Fifty is better than One

A comparison of the movie 50 first dates and the play the taming of the shrew

I will be talking about the main male characters in both the movie and the play. I will be comparing and contrasting the methods they use to win over their love interests.

In the movie 50 First dates, the main character Henry Roth (played by Adam Sandler) has to work to win over his love by taking her on a 50 first dates. He has to do this because she has short term memory loss and forgets him by the next morning. This is completely different than the method used by Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio manipulates his love interest Katherine by “taming her” and withholds things from her. He tries to win over his love interest through manipulation, whereas Roth from 50 first dates allows his infatuation to guide him.

These texts are similar because in both they demonstrate how one can try and use different tactics to win over a love interest. Even if they go about it in greatly different manners, the dedication is still the same.

In act four, Petruchio is having a conversation with Grumio about what he is planning to do to make Katherine more obedient.


“That bate and beat will not be obedient.

She ate no meat today, nor none shall eat.

Last night she slept not, nor tonight she shall not.

This is a way to kill my wife with kindness.

And thus I’ll curb her mad and headstrong humor.

He that knows better how to tame a shrew,

Now let him speak: ‘tis charity to shrew.”

This quote from Taming of the Shrew demonstrates his ruthless disregard for the woman he supposedly is in love with. He is showing how selfish he is by making sure his own needs are cared for while not considering hers, and actually withholding basic needs from her.

In this screenshot, it is easy to see that Henry is willing to go to any length to win over Lucy. He attempts to win her over everyday and uses a different and creative method to do so. Here he attempts to discover what she loves and in giving her lilies, he also gives her a movie that had taken a lot of effort to show her what is going on in her life. Henry goes above and beyond every day to win her love and is successful.

The main difference between the idea of courtship in the movie and the play is that in the movie Henry actually loves Lucy the way she is and follows his heart to win her over. In the play however, Petruchio has more of an obsession and wants Katherine to be a certain way and tries to tame her to his specifications.