50 First Dates is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Peter Segal and starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider, Sean Astin, Blake Clark, and Dan Aykroyd. It follows the story of Henry, a womanizing marine veterinarian who falls for an art teacher named Lucy. Realizing she has anterograde amnesia, he resolves to win her over again each new day.

50 First Dates
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Segal
Produced byJack Giarraputo
Steve Golin
Nancy Juvonen
Written byGeorge Wing
StarringAdam Sandler
Drew Barrymore
Rob Schneider
Sean Astin
Blake Clark
Dan Aykroyd
Music byTeddy Castellucci
CinematographyJack N. Green
Edited byJeff Gourson
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • February 13, 2004 (2004-02-13)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$75 million[1]
Box office$196.3 million[1]

Most of the film was shot on location in Oahu, Hawaii on the Windward side and the North Shore. Sandler and Barrymore won an MTV award for Best On-Screen Team. The fictitious memory impairment suffered by Barrymore's character, "Goldfield's Syndrome", is similar to short-term memory loss and anterograde amnesia. 50 First Dates inspired a number of remakes overseas, including the 2014 Malayalam film Ormayundo Ee Mukham, the 2007 Telugu film Sathyabhama, and the 2018 Japanese film Fifty First Kisses [ja].


Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) is a veterinarian at Sea Life Park on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. He has a reputation of romancing female tourists, a strategy he employs to avoid becoming involved in a serious relationship. One day while sailing, his boat is damaged when the mast breaks and destroys the wheel. He stops at the Hukilau Café until his boat can be towed back to port, and meets a young woman named Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore). Believing her to be a local, he avoids introducing himself, but the next day he returns. He and Lucy hit it off and she asks him to meet her again the next morning.

However, when Henry goes back to the café the following day, Lucy has no memory of their previous meeting. The restaurant owner Sue (Amy Hill) explains to Henry that, the previous year, Lucy and her father Marlin had a serious car accident on his birthday that left her with anterograde amnesia, which inhibits her ability to form new memories. As such, she wakes up every morning thinking it is Sunday, October 13, of a year ago.

To spare Lucy the heartbreak of reliving the accident every day, Marlin and Doug (Blake Clarke and Sean Astin) , Lucy's lisping steroid-addicted brother, re-enact Marlin's birthday by following a script, including putting out the Sunday newspaper, refilling Lucy's shampoo bottles, re-watching the same Minnesota Vikings game, and re-watching the film The Sixth Sense.

Despite Sue's warning, Henry invites Lucy to have breakfast with him. Eventually she does, but it ends poorly when he unintentionally hurts her feelings. He follows her home to apologize, where Marlin and Doug instruct him to leave her alone. Henry begins concocting ways to run into Lucy on the following days. Eventually Marlin and Doug figure this out and tell Henry that Lucy sings The Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice" only on days when she has met him. Thinking that Lucy may be making progress with her condition, they agree to let Henry keep seeing her.

One day a police officer writes Lucy a ticket for her expired plates. She attempts to argue that they are not yet expired, but realizes it's not October 13 as she thought. Distraught and confused, Lucy rushes home; Marlin and Doug admit their ruse.

Henry comes up with an idea to make a video for Lucy that explains her accident and their relationship. Although she is upset each time she is told about her accident and memory loss, Henry believes that she is more upset about realizing her life has been a lie every day. Henry, Marlin and Doug show Lucy the tape every morning and help her spend her days by picking up where the tape says she left off. She spends more time with Henry and goes to see some of her old friends.

One day, Lucy overhears Henry talking of his decision not to take a year-long sailing trip to Bristol Bay to study walruses, something he has been planning for the past 10 years, in favor of spending that year trying to help Lucy and make her fall in love with him every day. So she tells Henry that, for his sake, she will erase him completely from her life. Henry reluctantly helps Lucy destroy her journal entries of their relationship.

A few weeks later, Henry is preparing to leave for his trip. Before he departs, Marlin tells him that Lucy is now living at the brain injury institute where she was first diagnosed and teaching an art class there. He also tells him that she sings. As he is sailing away, Henry remembers that Marlin once told him that Lucy only sings after she meets him. Concluding that she remembers him, he rushes to the institute and asks her if Lucy knows who he is. She says she doesn't. Lucy then shows him dozens of pictures she has painted of him, saying that although she has no idea who he is, she dreams about him almost every night.

Some time later, Lucy wakes up and plays a video tape marked "Good Morning Lucy." It again informs her of her accident, but ends with her and Henry's wedding. On the tape, Henry says to put a jacket on and come have breakfast when she is ready. Lucy then sees that she is on Henry's boat, which finally made it to Alaska. She goes up on deck and meets Marlin, Henry, and their young daughter, Nicole.


