Memory loss popular Hollywood theme

Jan. 19, 2004 at 4:06 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Hollywood is preparing to release a spate of films featuring one or more memory-challenged characters in the next few months.

"50 First Dates" is something of a cross between "Memento" and "Groundhog Day." Set for a Valentine's Day release, this romantic comedy stars Drew Barrymore as a woman who suffers from the inability to make short-term memories. Adam Sandler plays the poor guy who has to find a new way each day to get her to fall in love with him.

In March, Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet play a couple who undergo an experimental procedure to erase each from the other's mind in Charlie Kaufman's latest "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Elijah Wood and Mark Ruffalo play the technicians who assist in the procedure.

Anonymous Content is the production company behind both comedies.

Memory loss gets a more serious treatment in the form of the drama "The Notebook," based on Nicholas Sparks' popular novel. In this film, James Garner plays a man who visits an elderly Alzheimer's patient (Gena Rowlands) in a nursing home and reminds her of her youth by reading from a notebook detailing her earlier adventures.

The trend seemed to start last year with one of 2003's biggest hits, "Finding Nemo," which also featured a character, the fish Dory (Ellen DeGeneres,) who was incapable of remembering events that happened just moments before. The theme continued last month with the sci-fi tale "Paycheck," about an engineer (Ben Affleck) who finds his memories of a top-secret assignment completely wiped from his brain.

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