Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Monday, June 27, 2005

What were they thinking?

I had a nice quiet weekend. My wife spent Saturday with some of her friends and I spent the day with my daughter, which was a lot of fun. We didn’t do much—it was too hot to go out so we stayed in, played a bit, read a bit, ate a bit, and watched TV a bit. Lots of good father-daughter bonding.
But.
One of the things I watched was the latter half of 50 First Dates, the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore movie. My daughter had fallen asleep and a Jackie Chan movie was on next, so I figured I’d just leave this thing on in the meantime. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the premise is this: Sandler meets Barrymore and the two like each other immediately. Then he finds out that she had a car accident a year ago and can no longer form short-term memories. At the end of each day, she forgets everything about that day. This has happened since the accident and is apparently a permanent condition. The two of them are good together, as evidenced in The Wedding Singer, and it’s very cute and very sweet.
Until the end.
Sandler has created a video tape for Barrymore to watch each morning, which gives her a quick rundown on her accident, her condition, recent events in the world, who he is, and their relationship. That way she only loses an hour each morning before they’re together again. At the end of the film she wakes up and watches the tape, which now includes their wedding. Then Sandler’s voice-over says “It’s cold out, so when you’re ready put on a coat and come have breakfast.” She does, and discovers that they’re on his boat up near the Arctic (he always wanted to sail up there and study walruses). Sandler greets her—and then introduces her to her daughter, who looks to be about four.
I’m sorry. Am I the only one who finds this horribly depressing? I looked over at my little girl, asleep beside me, and thought what it would be like to not remember her at all, to not remember her growing up, her learning new things, her smiling at me. I tried to imagine what that would be like on her side as well, knowing I wouldn’t remember anything about her or the time we’d shared together. I don’t mind admitting I cried thinking of that. I cannot imagine many things more horrible. Yet that was the end of this movie, and they acted as if it was okay.
Needless to say, I hugged and kissed my little girl when she woke up. And I was again moved to tears the next morning when I woke up and remembered her, and she woke up and remembered me.
Cherish your memories. And delight in the fact that you feature in the memories of your loved ones.

3 Comments:

  • At 6/28/2005 12:26 PM, Anonymous Jason L Blair said…

    I thought the ending was really fitting. Sure, she loses the memories of her life with hubby and daughter, but it shows that Henry has stuck with her through thick and thin and that they've managed to build a life together. (Can you imagine living with a woman who, each morning for nigh five months, wakes up and is suddenly, to her eyes, very visibly pregnant and can't remember why?)

     
  • At 6/28/2005 1:25 PM, Blogger Gryphon Rose said…

    I disagree. This was a comedy, and from the music they clearly thought this was a happy ending. It's not. Yes, it's great that he stuck with her. But I think it's horribly cruel for her to have a child she can't ever remember.

     
  • At 6/28/2005 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can't comment on the film as such, not having seen it; but as a situation for human beings to find themselves in, yeah, that's horribly sad--I realize you're especially thinking about the child, but I can't imagine the perpetual one-day prison that Barrymore's character effectively lives in: you wake up, get told what your life is, and presumably periodically have sex with this person you've just met. *shudder*

    qadgop

     

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