Reflecting the film's Hawaiian setting, the soundtrack to Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore's romantic comedy about short-term memory loss, 50 First Dates, features reggae-fied versions of new wave classics. While technically the songs should have been done with slack key guitars and ukuleles, the collection is a pretty fun mix of styles that haven't had much to do with each other since the heydays of Blondie, the Police, and Musical Youth. Only one of these groups is represented on the soundtrack -- UB40's version of the Police's "Every Breath You Take," which is pleasant enough but not one of the more inspired pairings on the album. Likewise, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath just isn't a strong enough vocal presence to carry off a natty dread version of the Psychedelic Furs' "Ghost in You." However, Wyclef Jean and Eve's version of the Outfield's "Your Love" is surprisingly genuine, and while Wayne Wonder's version of "Hold Me Now" isn't as fresh as his own work, it's still a decent version of the song. 311's version of the Cure's "Love Song" manages to be faithful to the original and to the concept of the soundtrack, creating a new style -- rasta-goth? -- in the process. Robert Smith and company get another shoutout in the form of Dryden Mitchell's "Friday, I'm in Love," which, unfortunately, isn't as successful as 311's homage. Somewhat predictably, most of the standout tracks on the collection come from the artists with the most reggae credibility; Ziggy Marley's version of the Cars' "Drive" imbues the song with a little more soulfulness than most of the other songs here, while Elan Atias' cover of Bryan Ferry's "Slave to Love" contrasts his raspy vocals with the smooth melody. Adam Sandler's closing track, "Forgetful Lucy," is one of his better and more restrained songs in a while; this song, along with the rest of the soundtrack, keeps the emphasis on "romantic" instead of comedy. Still, 50 First Dates is a fun and funny (if gimmicky) collection of love songs.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares