I love Adam Sandler, but his movies are not generally ones in which people discover “a deeper meaning” or “thought-provoking message,” right? I mean Billy Madison offered me a few good laughs, but nothing along the lines of spiritual teachings.
But when I first saw Sandler’s 50 First Dates, which also stars Drew Barrymore and Sean Astin, I recognized a very profound message that I enjoy watching unfold each time I watch the movie, as I did yesterday with Dan and my brothers.
For those of you who do not know the premise of the movie, Henry (Sandler) lives a paradise-esque life in Hawaii where each night he wines and dines an out-of-town woman — no strings attached. That is, until he comes across Lucy (Barrymore), a local resident who he meets at a coffee shop. But there’s one glitch: Lucy suffered a brain injury that each night erases from her memory everything that happened after the accident, including her new love, Henry.
The film keeps the typical Sandler laughs in place, but my favorite part is at the end — don’t worry, I won’t give it away — when you witness a moment where Lucy wakes up and recognizes the beauty of her life. It is, for me, a deeply moving scene where you realize the actual gift this woman possess; she wakes up every day and rediscovers the people and life she loves so dearly.
I get a little teary (OK, I completely bawl) every time I watch this part of the movie. Not because it is sad, but because it is so beautiful. Imagine what it would be like to wake up every day and be reintroduced to your family, husband or wife, children, job of your dreams . . . it would be magical, right? There is no greater appreciation.
But what if we could all take a bit of that message with us? I try to do just that each time I watch 50 First Dates because, while I may not have damaged my temporal lobe, I understand the importance of recognizing life for what it is. Don’t get me wrong — it is not always easy. But every day starts anew — as we have learned with this movie — and there is a grand opportunity to try again at applying the lessons you have learned.
Motivational speakers around the globe tell us to, “Live each day as though it’s your last” which is a beautiful message, indeed.
But what if we lived each day as though it were our first?