“50 First Dates”
As hard as it can be to get someone to fall in love with you in
the first place, imagine having to do it each and every day of your
life. This is the predicament that Henry (Adam Sandler) is faced
with after meeting Lucy (Drew Barrymore), a girl with no short-term
memory who he has just fallen in love with.
Lucy was involved in a car accident that left her with an
inability to recall new memories once she falls asleep. She can
remember everything leading up to the accident, but anything new,
including meeting Henry, is wiped clean by the time she wakes up
the next morning.
No one could handle this premise better than Sandler and
Barrymore. “The Wedding Singer” proved that the two have great
chemistry together, and that is one of the best things “50 First
Dates” has going for it. They are so good together that it kind of
makes you wonder why they aren’t together off-screen.
There are more implausibilities and holes in the plot than maybe
should be forgiven, but it’s hard not to smile at this fun and
romantic comedy. Sandler’s movies tend to mix crude laughs with
moments of surprising sweetness, and this film is no exception.
Some lovable marine animals help boost the cuteness level to a new
Not all of the jokes are funny and not all of the characters,
each one quirky in their own way, were necessary, but if you can
avoid dissecting the high-concept plot too much, there’s a lot to
like about “50 First Dates.” The picturesque Hawaiian setting and
tropical soundtrack add to the mood of this often funny, often
touching and always-enjoyable movie.
3 out of 4 rams
“21 Grams” (R)
In 2001, director Alejandro Gonz�lez
I��rritu made one of my all-time favorite films,
“Amores Perros,” an incredible Spanish language film about three
strangers and how their lives are impacted by a pivotal car crash.
Now in 2003, it premiered last November, comes
I��rritu’s newest film, “21 Grams.”
“21 Grams” is practically an Americanized version of “Amores
Perros,” as both films share the same basic plot and use a
nontraditional narrative flow. While I��rritu’s new
film isn’t quite as remarkable as its predecessor, it is still
Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro star as three people
whose lives are changed after a tragedy links them together. Each
gives great performances and Watts and Del Toro have been nominated
My only complaint with “21 Grams” lies with its pacing. The film
is incredibly bleak and depressing and so its sporadic moments of
slowness make it that much harder to swallow. All it would take to
make this film close to perfect would be if 15 minutes or so were
shaved off its run time.
That is just a small quibble though, considering the power and
craftsmanship at work in the majority of the film. “21 Grams”
probably won’t leave you with a smile on your face, but it will
leave you affected. The film has a completely nonlinear storyline,
but I��rritu expertly crafts the movie so that the
plot is engaging and surprisingly easy to follow.
3.5 out of 4 rams