Various - 50 First Dates OST
Oliver Sacks once published a story about the case of a man who, although a few of the details may be missing in this retelling, stopped creating new memories sometime in 1970 as the result of the removal of a large brain tumour. Every day, he would awaken to see the world anew, remember all he could during those hours and, as he passed into sleep at night, forget them all again. His favourite band was The Grateful Dead and on Sacks taking him to a concert by the band in the early nineties, his patient believed that what he was hearing was a glimpse into the 'music of the future', rather than of the present day. Sadly, every day saw the breaking of the news to this patient that his father had died years before. Sometimes it's better to forget...
The plot of the new movie 50 First Dates is based on a somewhat similar case as marine vet Henry (Adam Sandler) meets Lucy (Drew Barrymore) whilst working on an island in the Hawaii archipelago, finding, however, that a car accident as ruined her short-term memory. Like Groundhog Day, every morning sees Lucy have, what is for her, a first date, whilst Henry works increasingly hard to make sure she never realises that she suffers from any form of disability.
Whilst early reviews are a mix of the favourable and those who appear to have been insulted by the sight of Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider appearing in the same film, the soundtrack album has been released with a clutch of eighties love songs recorded by contemporary artists, often with a reggae feel. Why reggae? Uh...I'm guessing that one island in close proximity to the US is much the same as another so Hawaii, Jamaica...'tis a pity we don't have some native Icelandic drumming beating behind each of these love songs.
And what a selection - The Thompson Twins' Hold Me Now recorded by Wayne Wonder, The Cure's Love Song and Friday, I'm In Love by 311 and Dryden Mitchell, respectively, and Slave To Love recorded by Elan Atias are only four of the songs on this release, although not the four that get to the heart of this release. Instead, playing up on the reggae feel of this album, everyone's favourite reggae stars Ziggy Marley and UB40 contribute covers of The Cars' Drive and The Police's Every Breath You Take. Everyone, that is, who has either no interest in reggae, has never actually heard of reggae or is actually dead. UB40 are the only act on this disc who were having hits during the eighties and their presence on this album is evidence of how far they've fallen from being a political, reggae act into being a covers act keen to place their striped hat anywhere so long as there's a purse at the end.
Finally, the album's most shocking moment is that its last track, Forgetful Lucy, co-written by Adam Sandler is by far the album's best. Whilst the jump across twenty years is one jump too far for many of these songs, some of which deserve to be left back in the eighties, this song is a sweet little acoustic track, which is beautifully gentle, with Sandler singing about his newfound love who can't remember who he is come sunrise. Within seconds of the song starting, it's got such emotion and grace so as to pull you in without hesitation and is quite the best thing Sandler has ever done, including his film career.
Holding back its best track to the end isn't a great move but for fans of pop reggae, this is a fine if not great release. With the exception of the Adam Sandler song, the light reggae rhythms do grate but the 1m50s of the last song do end the 50 First Dates soundtrack album on a high.