Prayer Focus
Movie Review

50 First Dates

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude sexual humor and drug references / Note: This film has extremely strong and crude language for a PG-13 rating.

Reviewed by: Ryan McWhorter, M.D.
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Mature Teens and Adults
Genre:
Romance Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
February 13, 2004 (wide)
Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Relationship issues
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

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What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

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Featuring: Adam Sandler“Anger Management”, “The Hot Chick”, “Mr. Deeds”, “The Waterboy”
Drew Barrymore“Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”, “Duplex”, “Ever After”
Sean Astin—“The Lord of the Rings”, “Rudy”
Missi Pyle—“Along Came Polly”, “Bringing Down the House”
Rob Schneider“The Animal”, “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo”
Dan Aykroyd … Dr. Keats
Director: Peter Segal—Anger Management, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, My Fellow Americans
Producer: Jack Giarruputo, Daniel Lupi, Jack Giarraputo, Steve Golin, Nancy Juvonen, Larry Kennar, Adam Sandler
Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Marine biologist Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) finds the perfect woman, Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) and falls head over heals for her. But when he sees her the following day, she hasn’t a clue as to who he is. Lucy suffers from a rare brain disorder that wipes her memory clean every night. Now, with the help of his friend Ula (Rob Schneider), he has to concoct new and increasingly clever ways to meet her and get her to fall for him everyday.”

This Valentine opener finds the womanizing Henry (Adam Sandler) trying to win the affection of the beautiful Lucy (Drew Barrymore). Henry is allured to a lasting relationship with Lucy who can no longer lay down short term memory after suffering a severe head injury. Henry, the supreme shallow flirt, finds a real challenge in sweet Lucy as each of their meetings is forgotten and he has to successfully earn her affection each and every day. He is ever resourceful and brings fresh pickup lines to each encounter, bringing laughs with each one.

The real challenge comes when he truly falls in love with her and begins to actually look for a lasting, meaningful relationship. The obvious difficulty is developing such a relationship when each day must start over from scratch. Despite his one-night-stand skills which have served him well in meeting travelers to his state of Hawaii, Henry must first win over her family and ultimately make a lasting impression on Lucy.

This movie offers a twist from the typical Hollywood romance where couples are usually in bed barely after a date or two, Henry, because of the newness of each day, is actually unsuccessful in getting Lucy to sleep with him. In fact, as his real love for her grows his lust for her diminishes. There is one mostly-clothed bed scene but sex is not necessarily implied even though they do spend the night together. There are many romantic first kisses however and they do help to show the sex-right-now group that more is not necessarily better. Even Henry seems to grasp this point which would have seemed impossible from early scenes where several women are describing their brief steamy affair with the elusive Henry.

Without question the movie’s biggest downfall is the repeated vulgar and homosexual comments that run from start to finish. As Henry and Lucy’s relationship grow these themes do diminish, but unfortunately they never truly stop.

There are many profanities and fraternity-like references to women, body parts, functions, etc. Amazingly, they are completely unnecessary to the development of what is an otherwise good romance story. Being highly offensive to Christian viewers and completely unnecessary to the enjoyment of any viewer it begs the question of why is that content in there.

Of course, laughs are enjoyed along the way, and it is easy to cheer the maturing Henry on towards the development of what may be his first real relationship, a relationship built on the intent to always love and not short-lasting physical attraction. It would be great for Henry to experience the indescribable joys of a meaningful relationship that God has designed. Although Hollywood gets closer on this one (because of the lack of sex scenes), they work too hard at homosexual content and mindless vulgarities to really recommend this one.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I personally really liked this film. With the exception of a rather nasty joke in the beginning involving a walrus with stomach troubles, there wasn’t a lot of really objectionable content. Even my mother (who doesn’t really like Adam Sandler and is pretty sensitive to vulgar content, even for a mom) truly enjoyed it, particularly a certain hysterical scene in which Henry is trying to attract Lucy’s attention by having his best friend pretend to beat him up. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore display wonderful chemistry, like they did in “The Wedding Singer,” and I found myself hoping, as I did when I first watched “The Wedding Singer,” that they’d end up together… Just try and forget what little vulgarity is in it, sit back, and enjoy this funny, moving film.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Adam, age 20
Positive—“50 First Dates” does have a cute storyline of a man continually having to convince a woman of his love for her. Because you never see a scene of Sandler and Barrymore engaging in the act, this movie rates as one I would see again. The downside is the language. The language involved in this film is not much different than one would see on the street. I would not allow anyone under the age of 13 to see this movie. For parents wanting to protect their children’s ears, I would not recommend seeing this film, unless your child is in the public education system. As vulgar as the language is, it is, unfortunately, no worse than the conversations one can overhear in a junior high school hallway.

