Odeon S.A.D. has a lot to answer for. Obviously there’s the
escalating suicide rate in Scandinavian countries. And then
there’s my high expectations of Fifty First Dates. At the
end of a hot, lazy Sunday, I could imagine nothing, and I mean
nothing, more perfect than ending the day with a summery rom-com.
I could barely contain my excitement as I set off for an evening
with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. First impressions were good: the tropical Hawaiian setting,
the sunny Bob Marley soundtrack, and the dancing walrus. All the
ingredients for a happy two hour saccharine fest were in place. The opening scene outlined Harry’s (or was it
Henry’s?) commitment issues. A dedicated marine vet,
Harry/Henry’s idea of fun was pursuing, in a nice romantic
hero sort of way, meaningless sex with American tourists visiting
the island. But when he spies Lucy (Barrymore) constructing waffle houses
in a crowded café, years of womanising are instantly terminated.
The only, although pretty fucking significant, problem is that
Lucy has no short-term memory; a freak car accident involving a
pineapple and a cow has caused her brain to erase the contents of
each day as she sleeps. It’s a challenging premise to work around, and
Harry/Henry has to pull out all the imaginative stops in his
charming attempts to capture the heart of an amnesiac. The ethics
of sleeping with a brain damaged woman who can only mentally
experience a one-night stand didn’t seem to trouble the
hysterical Odeon audience too much. The sensitive issues of Lucy’s fear and distress at the
daily news that she is seriously dating an apparent stranger are
efficiently bypassed by Harry’s clever use of multi-media
resources. It’s a shame to reveal the finely crafted
intricacies of the plot, but the innovative details of Harry and
Lucy’s courtship demand sharing. So, it goes a little something like this: boy meets
afore-mentioned female, waffle-house building amnesiac, is
irresistibly attracted, and intensely stalks and harasses for
some time (in a funny way). Then for the genius part; he makes a video for her to watch
each morning reminding her that she’s lost her mind, but
that she does know who he is, she gets a little upset for the
morning (fair enough really), and by the evening kind-hearted
Harry has got laid again. I don’t know about you, but the adjectives
‘tender’, ‘funny’ and ‘enchanting’
really sprang to mind. ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004