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Film Analysis

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Submitted By maydei93
Words 1568
Pages 7
Maydeli Medrano
Dr. Price
Psychology 2301-83421
2 February 2013
50 First Dates Film Review The film I decided to watch was 50 First Dates (2004) starring Adam Sandler as Henry Roth, Drew Barrymore as Lucy Whitmore, Rob Schneider as Ula, Sean Astin as Doug Whitmore, Blake Clark as Marlin Whitmore, and Amy Hill as Sue (IMDb). I decided to choose this film because as I read what it was about in some websites I saw that it was both a romance and comedy film, and romance movies . I also noticed that Adam Sandler was in this film, and since I have seen a couple of his movies, I know they are hilarious. I actually ended up liking this movie a lot. The film is about Henry Roth, a veterinarian in a water park located in Hawaii. He dates many tourist girls for one night only because he is afraid that if he gets involved in a serious relationship with a local girl, this might stop him from going to Alaska to study walruses (something he dreams about doing). One day as he sails on his ship, “The Sea Serpent”, it broke down and went to a nearby café located of the coast and a woman caught his eye. He did not go up to her because he assumed it was a local woman. The next day, he went to the café again and saw her there again, but this time he decides to go up to the woman. The woman’s name is Lucy. They get along very well and there is an instant connection between them. They agree to meet at the café the next day for breakfast. Henry goes to the café as they agreed and after Lucy walks in the café, he follows her, but Lucy does not know him. Henry is confused and Lucy gets paranoid. Sue, the restaurant owner, takes Henry outside and explains to him that Lucy is “special.” She explains to Henry that Lucy suffered an accident about a year ago and suffered severe brain damage and she lost her short-term memory. She only remembers events up until the day before the accident. Lucy had been doing the same thing every day for months. Her dad, Marlin, and her brother Doug pretend it is Lucy’s birthday every day and while Lucy sleeps they set up the scene again. They get one newspaper from the closet that is from October 13 of the past year, wash her pink and white pants that she wears them every day, paint the garage white so she can repaint it again, and even put a couple of drops in her shampoo so it has the same amount every morning.
Henry is shocked to find this out, but that does not stop him from wanting to talk to Lucy. Every day he tries to have breakfast with Lucy again. One day he pretends to not know how to read and Lucy pretends to believe him. After they had breakfast Lucy is surprised that Henry went through all the trouble of pretending to not know how to read and did not even ask for her number or a time when they can meet again. Lucy leaves and Henry follows her home, but to his surprise he bumps into Lucy’s dad and brother. They tell him that he needs to stop going to the café and Henry promises him that he will. Henry tries multiple ways to see Lucy every day without going to the café, just like he promised. Marlin and Doug find out about this and they let Henry be near Lucy just as long as she doesn’t get hurt. One day as Henry is about to have breakfast to Lucy, a police officer is writing her a ticket for expired license plates. Lucy argues that they are not and she gets a newspaper to “prove” to the officer what the date was, but she is shocked to find out that it is not the date she believed it was. She goes home upset and her dad and brother explain what happened. She goes to the doctor and he explains that she suffers from Goldfield Syndrome.
Henry decides to make a video for Lucy that explains everything that happened to her and “remind” her that they have a relationship, and every day Henry makes Lucy fall in love with him again. Lucy goes out now and she does not live the same thing every day. One day, Lucy finds out that Henry had planned to go on the trip to Alaska, but because of her, he canceled those plans. She was upset and thought that she was holding her back so she broke up with him. Henry is about to leave to leave for his trip a few weeks later, when Marlin and Doug show up to the shore to tell Henry goodbye. They tell Henry that Lucy decided to go to the institute where people with brain damage are and teaches art and that she also sings. Marlin gives Henry a Beach Boys CD and leave. As Henry sails, he is listening to the CD and remembers that Marlin once told him that Lucy only sings on days that she sees Henry, so he turns back and goes to the institute.
When Henry arrives, Lucy tells him that she does not remember him, but she takes him to her studio to show him that she paints him because she dreams about him almost every night. Henry and Lucy get back together and eventually get married and have a girl and go to Alaska for Henry’s dream trip.
The psychological issue in this film was that Lucy suffered from “Goldfield Syndrome” condition where she fails to convert short-term memory into long term memory. After doing some research, I found out that “Goldfield Syndrome” was the name given to the condition in the movie but in reality it is more like Anterograde Amnesia (“Did You Know”). Anterograde Amnesia is the deficiency to store new information, which is the exact same thing that occurred to Lucy. She remembered everything up until the day of the accident. That means that Lucy did not go through the three stages of memory. The information fails to encode which is the first step when creating a new memory. Since the information is never encoded, it cannot be stored. Storage is the second step when creating a new memory. Storage is the when the information is permanently retained in the brain. Since encoding and storage fails, the information fails to go into long-term memory. Everything Lucy remembers is information/memories that were stored in her long-term memory. She remembers these things because the information stored into long-term memory can last a life time.
Another thing I noticed in the film but does not have to do with memory was that Henry says he makes the girls believe that there is alcohol in their drinks so they believe they are drunk and have no regret of having sex with him. Based on the slides, this is known as a placebo. In a placebo an inactive substance is given making the person(s) believe that the substance will have an effect on them and as a result the person acts different because they believe the substance is responsible for their reactions.
As I watched the film, one of the things that most struck me was how Lucy’s dad and brother went through all the trouble to pretend every day of their lives that it was October 13 of the previous year. They went through every detail even putting drops in her shampoo so she could not tell the difference. I do not think I could that every single day. They did this to protect her, but in reality I believe this was hurting her because she lived a lie every day. I never agreed with this and I am glad Henry saw it as wrong and decided to change it by making a video that she could watch every morning explaining what happened. I do wish that the film would have named the conditioned by its real name instead of the one that was given. It would have been more credible. The first time I watched this movie, I had not read the slides and the second time I watched it, I related some things back to the information in the slides. While I watched the scene of Sue explaining to Henry what happened to Lucy, I thought she had Anterograde Amnesia, but then she went to the doctor and he called it Goldfield Syndrome. I do not know if they this this for humor purposes, but I have to admit that is one of the things that bothered me the most. Also another thing that struck me was the way the animals were well trained in the film. Based on the slides, I believe these animals learned to behave the way they did through operant conditioning because they probably got some type of reward after they moved their head up and down or “shook” someone’s hand.

Works Cited
"Did You Know?" IMDb., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. <>.
IMDb., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. <>.

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