One other positive thing about this film is the way that severities and range of head injuries are portrayed. A head injury can be very severe (Ted forgetting all sensory information in ten seconds) to fairly mild (the gentleman at the front desk of the head injury institute). If you do see this film, take it with a grain of salt.
My Ratings: [Average/3]
—Colby Inzer, age 28
Positive—I think we’re being a little harsh on the movie. I will say that I was not impressed by the preview, but, as it was around Valentine’s Day, my girlfriend and I went to see it. It had a choppy beginning, with Sandler’s she/he friend diving in the water and in a barrel. Leave that junk out, it’s not funny. But the movie is mostly a winning and funny story about love that goes much deeper than I ever expected. The movie takes the time to go into her family’s everyday routine, showing the sadness on her father and brother’s faces. We can see that this hurts and taxes them a great deal. Sandler’s attempts to make her remember him are sweet and funny, and they just made you smile. As for the language and sexual content, I must have missed the majority of that, because I don’t recall any of it. I recall really funny moments, like when Barrymore’s family tells her that she is dating Sandler, and he says, “I’m sorry I’m not better looking.” That makes me laugh. Or the little nod to “Happy Gilmore.”

This is a fun little romantic movie, and I would say that it is much tamer than Sandler’s usual fare. “Mr. Deeds?” No. “50 First Dates?” Yes.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3½]
—Jason Eaken, age 20
Positive—This was a great movie to see as my wife’s and mine Valentines Day date. It was great to see a guy (Adam S) trying to please him self and never being happy, until he was able to give his time and love to a woman. At that point his character was happy. There was a lot of needless stuff, that I have come to expect from old Adam.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3]
—John, age 28
Positive—I sat down and watched this movie and was amazed at the paradoxical allegories throughout the film. Although in a secular manner, “50 First Dates” delivers a beautifully profound picture of leaving the old life and entering the new. Consider the following examples:

1). Henry Roth’s ship, The Sea Serpent, breaks down 20-25 miles offshore of Oahu, at the exact point of the Hukilau Cafe, where he meets none other than his future wife, Lucy Whitmore. This is such an interesting metaphor of God breaking our sinful ways and leading us down a new journey with Him. Prior to the ship breaking down, Roth was a guiltless bachelor looking for all the intercourse he could muster. He is essentially riding the waves of The Serpent, if you will. It’s only a matter of time before he stops guiding the ship (with the one exception after Lucy breaks up with him) and finds a new life pursuing a meaningful, monogomistic relationship. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Matthew, age 27 (USA)
PositiveAdam Sandler’s movies, it seems are generally characterized by a bunch of ridiculous humor augmented by a little bit of plot. In “50 First Dates”, you certainly get the same humor, a hilarious cast, a cute girl, and even a new “off-the-record” Sandler melody. What isn’t normal, though, is the bit of depth that makes the movie one of his best; when you’re not laughing, it’s still a good movie, and you get something out of it. There are some hysterical moments, some great lines, a good ending, and some under-the-skin meaning. I STRONGLY recommend this movie, from a group of friends looking for a good laugh, to a couple looking for something that both people will enjoy…
My Ratings: [Average/5]
—Tim O’Connell, age 19
Neutral
Neutral—…I’m a big fan of Drew Barrymore (as an actress not her lifestyle)and thought it would be interesting to see she and Sandler team up again. Interestingly enough, it had quite a few actors from other Sandler movies. The movie got off to a slow start, which I think was because they were setting the foundation to get you to really understand the lifestyle of the gigolo/womanizer, Henry,played by Sandler before he meets Lucy. I found by Rob Schneider’s Hawaiian character, to be quite crass. He was a source of a lot of bawdy jokes, and I thought it was unfortunate that most of his scenes also included his 5/6 young Hawaiian children who constantly heard and questioned his vulgar conversations with Sandler and put downs of their mother.

