Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reunite six years after their first pairing in The Wedding Singer for another romantic comedy. This time around, Sandler plays Henry Roth, a marine animal veterinarian at Sea Life Park in Hawaii. A charmer who won't commit to a long-term relationship, Henry prefers dating tourists from out of state -- until, that is, he meets Barrymore's character, Lucy Whitmore. However, Lucy has no short-term memory, having suffered brain damage in a car crash some months earlier. This leaves her to wake up every morning believing it is her father's birthday, a fabrication perpetuated by her father and brother who go to great lengths every night to reset the day of her accident in a misguided effort to "protect" her emotions. Thus, Henry must find a variety of ways to win over the girl of his dreams again and again and again.
Sandler forgoes his usual crudeness and gives a self-effacing performance, while it is easy to see why he would fall in love with the adorable Barrymore. Henry's world is also populated by an assortment of unusual characters, including his androgynous assistant, Alexa (Lusia Strus); best friend Ula (Rob Schneider), a Hawaiian Bohemian with five kids and too-short shorts; and Lucy's muscle-bound lisping brother (Sean Astin).
Only mildly amusing, 50 First Dates doesn't have the wit like some films of this genre, but it is a touching love story that will tug at your heart. One really feels for Lucy, for it would indeed be horrible to wake up and find you've missed out on so much of life. The tropical backdrop is downplayed, with the story focusing on the interaction between Sandler and Barrymore...they are a delight to watch together. Let's hope they reunite again and again and again. Rating: 7 out of 10.