This 2004 romantic comedy stars Adam Sandler as Henry Roth, a man afraid of commitment. He's a veterinarian at an aquarium in Hawaii, and his modus operandi is to hook up with visiting tourists. The film opens with a rather amusing sequence of those he has romanced - women of all ethnic groups and ages, and even one man (good for Sandler for avoiding cheap homophobic laughs) - as they regale their friends back home with tales of their magical holiday fling.
Other things about the beginning are a bit more predictable - Ula (Rob Schneider in brown face), Henry's best friend, with his brood of five children in tow, begging for prurient details of the latest conquest; Alexa (Lusia Strus), Henry's sexually ambiguous eastern European coworker, getting puked on by a walrus - and made me fear that this was going to be a typical puerile comedy filled with scatological humour. But it soon picked up.
Having a breakfast of eggs and spam at a local diner one day Henry spots Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore), a pretty young woman building castles with her plate of waffles. In spite of his resolve not to get involved with local women, he approaches her, and after they chat and flirt through breakfast, he agrees to meet her at the same time and place the next day. But the next day Lucy doesn't recognize him. Henry is rightly confused until Sue, the proprieter, pulls him outside and explains that Lucy had been in a bad car accident a year before and lost her short term memory. Every morning she wakes up thinking it is the day that the accident happened; she can't retain any new memories.
It turns out that Lucy's fisherman father (Blake Clark) and wannabe muscle man brother (Sean Astin) go through a daily ritual to make sure that everything is exactly as it was for Lucy on the morning of that fateful day. When they find out about Henry they tell him to get lost, as Lucy can't have a normal relationship. But Henry feels such an attraction to Lucy that he can't keep away. And so the movie unfolds, falling further and further away from potty humour and moving into sweet, but not too treacly, territory as Harry sets out to make Lucy fall in love with him anew each day.
In the end I was won over by this charming little movie. Sandler has found a good niche for himself as a quirky but sympathetic guy who can play it for laughs but also for heart; Barrymore is well suited as the cute girl-next-door with a bit of a problem. The filmmakers wisely kept Ula and Alexa as background characters with minor roles, leaving the steroid-enhanced Astin to be the butt of the most jokes, and even he is softened by his total devotion to his sister. And the Hawaiian scenery is gorgeous.
Recommended for a light bit of sweet fun.