  • Adam Sandler as Henry Roth, a marine veterinarian with a talent for wooing women and a fear of commitment
  • Drew Barrymore as Lucy Whitmore, Henry's love interest with short-term memory loss
  • Rob Schneider as Ula, Henry's marijuana-smoking, native Hawaiian assistant and best friend; he is unhappily married to an overweight native woman and has five young, athletically talented children
  • Sean Astin as Doug Whitmore, Lucy's older brother, a lisping, steroid-dependent bodybuilder
  • Blake Clark as Marlin Whitmore, Lucy's widowed father, a professional fisherman
  • Lusia Strus as Alexa, Henry's ambiguously gendered assistant
  • Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Joseph Keats, a physician specializing in brain disorders
  • Amy Hill as Sue, the Hukilau café manager and friend of Lucy and her late mother
  • Pomaika'i Brown as Nick, the Hukilau café chef
  • Allen Covert as Ten-Second Tom, a hospital patient with severe memory impairment
  • Missi Pyle as Noreen, a tax attorney Henry meets at a bar but then tries to fix up with Alexa
  • Maya Rudolph as Stacy, pregnant friend of Lucy's at the beach party
  • Lynn Collins as Linda
  • Kevin James as Factory worker


The film was originally titled "50 First Kisses".[2] Drew Barrymore, who knew of the original script, wrote a letter to Sandler and suggested it as their next film together. In 2014, Barrymore said it had been more of a drama and was re-written by Sandler and they reworked it into more of a comedy.[3] Originally, Seattle was supposed to be the film's main setting, but Sandler later switched it to Hawaii. Sandler said that "it just seemed like the very best possible place to do it for many different reasons. You don't see many movies [set] there, so it was a great experience to film in a different locale. And it is such a spectacularly beautiful place for a romantic comedy."[4]


Most of the film was shot on location in Kaneohe, Kaʻaʻawa, Wahiwa, Makapuʻu, Waimānalo, and Oahu, as well as in Kāneʻohe Bay.[5] The Hukilau Cafe where Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler had breakfast each morning is still standing at Kualoa Ranch,[6] as well as the roadway and gate in the valley where they met each day. Due to the high cost of filming outside of the studio zone, some interior scenes (such as inside the Whitmore residence) were shot on sets in Los Angeles carefully decorated to look like they were in Hawaii.[5]

The walrus tank is actually in Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California, and the golf course is the Ocean Trails Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Critical reception Edit

The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 45% based on 175 reviews from critics, and a weighted average of 5.41/10. The website's consensus states, "Gross-out humor overwhelms the easy chemistry between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, who bring some energy and yucks to this tale of a girl with short-term memory loss and the guy who tries to get her to love him."[7] On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 48 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[8]

Critics who enjoyed the film (such as The New York Times reviewer A. O. Scott) praised the uplifting story while lamenting the seemingly excessive and incongruous amount of crude humor and drug references.[9] Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars, saying "The movie is sort of an experiment for Sandler. He reveals the warm side of his personality, and leaves behind the hostility, anger and gross-out humor... The movie doesn't have the complexity and depth of Groundhog Day... but as entertainment it's ingratiating and lovable."[10] Rex Reed was more negative in his review for The New York Observer, calling the film "stupid, coarse and abysmally unfunny" while singling out offensive humor about brain damage.[11]

Sandler and Barrymore won the award for Best On-Screen Team at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. The two actors, who had previously worked together in the film The Wedding Singer, are said to regard 50 First Dates as one of their favorite collaborations as professional "soul mates".[12]

Fictional medical conditionEdit

In an article in The BMJ on depictions of amnesia in film, clinical neuropsychologist Sallie Baxendale writes that 50 First Dates "maintains a venerable movie tradition of portraying an amnesic syndrome that bears no relation to any known neurological or psychiatric condition".[13]

In 2010, researchers described a woman who developed the kind of memory impairment after she was involved in a car accident. She described that her memory was normal for events on the same day and that overnight memories for the previous day were lost. However, a neuropsychological test did reveal some improvement in recall for tasks which she had, unknowingly, performed the previous day. Though the woman claimed not to have seen 50 First Dates prior to her 2005 accident (but has watched it several times since), she stated that Drew Barrymore was her favorite actress, leading researchers to conclude that her condition might have been influenced by some knowledge of the film's plot, and its impact upon her understanding of amnesia.[14] Similarly, in the Truman Show delusion, patients believe that they are living inside a reality television show, as in the 1998 film The Truman Show.

In July 2015, two people were discovered to have a form of anterograde amnesia that resembles the one depicted in the movie. One is a man in the UK, originally from Germany. He wakes up every day thinking it is March 14, 2005, because that is the day he underwent anesthesia for a dental procedure which led to this condition as a rare, unexplained complication (however, his anterograde amnesia, like that of others with the condition, causes him to forget facts not daily, but within 90 minutes).[15] The other is a woman who reportedly believes every day is October 15, 2014. She used to be a pub manager and was visiting Kettering General Hospital for a kickboxing injury when she slipped and hit her head on a metal pole.[16][17]

Ten-Second Tom's ten-second memory is similar to the second-to-second consciousness of Clive Wearing, a British man whose long- and short-term memory centers were destroyed from a viral infection of the brain caused by the herpes virus.

