The Couch Potato Report Online- June 15th, 2004
This week in The Couch Potato Report the second time isn’t the charm, but the fourth time can be, and you’ll find out about two under seen gems.
It was in 1998 when Saturday Night Live funnyman Adam Sandler teamed up with the ever radiant Drew Barrymore for the first time.
They co-starred in a very funny and heartwarming movie called THE WEDDING SINGER.
The pair worked well together and the movie was a huge hit. In fact, I would even call THE WEDDING SINGER one of the great romantic comedies of the nineties.
This year saw the duo team up once again in 50 FIRST DATES. Unlike their first movie together, the second time is not the charm and I doubt anyone will ever say that 50 FIRST DATES is one of the great romantic comedies of this, or any, decade.
Sandler plays a commitment phobic veterinarian in Hawaii who seemingly dates every woman who visits the Island on vacation.
One day he meets local resident Barrymore in a cafÈ.
They fall for each other and Sadler’s commitment-phobe days seem to be behind him.
Unfortunately, as the result of a car accident, Barrymore has no short-term memory and she doesn’t remeber him at all.
So Sandler has to meet her, woo her and make him fall in love with her every day, hence the title, and the premise.
I’ll pause here for a moment to state that I like Adam Sandler’s movies. I repeatedly watch, and still enjoy and laugh at BILLY MADISON, HAPPY GILMOUR, BIG DADDY and THE WEDDING SINGER.
And Drew Barrymore?!? Well, I have loved her since she and I were kids and she was in E.T.
She is one of those people who just looks like she is lit up from the inside. She is bright, beautiful and radiant and I enjoy seeing her in movies.
So if I like Sandler and Barrymore, why didn’t I like 50 FIRST DATES?
Well, primarily because the movie has too many shifts from comedy to romance. Every genuinely affecting moment with Barrymore is followed, or preceded with a scene featuring her lisping brother, Sandler’s idiot best friend or his androgynous co-worker.
At times those characters are funny, but they just seem to belong in a different movie.
50 FIRST DATES isn’t a total waste of time as there are a few laughs and there is an abundance of Barrymore. But Sandler just seems out of place in the film and he brings nothing to it.
If you want to see these two firing on all cylinders, then check out THE WEDDING SINGER.
If you want to see a great movie where a man has to make a woman fall in love with him day after day after day, then watch Bill Murray do this premise justice in GROUNDHOG DAY.
If you want to see a mildly enjoyable romantic comedy that isn’t really that entertaining, 50 FIRST DATES is a movie for you.
And if you want to see a television show that is hitting it’s stride and succeeding no matter what it tries, then go out and get THE SIMPSONS – THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON.
Season Four of THE SIMPSONS is when the show started looking and sounding like the show we know and love today. The first three seasons very funny and enjoyable, but season four contains many of the classic episodes and lines ardcore and casual fans quote to this day.
Some of the classic episodes on this 4-disc set are Mr. Plow, Marge Vs. The Monorail, Kamp Krusty, Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie, A Streetcar Named Marge, I Love Lisa, Last Exit to Springfield, So It’s Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show, Whacking Day and Krusty Gets Kancelled
There’s also audio commentaries on every one of the episodes from creator Matt Groening and others who work on the show.
THE SIMPSONS – THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON features one great episode after another.
So far this week, I’ve spoken about two high profile releases. The final two movies I’m going to talk about are low budget films that didn’t play in many theatres, and will never get the publicity that 50 FIRST DATES and THE SIMPSONS get.
But they certainly deserve to.
Up first is THE STATION AGENT.
The film revolves around a reserved, somber train enthusiast who inherits a small depot in rural New Jersey. He makes friends, somewhat reluctantly, with a group of eccentric locals.
THE STATION AGENT is at it’s best whenever the actors are just playing off each other and speaking the well-written, understated dialogue.
Another reason to recommend this film is due to the amount of information you’ll learn about trains.
This isn’t a movie for everyone, but if you enjoy gentle, poignant films, then
you’ll find THE STATION AGENT to be an unexpected and delightful surprise.
I would also use the words “unexpected” and “delightful” to describe TOUCHING THE VOID, even if I did find the picture a bit too long.
TOUCHING THE VOID is a unique cross between a mountain climbing documentary and a reconstruction of two climbers harrowing trip up, and then down a mountain.
The film gives us the authentic stamp of factual storytelling from the climbers and a unique edge-of-the-seat tension of a dramatic movie.
TOUCHING THE VOID is astonishing at times as a real-life drama is magnificently retold.
50 FIRST DATES, THE SIMPSONS – THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON, THE STATION AGENT and TOUCHING THE VOID are available now at your favourite local video store.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
Billy Bob Thornton stars with Bernie Mac and the lovely Lauren Graham in BAD SANTA. In this adult oriented Christmas comedy a young boy redeems two criminals playing Santa and elf in a mall.
SECRET WINDOW is based on a story by Stephen King. In it Johnny Depp plays a writer who is stalked by a stranger while he is stuck at an isolated cabin.
I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report Online- June 15th, 2004