Critics have been pounding Adam Sandler into the ground since Airheads offered him his first major film role – practically pleading for an end to his career. But in Rocky-esque fashion, Sandler takes shot after shot and refuses to stay down.
Instead, Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore created a grade-school fan base that follows him like lemmings from film-to-film. In his career, he’s accounted for four films that have broken the $100 million mark. None of which was positively reviewed.
His fifth will probably be 50 First Dates; a surprisingly warm-hearted romantic picture that re-teams him with the always effervescent Drew Barrymore.
Sandler stars as Henry Roth, an inexplicable (given his not exactly model-like good looks) Hawaiian-island playboy who loves and leaves the female tourists. He’s not looking for a real relationship until he gets love-struck by Lucy Whitmore (Barrymore), a vivacious girl that has him daydreaming about her from their first encounter.
The problem is that Lucy has lost her ability to create long term memory (a la Memento); they meet and the next day Lucy has no recollection of anything that happened. What would have been perfect for the swinging Henry Roth – a woman who wouldn’t even need a morning-after excuse to forget him – becomes his biggest obstacle towards their happily-ever-after ending, as he spends every day trying to get her to fall back in love with him.
Sandler and Barrymore work well on screen together. The Wedding Singer came out in 1998, so the ease with which the two stars rekindle their chemistry is unexpected and infinitely valuable to the story. They add the laughs and cheery attitude that previous Sandler bores like Little Nicky and Mr. Deeds lacked entirely.
Brian Mulligan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org