Drew Barrymore Should’ve Been Institutionalized And Not Married In 50 First Dates

50 first dates quotes love


While I loved the chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer, I couldn’t stand them as a couple in 50 First Dates. Mostly because all of their interactions in this “romantic comedy” made me incredibly uncomfortable. Then again maybe I’m just old-fashioned in the sense that I believe stalking a disabled girl isn’t sweet or funny. Even if she does have perfect beach waves and an adorably bad singing voice. In case you got into a car accident (see what I did there?) and forgot what happens in this movie, let me tell you. Just so you too can cringe your way through this movie the next time that it’s on.

Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) is a womanizing veterinarian with approximately one to two friends. A smart dude who’s also a chick magnet? It’s almost as if Adam Sandler produced this movie and cast himself as the perfect man. Oh wait, he did. While stopping by a local restaurant one day, he meets Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore). He falls in love with her because no male protagonist can resist a free spirit with good skin. But twist, when he returns to commence flirting with her the next day, she has no idea who he is. Zoinks!

The restaurant owner explains to Henry that she got into a car accident on October 13th, 2003 and suffers from a rare type of amnesia where she wake up every day thinking that it’s October 13th, 2003. Rather than deal with her problems, her father and brother just go along with the October 13th thing. It’s way too annoying, I mean emotional, to sit Lucy down every day and explain to her that it’s not October 13th. A normal guy would feel bad for her and move on because she’s clearly not in a place in her life where she’s capable of having a healthy relationship. Henry’s not a normal guy, so he instead goes on fifty dates with her…except they’re all first dates since she NEVER remembers him. As you can probably imagine, many, many hijinks go down as Henry tries to re-meet Lucy every day.

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Then finally, one day, Lucy sees a newspaper and realizes it’s not October 13th and all hell breaks loose. She insists that her family takes her to the doctor so she can hear her diagnosis straight from him. And he gives it to her straight and is all, “Lucy, you’re fucked, forever.” Meanwhile, her brother Doug’s attempting to get some attention from his family by openly asking questions to the doctor about his steroid addiction. Obviously it’s played for laughs, but WHAT? I know that your daughter’s going through some stuff , but your son’s about to one up Ashlee Simpson when it comes to unabashed cries for help (see the lyrics to “Shadow” for more info on that).

Instead of just going ahead and committing Lucy, Henry decides to force her into falling in love with him by making her a video that she can watch each morning. “Hello Lucy,” it says, “you’re permanently disabled from a car accident and you’ll spend the rest of your life waking up confused. But on the upside, you’re in love with me! Don’t like me? Well, we’ll try again tomorrow.” While her father has a few hesitations, he’s also really sick of taking care of his adult daughter, so he lets Henry do what he wants.

This plans works really well until Lucy decides that it’s not fair to anyone in her life, including herself, that she be forced watch a video each day that reminds her how much her life sucks. So she commits herself to an institution that’s staffed with professionals used to working with amnesiacs. Then the movie ends there because that’s as happy of an ending as we’re going to get. NOT.

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Henry’s a selfish dickhead (also, still a sexy veternarian) and he wants Lucy to live with him. So he convinces himself that it’s good for her to come live on a boat with him in the freezing cold waters of Alaska. “My,” you might say, “that sure is far from Hawaii, the place she thinks she’s waking up each morning.” Whatever. Henry has research to do. And if Lucy wakes up one morning and  doesn’t like it, she can go to bed and literally forget she was angry. The only real problem Henry has to deal with each day is that he impregnated Lucy and forced her to have a child. Which means she spent several months waking up with a human inside of her and not understanding why. It also means that she’s going to spend the rest of her life being addressed as “Mom” and not getting why some kid’s calling her that. Let’s not even get into the fact that the kid’s going to have some MAJOR issues. “Well Mr. Therapist, my mom had to be reminded who I was every single day. One day our VCR broke and she couldn’t watch her tape and she tried to kill me because she thought I was an intruder.”

While it sucks that Lucy has no memory, it sucks even more that Henry took total advantage of the situation by marrying her, moving her and making her raise a child. Then again, what else can you expect from a suave veterinarian who’s best friends with Rob Schneider.

You can read more movie reviews from the ’90s and ’00s by checking out Retro Reviews.

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    • Jill O’Rourke

      Oh my god, I forgot they had a kid at the end. That’s so disturbing.

      • Jenni

        Yep, a toddler! And Drew’s like “ohh cooool”

      • Jill O’Rourke

        I hope she was impressed with her post-baby body.

    • Mel

      I did not see what you did there because you hadn’t done much when you asked if had seen what you’ve done! And I went back and searched for what you’ve done and finally read on and then I saw! Phew. Anyways, I really love this movie for some reason and always cry at the end!

    • A

      Yes because people with brain injuries should be ‘institutionalized’ rather than have a meaningful life. What the flying fuck is wrong with you.
      Try actually looking into the realities of institutions and the deinstitutionalization movement. I worked with people with mental health issues and/or brain injuries for years and I can guarantee you that any person I worked with would be 100% better off living with a person who legitimately cares for them than in an institution. Moreover as this character has an anterograde amnesia she is fully capable within the moment ( though the way they Portrayed this type of amnesia was not actually accurate)
      So before you share your ignorant opinions I suggest you actually seek to understand what you are talking about

      • Jenni

        My argument is that Henry didn’t care for her. He took her to Alaska and impregnated her.

      • dwpittelli

        I can see your point of view. Except that the Adam Sandler character should have: 1) had a vasectomy, and 2) stayed in Hawaii, if he was going to do this.

