Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
The film moves in fits and starts, never finding its groove: It's as if the filmmakers could come up with a potentially successful premise but no way of following through.
Sandler's movies always have combined juvenile humor with sentimentality, but the two rarely have seemed so out of synch.
Ebert & Roeper:
This movie paints itself into a corner from which it cannot emerge without becoming an utter disaster as far as I'm concerned.
50 First Dates wants to have it both ways, but only one of them really works.
Great date-movie material if you can keep your date from bolting during the first half.
Paul Clinton (CNN.com),
This pedestrian pic starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore never gets out of neutral, and should have been left in park -- back in the junkyard.
50 First Dates offers a seductive vision of a quirky love. But there is a note of melancholy at the conclusion of this mixed bag of the compassionate and the crude.
Dallas Morning News:
The film could have made a solid Saturday Night Live skit, but the closest it gets is serving as a reunion for onetime cast members.
The memory-loss device dimly recalls Groundhog Day, though the film's low laugh rate, occasional lachrymosity and flaccid pacing assuredly do not.
50 First Dates is reasonably good fluff, balancing lovey sentiment and low-brow laughs, though it will likely evaporate from memory as quickly as Lucy forgets her meetings with Henry.
New York Times:
What starts out looking like another crude, bullying Adam Sandler extravaganza ends up as a surprisingly graceful and impressively daring romantic comedy.
50 First Dates is more of a romantic comedy than an Adam Sandler comedy.
The movie doesn't have the complexity and depth of Groundhog Day, but as entertainment it's ingratiating and lovable.
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore shine in this sweet, flirty comedy about a man who falls for a woman with short-term memory loss.
San Francisco Chronicle:
The jokes in 50 First Dates aren't jokes, and the bits aren't bits so much as scattershot gestures in the general direction of comedy, at which an audience is expected to laugh, not at the joke, but at the comic's attempt at humor.
50 First Dates stays bravely true to its unresolvable premise.
If there's one thing to commend in 50 First Dates, apart from the finest walrus performances this side of Marineland, it's Barrymore, whose irrepressible cheerfulness and buoyancy at least makes Henry's motivation anything but mysterious.
Quite what age group this soft-centered entertainment is aimed at is hard to divine.
50 First Dates is working awfully hard to be romantic and not hard enough to be a comedy.
Vast majority of the humor is so grotesquely obvious and crudely presented (in addition to being mildly crude in and of itself) that Sandler dissenters are guaranteed to remain just where they are.
50 First Dates possesses an undeniable heart. The bad news is that it will still be buried underneath layers of stale Sandlerisms tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.