50 First Dates hit theaters on Feb. 13, 2004 and has continued to delight us ever since. The film features Drew Barrymore as Lucy Whitmore, who suffers from amnesia, alongside Adam Sandler playing Henry Roth, who wins her over every morning to remind her of their love.
The movie was such a hit in large part because Sandler and Barrymore are such a great acting duo. They’ve starred together in The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, as well as Blended, which hit theaters in 2014. Barrymore told HuffPost what she said to Sandler: “We have to work together, we have to find something. I’ve been saying that you and I are cinematic soul mates.”
Barrymore also told the outlet how 50 First Dates evolved during the process. “50 First Dates was actually a different script. It was more of a drama, and it was called 50 First Kisses. I knew about it, and I knew he knew it. In fact, I think it had drifted to his company [Happy Madison Productions], and it was something that I’d just been a big fan of for a long time and I loved the writing,” she explained.
The film was so iconic because of other amazing cast members too, including Lusia Strus, who played Sandler’s assistant, Alexa. In the film, she’s quite an intense character and is immediately recognizable with robe braids around her head. She looks completely different today.
Alexa's was depiction in '50 First Dates' became controversial
Lusia Strus might have once rocked a crown braid in 50 First Dates, but today she looks completely different. Judging from her Instagram, Strus is still blonde but compared to the androgynous costumes she wore in the film, her style is far more feminine today.
In fact, the character of Alexa has been a point of contention as the years have passed. Bustle interviewed director Peter Segal in February 2019 and pointed out that Alexa was often the target of “cruel” jokes about her gender. Segal explained how they didn’t understand the push-back against this treatment of her character that popped up years later. “We got some comments that there was a lot of gay humor in the movie, and I said, ‘Gay humor?’ I didn’t understand what they meant,” he said.
“But I think some people actually might [have] bought that she was a man, because [characters] said she was a man, and she kind of looked masculine in her wardrobe and how we did her hair.” In fact, Segal said that kind of humor likely wouldn’t appeal to current audiences. “Because they were done in the early 2000s, we got away with them a little easier, but I’m not 100 percent sure that some of those same jokes would play today,” he explained.
Strus has gone on to have a great career, starring in Modern Family, Good Behavior, Claws, and other TV series and films, per her IMDb credits. So at least she’s moved on from those braids!
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