      • Jenni

        It’s the least he could’ve done.

    • Julie

      I always thought it was horrifying to think that one or two of those days she woke up IN LABOR. Imagine going to bed tonight and waking up tomorrow – what you think is the next, normal day – in labor with a child you didn’t even know you were pregnant with, with a man who is a stranger to you?

      • Jenni

        OMG I didn’t even think about the actual labor day. How do you explain to a woman what’s happening in her own life when she’s in horrible amounts of pain with a baby she can’t remember wanting to have?

    • Kathie Brown

      Wow she looks fantastic. Her baby daddy, however, always looks like he needs a bath. http://kwn.me/k0nh

    • Dartfin

      So, technically speaking, NO ONE post-accident would be able to date her without being creepy? She should live forever in either an institution or believing that it’s the same day? Honestly that’s shitty. Sure the movie is stupid, but what way WOULD you date a girl in that position? And from her perspective she’d literally wake up one day to find she’s old, be told the truth and be severely depressed that she never had a life after the accident. What if she wanted to find someone to be with? In this highly improbable situation the ONLY way she could-by this article-be with someone is if she, after being told, within the 24 hour period, get over the shock of the situation and then attempt to find someone. And if she did, and then the same situation happens wherein she has to fall in love with him every single day until one day she’s pregnant and the same situation arises. As well even with a man she went after, they’d have fights and she’d forget.
      As well I take issue with the idea that ‘He impregnated her’ as though it were against her will, you make it seem as if Sandler’s character raped her, which is not the case. In the moment she can consent to sex, she simply forgets the next day which isn’t the same as a rape where no consent is given. If she were informed of the pregnancy in the time between sleeping and forgetting she could easily make it clear ‘No, no this is a horrible idea, I want an abortion.’ It’s not the hostage situation you imagine.
      Again, the movie is stupid, but I find a problem with the only issue being that he pursued her rather than the other way around, he managed to convince her to love him every day so that says something about her attraction to him.

      • Jenni

        I would NOT date a person in that position unless I was willing to sacrifice having a family and/or ever moving. Can you imagine how frightening it would be to wake up pregnant one day? And then have to watch a tape explaining that you were into it one day a few months ago. Also where in the tape would it explain the baby? The very beginning, “YOU’RE PREGNANT, but let’s back track, you’re also suffering from a lifelong case of amnesia because of a car accident.”

      • Jurassic_Babe

        So you would institutionalize that person instead? Much kinder.

    • anna

      I don’t know why amnesia is so romanticized. You never see movies like hey, she’s schizophrenic and thinks I’m part of a plot to kill her but I won her heart!
      Because serious issues with your brain really isn’t that romantic.

      • Jenni

        Amnesia and comas are the two most romantic medical conditions I think.

    • Jurassic_Babe

      So using this logic, if you marry someone and they end up with Alzheimer’s or dementia you should institutionalize them? Because even if they made a decision to marry you at one point, once they can’t remember it anymore their autonomy goes out the window.

      • Jenni

        Would you say there’s a difference between being married for several years and slowly developing memory loss and marrying someone who needs to be reminded who you are every day from the start?

      • Jurassic_Babe

        I wouldn’t say it would be different in how the person with memory loss is experiencing things.

      • Ticia

        Luckily for Michelle Philpots, her husband thought differently. They got married 3 years after her car accident left her with 24 hour memory loss and yes he has to remind her every morning that they are married.


    • CMc

      While I agree that this was a stupid movie, I feel like you’re forgetting two pretty crucial points. First, on days that she spent with Henry, she would be much happier and would sing. Second, when he left her, she dreamed about him and painted pictures of him even though her amnesia should have wiped his existence from her mind. The ONLY reason he goes back to get her to come live with him on the boat was because he realized that she remembered him (at least subconsciously). I will agree that I did cringe at the idea of her falling asleep mid-labor and waking up supremely confused as to what the heck is going on with her body. But I don’t think he was a selfish dickhead for wanting her with him. If he was selfish, why are the in-laws living with them on the boat too? He would have just left them behind if he was so horrible. I mean everyday he makes her a video explaining everything that has happened between her accident and the current day. Everyday he has to explain a bajillion things to her that he had to explain the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that. Everyday he has to convince her that despite his egg-shaped head, she really does love him. Everyday he has to start from scratch. His whole life centers around her. How is that selfish?

    • Mike K

      So people with brain trauma shouldn’t be allowed to attempt happiness, have families, or live outside of cages?

      I think you have an incredible amount of ignorance towards mental illness. Not all should be institutionalized, not all need it, many live happy lives. If anything the real problem with with her father and brother who instead of trying to help her cope with it and live a regular life (Like Henry did/does), they kept her in a constant loop of going nowhere. He actually helps her more than anyone else did, and that’s selfish?

      Theres a part of the movie where he does leave her alone but after he leaves she shows that somewhere in her mind, her feelings for him have “sunk in” because she continually paints pictures of him. So somehow unconsciously, she remembers Henry and somewhere in her mind had developed feelings for him (It actually happens with people with amnesia), knowing this, he finds a way to not only be happy for himself, but give her a happy life. He didn’t force her in to loving him, she actually does!!!!

      It took time, as we saw it goes to 5 years in the future, but she was coping with it now and I’m sure felt comfortable enough traveling to places. Where yes, they’re on a boat in Alaska, but so what? Now people with any kind of amnesia shouldn’t be allowed to travel?

      I really would hate to have someone with your mindset making decisions for me if I had any kind of condition that forced you to do so.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        …she was reviewing a movie.

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