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Today’s comic is the third time I’ve acknowledged the fourth wall. That’s not a big deal for a lot of comics, but when I started Theater Hopper, I had a specific set of guidelines. I didn’t want to get too self-referential or “inside”.

I also tried to refrain from introducing any fantasy elements without some kind of tether to reality. Well, with The Cult of Sandler and Cami shooting fireballs out of her hands last week, I figured those guidelines are either in serious disrepair or jettisoned completely out the window. It’s probably for the best. This isn’t a journal comic, after all.

As you’ve probably gathered, Cami and I did see 50 First Dates on Friday. We went to the late show expecting the first showing to be packed with goofy 14 year olds. When we arrived for our 9:30 showing, there was hardly anyone in the theater. Of course, by the time they got through all the previews, all the goof 14 year olds showed up… late… and chattering like monkeys as they tried to find their seat.

Some obnoxious woman and her sister (mom?) plopped down next to me and proceeded to spend the entire time before the previews discussing how sick and contagious they were. Coughing, hacking, spitting… All I could think of was some noxious green cloud straining to be filtered by my lungs as we sat there in the darkness.

Seriously, people. If you’re so sick you’re complaining about it to everyone in earshot STAY HOME!

As for the movie itself, it was enjoyable. The cinematography was certainly a notch or two higher than Billy Madison, I can tell you that much! Drinking in all these lush vistas, I kept thinking “I have to go to Hawaii. I have to go to Hawaii.” like some sort of drunken mantra.

I had logic problems with the movie. Plot problems, too. I’m sorry, but I don’t find BRAIN DAMAGE to be a wholly charming device to center a romantic comedy around. I also struggled with the concept of making a long-term relationship work with someone who has no long term memory!

The whole “we’ll have her watch a videotape to get her caught up with her life” trick seems unnecessarily cruel. I kept picturing Drew Barrymore’s character waking up each morning and crying for a hour after being introduced to this grim reality. But I guess the benefit is, no matter how hard you day is, you’ll forget about it tomorrow? Hmm…

I’m pretty much comparing apples to oranges here, but I thought Memento did a much better job with depicting the struggle of someone afflicted this way. Mostly from the perspective that the human mind is devious enough to create a method to work around the handicap.

I found it particularly offensive that Barrymore’s character’s brother and father would go to the lengths of re-creating her last day of functioning memory. What kind of twisted hell is that? Not just for the person without the long term memory, but for the people around them? If I had a daughter who was a drug addict, I wouldn’t be suppling her with crack! Face the problem, people!

Ultimately I realize that we’re dealing with fantasy here. But truthfully I have an easier time committing to the idea of a man trying to reconcile his relationship with a mermaid versus what we have here. The minute you try to pass off these kinds of authentic handicaps as the central conflict of the story, you open the door to much harsher criticism and attention to detail.

That out of the way, I’m giving everyone a prescription for our latest advertiser Dr. Wuss. Check it out. It has the cure for the daily blues!

↓ Transcript
So, what did you think of 50 First Dates?

It was okay, I guess.

I mean, I can kind of understand why the father and brother decided to recreate Drew Barrymore's last full day of memories before her accident...

Bud di you notice she was also wearing the same clothes every day?

Hey! You know, you're right! How stupid is that? Dressing your characters in the same outfit in every scene?