film, if this was a French movie, I think it will get a lot more respect from critics and casual audiences simply because it's French, and foreign language movies are always 'classier'.
I just loved it. I might analyse films a bit too much (technically or artistically) when I see them. But still my response to them are always in a 'visceral' way instead of 'intellectually'. I simply want to believe, be moved, and be dazzled by the craft. You see the chronology? Believe first, moved second, and craft last. Film rating? 7 and a half out of 10. Go see it folks if you haven't. It's simply marvellous.