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50 First Dates is an Adam Sandler movie. It’s also directed by Peter Segal, the guy who did Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. But those aren’t the least auspicious things about it. In the first few minutes, a sea lion vomits, an androgynous woman repeatedly humiliates herself, and, God help us, Rob Schneider shows up as a glassy-eyed, skimpily clad Hawaiian who stores joints in his ass crack. (When Schneider’s character says, “My life sucks,” you can’t help but agree.) In a montage of his multiculti conquests, veterinarian Henry (Sandler) is introduced as the playa of the islands, an unfeeling cad who romances out-of-towners and then reveals that he’s, say, a CIA agent in order to cut ties with them. (“You can call me, but I’ll be in Peru.”) Thank goodness, both Sandler and the movie grow up after he meets Lucy (Drew Barrymore), a local who lost her short-term memory in an accident on her father’s birthday. Her new experiences are erased when she sleeps, so she now thinks every day is…yes…her father’s birthday. Although Lucy is charmed by Henry, he must reintroduce himself to her every time they meet, a conceit that could easily lead to tedium but instead turns 50 First Dates into a sweet surprise. Sandler is more subdued Wedding Singer than puerile Little Nicky as Henry tirelessly tries to prove his love, whether taking Lucy to her doctor or creating a videotape for her to watch that gently reveals her predicament as he stands near, ready to console her. Sandler’s Wedding Singer paramour makes the warm, effervescent Lucy easy to fall for, and Segal and screenwriter George Wing wisely give the pair plenty of time to once again nuzzle and tease as if made for each other. By the end of 50 First Dates, your initial uncertainty—if not Schneider’s ass crack—will be long forgotten. —Tricia Olszewski