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50 First Dates: Lucy's Loss of Memory

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Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore beautifully fulfill their roles as Henry Roth and Lucy Whitmore, two people in Hawaii who fall in love at first sight. The only issue is Lucy cannot remember their first moment; or the one after that, or the one after that. She was involved in a horrible car accident a year before Henry entered her life and now suffers from loss of short-term memory. The plot of the movie is that Henry simply makes Lucy fall in love with him again every day. Yet the scientific, psychological, and very-real aspect of this illness, go even deeper than a simple love story.

Scientists refer to Lucy's condition as Antegrade Amnesia. This is a loss of memory in which the person remains unable to recall new information, but can easily recall old information ((Doctors, 1996)). Lucy could remember everything that happened up to the very day of the accident, which explains why she lived everyday wearing the same clothes, doing the same routine like celebrating her father's birthday. She now lives her life as if everyday were that sunny day her and her father got in an accident. However, anything new after that day she cannot remember. It is not that she cannot remember events every few hours. She can live through a day normal day and can easily remember what happened that morning at nighttime. Yet when she sleeps it is like Henry says, "It's like her slate gets wiped clean every night" (Ewing and Segal, 2004). So by the next dawn she no longer remembers the appearance of Henry in her life or her love for him. She does not even know that they are practically dating.

Try analyzing the situation between Lucy and all of her loved ones. Her father and brother celebrate her father's birthday everyday, eat pineapple cake, watch football, leave a newspaper for her to read from the day of her accident every night on the front porch, and repaint the wall in the garage that she paints on everyday so that she can re-paint another mural the next day. They sacrificed their lives out on the sea, any love life they might have had, and their general true happiness to ensure that "everyday goes smooth for Lucy" as Mr. Whitmore states (Ewing and Segal, 2004). Naturally her father feels guilty because he was the one driving and distracted himself causing the accident. He ended up with only a few cuts and bruises, but his daughter suffers from memory loss. He does not want to see her go through anymore than she is already. So father, son, and daughter all live together making life as good as they can. It is all very sad actually.

Then comes in Henry Roth a Hawaiian player who is afraid of commitment. A past relationship left him scarred and afraid to trust, love, let alone commit to someone. That is until he sees Lucy and becomes head over heels over the cute, humorous blonde. She shows him how to love and want to be with one person for the rest of his life. She makes him rethink his values and wants. Lucy typically goes through each day unaware of what is happening, but occasionally she has a bad day. On these bad days something happens and she winds up finding out that it is a year later from her



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