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Saturday, July 12, 2014

50 First Dates

Here's a very personal question for all of you.  Do you remember what you did on your first date?  I have the feeling that I asked this question before in this blog, but for some reason my horrible short term memory can't recall if I did or not.  But just for the sake of argument, let's go ahead and tell the story anyway.

My very first date took place when I was fourteen years old.  I even remember the exact date of my first date.  June 21, 1995. 

That was the night that I had my eighth grade graduation, and to be honest with you, I almost decided not to go to the dance after the ceremony.  I was just going to go to the ceremony, grab my diploma, and disappear into the darkness of my dimly-lit neighbourhood.  But then a girl named Heather decided that she wanted to go to the grad, and since I didn't have a date, she was the one who asked me. 

Now, I know that some of you traditionalists out there may believe that it is better for the guy to ask the girl out instead of the other way around...but screw tradition!  I actually had plans for grad night!  And it wasn't as if we were complete strangers either.  We had gotten to know each other for a few months and we hung out together in the school hallways during our break.

(Yeah, once you got to seventh grade at my elementary school, we had no such thing as recess.)

Anyway, the night of the grad was fantastic.  I even bought her a little corsage.  And I think we danced slow dances and a couple of fast songs - even though I dance about as well as an intoxicated fifteen year old who is about to throw up because his underage butt couldn't hold his alcohol.  But, there was no kiss.  It was pretty awkward to lean in for a good night kiss when her mother was standing at the gym door staring at us slow dancing to a Bryan Adams song because she arrived ten minutes before the dance wrapped up.  True story.

Anyway, that was the story of my first date.  And surprisingly enough, even though it was almost two decades ago, I remember mostly every detail.

I get the feeling that most of you out there probably remember who your first date was with, and what you did on your first date.  It is a rather significant part of growing up.  But I imagine that some of you may have forgotten about your first date.  Some of you may not remember it at all, or some of you may wish that you could forget it.  And that's cool.  Our memories can sometimes fade as we age.  I suppose one of the reasons why I started this blog was so I could have a reminder of things that I once did so that if the time comes that I can't remember anything, this blog will be somewhat of a reminder.

As of right now, my long-term memory is fantastic.  Short-term memory?  Not that much.  I can remember everything that I did 25 years ago, but completely forgot what I did 25 minutes ago.  Hence the reference to the short-term memory loss at the beginning over whether or not I told the story of my first date before.  Oh,'ve heard of summer reruns, right?  Consider this to be one.

But imagine having short-term memory loss that is so severe that you can't remember anything that you did over the last 24 hours.  It'd be like you were reliving that same day over and over again, and all of the memories that you shared the previous day were completely whitewashed away.

Imagine how much more complicated it would be if you fell in love with someone, took them on a first date that neither one of you would ever forget...only for her to completely forget who you are the very next morning.  Would you walk away from a seemingly impossible situation, or would you fight for the one you love, and do everything you can to be with them?

For Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, they attempt to answer this question with not one, not two, but 50 First Dates!

I picked up this movie at a store that sold used DVD's, video games, and CD's some time ago, and I have to admit that although I'm typically not a fan of movies that have Adam Sandler as its star, it cancels out because I'm typically a fan of movies that have Drew Barrymore as its star.  I guess if you look at it from a different angle, for me, Barrymore acts as reverse kryptonite to Adam Sandler in a way, as all the movies they worked in together have been movies I liked.

And in this film - which opened in theatres on February 13, 2004 and grossed an average of nearly two hundred million at the box office - Sandler plays the role of Henry Roth, a man who falls in love with the extremely forgetful Lucy Whitmore (Barrymore), only to find that Lucy's short-term memory is about as tiny as a four gigabyte memory stick.  And if you've ever tried to save an XBOX 360 game on a 4GB USB stick, you'd get an idea of just how tiny that memory capacity is!

(For those of you who don't understand electronics, let's just say that Lucy's short-term memory has completely vanished.)

Rounding out the cast of this film are Rob Schneider, Dan Aykroyd, Sean Astin, Lusia Strus and Blake Clark.

The majority of this film was shot in the state of Hawaii, so naturally, the setting of the film takes place in Hawaiian paradise as well.  And let's just say that Henry, who works as a marine veterinarian at a theme park is about as addicted to women as you could possibly get.  I believe Britney Spears had a song out a few years back that described his character perfectly.

Ah, yes.  Thank you Britney.

Truth be told, although Henry has no problem picking up women, he can't seem to make a relationship stick more than a day or two.  This has lead him to live a somewhat lonely life.  Sure, he does have friends in the form of island native Ula (Schneider), assistant Alexa (Strus), and even a couple of sea creatures from the marine park he works at.

And then Lucy enters his life with a winning smile, warm personality, and cheerful disposition and completely sweeps Henry off of his feet.  Although it takes a little bit of time for Henry to work up the nerve to even speak to her, they hit it off and make a date for the next morning.

Problem is that when Henry arrives at the place where he met Lucy, she doesn't remember him at all.  It's not her fault, of course.  She was involved in a rather nasty car accident on her father's birthday the previous year.  She and her father Marlin (Clark) were on their way to buy a fresh pineapple for his birthday when the accident happened.  The accident caused Lucy to suffer from a type of anterograde amnesia which causes her to believe that it is the same day all over again - October 13, the day of the accident. 

Now you might expect that for some people, this would be too much of a dealbreaker when it comes to pursuing a long-term relationship.  That's why I think it's amazing that Henry decides to cast away his womanizing ways and pursue the woman who he can picture spending the rest of his life with, and he takes on the challenge to make her his one and only despite the challenges from her father and brother (Astin), and despite the fact that she can only remember him one date at a time.

All in all, while I won't reveal the end of the film, I certainly recommend this film to anybody today - even if the movie is now a decade old.  It certainly makes those of us who feel that romance is an impossible dream feel a little less awkward, and it's certainly a movie that shows just how some people who are in love with go through any obstacle to be with that one person they want to spend the rest of their lives with.

Now, before my short term memory stops working, I'll post some trivia about this movie.

1 - Don't worry about catching the ailment that Lucy suffers from in the movie.  It is 100% fictional.

2 - There's a joke inserted in the film where Henry's character jokes about the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series.  Approximately eight months after this movie debuted, the Red Sox did win the 2004 World Series after an eighty-six year drought!

3 - The diner where Lucy and Henry meet was actually a remodeled house.

4 - The original title of the film was "50 First Kisses".  It was changed to "50 First Dates" in order to distance itself from another Drew Barrymore film - 1999's "Never Been Kissed".

5 - The film was also originally set in Seattle, Washington instead of Hawaii.

6 - Henry names two dolphins after the Olsen twins.

And, that's the end of the blog on "50 First Dates".  I hope you enjoyed it.

By the way...did I ever tell you the story about my first date?  It happened back on June 21, 1995...

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