Review of the Screening by MANAA
If you love Adam Sandler movies, it would be a safe bet you will love
this one too. This warm hearted romance, about a man who has to make the
woman of his dream fall in love with him every day because of her short
term memory lost, features a cast of hilarious characters and laugh out
loud comedy. The film also featured a lot of Asian Americans and Pacific
Islanders – Roy Schneider, Amy Hill, Nephi Pomaikai Brown, and Joe
Nakashima just to name a few. Of course with a comedian such as Adam Sandler
the comedy is edgy and might offend a few, but overall we didn’t
find this movie offensive to Asian Americans or Hawaiians. The movie was
written by George Wing and with a last name like Wing we know a lot of
you are hoping he’s Asian (I know we did) but he’s not. Regardless
George, Director Peter Segal, and the producers deserve a pat on the back.
Hawaii never looked better. If you lived in Hawaii go see this movie and
you might feel right at home.
CASTING – For Sandler and director Peter Segal, it was essential
that the casting have an air of authenticity about it and it showed. According
to Executive Producer Michael Ewing, “We wanted to cast people who
were native Hawaiians as often as we could”. This is music to our
ears especially after reading pilot scripts about Hawaii that has no Hawaiian
series regulars. This dedication to authenticity shows throughout the
movie. These locals are found throughout the scenes and were all depicted
in a very positive light - the locals are the ones that we are laughing
with. They poke fun of Henry and his crazy attempt to win Sue’s
(Drew) heart, which shows that although these Haoles are the actors, it’s
the Hawaiians that owns the stage.
DIALECT - Also, the locals were over the top trying too hard to be “local”.
There are countless scripts that MANAA has read about Hawaii with the
word “brah” littered all over it. Most of the cast spoke with
Hawaiian accents and not Pidgin’ (there’s a difference) and
makes it believable instead of a bad Elvis movie.
ROB SCHNIDER – He plays Ula, Adam Sandler's best friend. He is loyal
to Henry (Sandler), fun loving, and is always willing to give Henry a
helping hand (even if it means getting his head whacked by a bat). He
is also there for the most memorable comedic moments and has some of the
movies juiciest punch lines. There are some scenes and qualities about
his character that some people might find offensive (see negatives) but
overall he’s okay.
AMY HILL - The biggest highlight for Asian Americans. Not only does she
play Sue, a restaurant owner who is the "mother earth" of this
movie, but she plays the role without a foreign accent. I think the last
time I saw Amy play a character without an accent was when she had a one-liner
on “Friends”. She is a grounded character that always took
care of Lucy (Drew Barrymore) and is friendly toward everyone.
ROB SCHNIEDER – With most comedies, the funniest material is usually
the most offensive. Rob plays a local boy who is Henry’s friend
but is also some-what-of-a pervert, swears in front of his kids (he has
five by the way), and complains constantly about his overweight ugly wife.
As for his kooky looks, he only has one eye and wears pants way too tight
for him. This is a less than flattering depiction that could rub people
the wrong way. But a MANAA member who is from Hawaii shamefully admits
that, “I have several uncles that look and act like Ula and I know
a lot of Hawaiians that would be reluctant admit that too.”
Also, his pidgin accent sometimes lapses into what seems like a Mexican
accent - he could have tried harder getting the inflections right. Some
of his Hawaiian accent is accurate but there were times that he seems
to be speaking gibberish. If there is anyone fluent in Hawaiian that watches
this movies please let us know if his depictions are accurate.
Probably the most offensive parts of the movie takes place when Ula is
covered in ti-leaves and starts chanting Hawaiian. Again, very stereotypical,
and we don’t know if what he’s saying is authentic Hawaiian.
Overall, we rolled our eyes on some of these antics but his portrayal
is pretty much in line with the spirit of the movie and his positives
outweigh his negatives.
CASTING – Casting was great, compared to most movies this gets an
“A”… but it could have earned an “A+” but
some of the other roles went to Adam’s friends in previous movies,
and the role of the doctor (played by Dan Aykroyd) could have gone to
MONTAGE OF WOMEN – There was a montage in the beginning of various
women describing Henry. These women are from all walks of life and from
different races. There was even a Chinese coroner who spoke Mandarin.
Although everyone described Henry and what they did on their date as more
or less romantic, the Chinese woman states that, “He rode me like
a mule”. So once again it’s the Asian woman who has this voracious
sexual appetite and no one else. The line could have worked with any of
the girls, why use it on the Asian minority who are fighting the stereotype
of the Dragon Lady?
50 FIRST DATES premieres February 13, and MANAA recommends this movie
not only to support the Asian talent, but to also see a good romantic
comedy that takes a break from the winter weather with a movie set in