Also his coworker and a man who frequented the restaurant where Sandlar meets Lucy, whom I’m still not sure about her gender, (but I think that was intentional) was VERY vulgar and crude in her speech and conversation. Some inappropriate gestures and jokes are also made due to the fact that Henry who is a marine vet, often has fishy smell. more »
My Ratings: [Average/3]
—Kendria Burrows
Negative
Negative—As a person who has worked with traumatic head injury clients, I thought at times the movie was cruel. The character played by Drew was made fun of by the man who loved her. The crude jokes were not funny. The sick walrus was disgusting. The movie wasn’t a total flop. There are a few laughs, but am I ready to see it again or recommend it? No way. I loved “The Wedding Singer”…
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/2]
—RockInRon, age 41
Negative—Unfortunately, I took my young teens to this movie. It has a lot of crude sexual remarks that did not need to be in the movie. The story could have been a cute story if not for the awful language and crudeness. I regret going.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/1]
—V. Masters, age 49
Negative—This is not a movie for families. This could have been a good story of a man who has changed his attitude about dating and wants a long term relationship.The humor is mainly a string of bad sexual jokes. Please do not waste your money on this film! My wife and I arrived late and it was the only movie PG-13 playing at the time. The rating of this film is not accurate, it could possibly be rated R. Again, it saddens me that cheap humor kept this from being a good movie.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/2½]
—Rodney Cavalier, age 40
Negative—This is an R-rated movie hiding in PG-13 costume. The overall theme and plot of the movie was uplifting in that it caused me to reflect that we should all have marriages in which we love each other the same way as we did on the first day we were married. The huge problem with this movie is the slime, profane, and vulgar garbage flowing through the entire movie. Had I realized that Rob Schneider was in the movie, I would not have gone—he is the master of vulgar—and I am sure he is proud of it. Stay away from this one—especially parents and their 13 year old children—there is nothing I needed to hear in this movie and I am 55.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/1½]
—Benjamin Love, age 55
Negative—It is a shame that they took a precious plot and an otherwise enjoyable movie and turned it into something so offensive. There was a group of 12 or 13 year olds sitting directly in front of us, and I was embarrassed by the constant sexually crude jokes . I would not recommend this film to any Christian, and if we had done what we should have done we would have walked out.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/3½]
—Trina, age 42
Negative—There are only two movies that I have had to turn off or walk out of, and this was one of them. My wife and I generally enjoy Drew Barrymore movies. We almost always check out Christian reviews before hand but for this one we went on a friends recommendation and that it was a “Drew” movie, so we rented it. The film began with such vulgar comments/language that I was done with the movie within ten minutes. My wife continued watching for another five minutes or so before she had to turn it off.

The movie had potential but not with the crude humor, gay scenario, and children using adult phrases or setting up an adult sexual/type joke. This movie would have definitely grieved our spirit had we allowed it to continue.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/3]
—Brian Watson, age 40

Comments from young people
Negative—…disgusting… This film was absolutely sickening. Foul language, bodily humour (a walrus is shown vomiting on a person), sexual references, (Adam Sandler even advices one of his zoo animals to use a hefty bag as a condom). Adam Sandler is shown using numerous false identities and situations to get one night stands with vacationing women. The people in the movie are often wearing very suggestive clothing even the men. One of Adam Sandler’s friends (a man) is rarely seen in anything other than a pair of shorts that barely cover anything. In another scene, Drew Barrymore stands out in the rain in a very see through white shirt. Her brother, Played be Sean Astin, takes steroids, is barely dressed, and does “butt flexes.” I was very disappointed to see Astin in such a role after he has played in such nice roles in “The Lord of the Rings” and “Rudy.”

