50 First Dates

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
50 First Dates Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Silly, crude humor and a dash of romance.
  • PG-13
  • 2004
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 68 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Though Henry starts out as a guy who lies to women he has one-night-stands with in order to keep himself unattached, he ends up being devoted to Lucy. In fact, he becomes so devoted that he helps her to overcome her disability. This is a comedy with some lewd and gross moments, as well as comedic portrayal of people with disabilities, but there is heart that beats beneath the surface.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Henry definitely starts out as the poster boy for bad behavior, but he shapes up into a stand-up guy by the end of the movie. Lucy is a model of compassionate and kind behavior. Henry does use knowledge of Lucy's soft side to his advantage, but she knows how to stand up for herself -- she even protects herself by wielding sports equipment when she needs to.


Slapstick violence includes a character being beaten with a baseball bat by a woman (but he's not injured). Lucy is in a car accident and suffers from memory loss, which is a sadness that affects her family daily. A mention that Lucy's mother is deceased.


From the start, we learn that Henry dates and has sex with many women. References to these escapades include comments like, "He pounded me like a mallard duck." Though crude references and gestures are made, there are no naked images. Some kissing and feeling up.


Offhanded cursing, though pretty frequent: "s--t," "t-ty dance," "ass," "asshole," "balls," "bastard," "bitch," "boob," "booty," "butt," "damn," "dammit," "Goddammit," "hell," "jerk," "piss," "pissed," "crap," "slut," "nympho." Rude gestures like the middle finger show up a number of times too.


Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Spam get a strong send-up.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Numerous references to smoking weed, including a scene where Ula is smoking pot and one where he is eating a pot brownie and feeding it to a dolphin. Characters drink beers or hard alcohol in almost every night-time scene. A woman drinks so that she will lose her inhibitions and have sex with Henry (he stops her). Lucy's brother admits to taking steroids.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some of the male characters in this movie don't treat women with respect. They lie to get into bed with women, and talk badly about their wives. True to form, there are numerous sexual references along with some lewd language. But the leading bad- boy in the movie does an about-face by becoming a loving, devoted boyfriend to a woman with a disability.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNicole W. October 26, 2020
Adult Written bySusanSlinglhalf October 11, 2020

Watch it almost every night

I think it is 8 and up cause kids under eight won’t like it
Kid, 11 years old June 13, 2010


I love this movie! little kids might not get all of the humor, though. It's kinda sad, but teaches about true love.
Teen, 14 years old Written byozera2008100 April 25, 2021

What's the story?

Lucy (Drew Barrymore) wakes up every morning with no memory of anything that happened since her brain was injured in a car crash 18 months before. Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) is an affable marine veterinarian at a Hawaiian aquarium who's had many, many short-term relationships with female tourists, which keep him safe from commitment. Then he meets Lucy, whose short-term memory impairment makes it impossible for her to make any kind of commitment. But he falls in love with her.

Is it any good?

Barrymore is as delicious as ever, and, as in The Wedding Singer, she and Sandler have an easy chemistry that showcases their offbeat appeal. But some viewers will find there is too little romance and too much gross-out humor. And some will be sorry about the waste of talented performers like Dan Aykroyd, as Lucy's doctor, and Sean Astin (Rudy) as Lucy's lisping, steroid-using brother.

And, yes, it's another Adam Sandler movie, which means that a sweet but very immature man will fall for a winsome young lady amidst many, many, many attempts to find humor in sexual orientation, the impact of steroid use on sexual function, the relative merits of different sexual partners, getting walloped on the head, getting walloped on the stomach, getting bit by a shark, various physical disabilities and impairments, and more references to penis size and sexual stamina than a mailbox full of spam.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the tape Henry makes for Lucy. If you had to make a similar tape of your family, what would you put on it?

  • When is it OK to laugh about a disability and when is it not? Were there any jokes that crossed the line? Can you think of movies that have crossed the line?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

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