Real world applicationEdit

The Hebrew Home of Riverdale, Bronx has started an experimental program in which residents with early dementia watch a video every morning in which they see comforting messages and reminders from family members that they may still know. After April 2015, the program may include more residents. Robert Abrams of NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital considered this idea "both innovative and thoughtful." Charlotte Dell, director of social services for the home, said the program was inspired by 50 First Dates.[18]


50 First Dates: Love songs from the Original Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedFebruary 3, 2004 (2004-02-03)
GenreSka, reggae, new wave
LabelMaverick Records
ProducerNick Hexum

The soundtrack contains cover versions of songs that were originally recorded in the 1980s. This includes mostly reggae covers, due to their emphasized upbeat that gives a tropical or Hawaiian feel. It was a moderate commercial hit, reaching #30 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top Soundtracks chart and Top Reggae Albums chart in the United States.

Despite being prominently featured in the film, neither Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" nor The Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was included on the soundtrack.

The soundtrack was produced by 311's frontman, Nick Hexum. 311 provided a cover of The Cure's "Lovesong" for the soundtrack. It is heard over the film's end credits.

1."Hold Me Now" (Thompson Twins)Tom Bailey, Alannah Currie, Joe LeewayWayne Wonder4:12
2."Lovesong" (The Cure)Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Pearl Thompson, Boris Williams, Roger O'Donnell3113:28
3."Lips Like Sugar" (Echo & the Bunnymen)Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les PattinsonSeal featuring Mikey Dread5:00
4."Your Love (L.O.V.E. Reggae Mix)" (The Outfield)John SpinksWyclef Jean featuring Eve4:13
5."Drive" (The Cars)Ric OcasekZiggy Marley of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers4:26
6."True" (Spandau Ballet)Gary Kempwill.i.am and Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas3:47
7."Slave to Love" (Bryan Ferry)FerryElan Atias featuring Gwen Stefani4:24
8."Every Breath You Take" (The Police)StingUB403:55
9."The Ghost in You" (The Psychedelic Furs)Richard Butler, Tim ButlerMark McGrath of Sugar Ray4:24
10."Friday I'm in Love" (The Cure)Smith, Gallup, Thompson, Williams, Perry BamonteDryden Mitchell of Alien Ant Farm3:01
11."Breakfast in Bed" (Dusty Springfield)Eddie Hinton, Donnie FrittsNicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls3:22
12."I Melt with You" (Modern English)Robbie Grey, Gary McDowell, Stephen Walker, Michael Conroy, Richard BrownJason Mraz3:36
13."Forgetful Lucy"Sandler, Allen Covert, Tim HerlihyAdam Sandler1:53
Total length:49:37
Other songs in the film

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "50 First Dates".
  2. ^ Edelstein, David (February 13, 2004). "Adam Sandler Makes Nice". Slate. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  3. ^ Jacobs, Matthew (May 22, 2014). "Why Drew Barrymore Loves Making Movies With Adam Sandler". Entertainment. The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "50 First Dates". CinemaReview. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "A LocationsHub Movie Marathon: Escape to Hawaii". LocationsHub. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  6. ^ Rellihan, Kathleen (November 3, 2015). "Picture-Perfect Movie Locations To Visit on Your Next Trip to Hawaii". Travel+Leisure. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  7. ^ "50 First Dates (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  8. ^ "50 First Dates reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  9. ^ Scott, A.O. (February 13, 2004). "FILM REVIEW; A Love That's Forever, If Only for a Day". New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (February 13, 2004). "50 First Dates". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  11. ^ Reed, Rex (February 24, 2004). "Wish I Could Forget 50 First Dates". The New York Observer. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  12. ^ Bonos, Lisa (November 5, 2015). "Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, professional soul mates". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Baxendale, Sallie (December 18, 2004). "Memories aren't made of this: amnesia at the movies". BMJ. 329 (7480): 1480–1483. doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7480.1480. PMC 535990. PMID 15604191.
  14. ^ Christine N. Smith; Jennifer C. Frascino; Donald L. Kripke; Paul R. McHugh; Glenn J. Treisman; Larry R. Squire (May 2010). "Losing memories overnight: a unique form of human amnesia". Neuropsychologia. 48 (10): 2833–40. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.05.025. PMC 2914200. PMID 20493889.
  15. ^ Sarah Kaplan (17 July 2015). "Reverse Groundhog Day: U.K. man wakes up every day thinking it's March 14, 2005 and doctors have no idea why". National Post.
  16. ^ Plymouth Herald (17 July 2015). "Groundhog Day: Woman with rare amnesia wakes up thinking every day is October 15, 2014". Plymouth Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-07-21.
  17. ^ "Amnesia sufferer Nikki Pegram loses benefit". BBC. 8 September 2015.
  18. ^ Jim Fitzgerald (17 April 2015). "Idea from Adam Sandler film used to soothe dementia patients". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Associated Press.

External linksEdit