The storyline was “cute” but was sprinkled with to much filth to be a good movie. I strongly suggest that those who have not seen don’t waste your time. I regret going to the movie and sitting through the whole thing. Not only did I present a poor witness to non-believers, but I also also let the holy Spirit enter a place I shouldnt have taken it. I think it is a sad thing that our society considers such filth to be humourous. The bible teaches us to be pure not only in our actions but also in our thoughts. This movie is definitely a hinderance in that area.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/3]
—Amanda Jorgensen, age 15
Neutral—I thought this movie was very funny but like all of Adam Sandlers movies, it had lots of sexual references toward masturbation, sex, and references toward whether Adams assistant was a man or a woman. But in the end it did have a good story line to it, but in my opinion it lied about what true love is. From a Christian perspective it really didn’t make any jokes about God or heaven. So that was a possitive for me. I think only teens 16+ should see this movie, or if younger see it with a parent.
My Ratings: [Average/4½]
—Joe, age 16
Positive—I thought this movie was so great! Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore make a great romantic team. This movie, while it did make many jokes about sex, it was still funny. There was a lot of humor that didn’t even come from the crude references to sex. I really liked how hard Henry (Adam Sandler) works to gain the affection of Lucy (Drew Barrymore). Every day he comes up with something new and tries to get her to like him. Its really sweet and romantic that she matters so much to him. I also really like how Lucy and Henry got to know each other a little bit before just crawling into bed. Many times in non-christian romances you see the two people in bed for a one-night stand or after only a few days of knowing each other, but in this movie, they don’t even kiss until they have been dating a few weeks.

I just love the romantic side to this movie, although because of the crude humor, I suggest that children and early teens shouldn’t attend this. But I do think that while it was offensive, it was still very funny, and worth seeing.
My Ratings: [Average/3½]
—Kendra, age 17
Neutral—…good as a whole… some of the humor could have been taken out and there were times when I cringed when I heard sexual humor and foul language. I am not a big Adam Sandler fan but overall I did enjoy the movie and thought it was very cute. I liked it that Adam Sandler changed, and it did show that they married for true love.
My Ratings: [Average/3]
—Rachel Maish, age 15
Negative—My friend told me that 50 First Dates was a great movie, so I watched it at her house—In the course of 30 minutes, I had to explain to her mother why I had to leave the room. Even from the kitchen, I could hear the movie: laced with profanity, smothered in extreme and blatant innuendos. I grieve to see that the Christians today are sitting back, and laughing good and hard. What is this teaching children? Immorality is okay, as long as it’s funny? This in no way lines up with the Bible, and I would recommend this movie to no one, absolutely no one.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/1]
—Catherine, age 14
Movie Critics
…filth… If this film meets the standards for a PG-13 rating, then somebody needs to start howling to the Motion Picture Association of America… It is hard to convey how awful this film…
—Annabelle Robertson, Crosswalk
…The film repeatedly disappoints because …they interrupts the romance repeatedly for vulgar, Farrelly brothers-style sexual and ethnic jokes that are so relentlessly unfunny they may not even rouse Sandler’s core constituency of 12-year-old males…
—Lou Lumenick, New York Post
…dud… relentless stupidity… Put this one out of mind… Mostly unfunny and always misguided… manages to work in two references to Sandler’s testicles in the first minute of the movie… and lots of sexually explicit talk from cute little kids…
—Glenn Whipp, L.A. Daily News
…Mirthless annoyances, over and over again… It’s not funny… Let’s put it this way: The highlight of the entire movie is when a walrus vomits all over Alexa.
—Paul Clinton, CNN Entertainment
…a rather endearing story… happily bittersweet finale. But the film’s charm and compassion is repeatedly drowned out by completely lowbrow distractions…
—Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
…a movie I wish I could forget in 24 hours… contains vulgarisms, profanities and sexual innuendos…
—James Verniere, Boston Herald
…Funny, sweet and only mildly offensive… has tremendous heart…
—Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun
…plenty of gross-out humor to balance the romance… probably will give couples a few laughs but nothing to remember in the morning…
—Sue Pierman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
…tasteless… crass, run-of-the-mill comedy… littered with crass anatomical slang, kinky sexual references and homosexual double-entendres… frail elderly people spewing profanity…
—Bob Smithouser, Plugged In
…Even with an exceptionally sweet and tender romantic conclusion, some audience members will find there is too little romance and too much gross-out humor… Then there are some who will think the romance is just a distraction while waiting for the next joke about penis size…
—Movie Mom’s Review, Yahoo