50 First Dates realistic?


In the romantic comedy film "50 First Dates", Drew Barrymore's character suffers from a terrible memory loss syndrome called "Goldfield's Syndrome". Hollywood made up that name for her disorder, but according to Dr. Catherine Myers of Rutgers University, Barrymore's condition resembles a real memory loss disorder.

The type of amnesia that Barrymore suffers from would be anterograde amnesia. According to our textbook, anterograde amnesia is when a person loses the capacity to form new memories. In the film, Barrymore is in a car accident which made her lose most of her short-term memory, and her ability to form new memories. According to our textbook, short-term memory can be called "working memory" which refers to our ability to hold on to information we're currently thinking bout, attending to, or processing actively.

Although Barrymore somewhat resembles this disorder, there is one big problem. In the movie, she is able to remember everything from the day up until she goes to sleep. Once she wakes up, she forgets everything that happened the previous day. In reality, people who suffer from anterograde amnesia have trouble forming short-term memories after 10 minutes or so, making it impossible for Barrymore to remember things from earlier in the day.

The link provided is one of my favorite parts of the movie due to the character "Ten-Second Tom". Tom is a patient and his memory-span lasts 10 seconds. 50 First Dates is a great movie, and if you watch it, just remember that "Goldfield's Syndrome" is fictional.



Great work on memory loss! I bet a lot of people including myself thought for sure that Goldfield's Syndrome was real,but then again when doesn't Hollywood stretch the truth. As consumers and viewers, we need to keep in mind that pseudoscience is always lingering. From weight loss pills to expanding your rate of reading to over 500 words per minute, false claims of reality that sound correct are embedded in today's society. Granted in 50 first dates it was for laughs and the made up syndrome helped the plot greatly; we still need to be careful of pseudoscience.

Great post! I like how you used an example that contradicts what was stated in the text, even though everybody knows that we can trust the textbook over Hollywood any day. I also liked the fact that you used such a popular movie as an example to support what you were trying to convey. I think that after reading your post about short-term memory and anterograde amnesia I have a better understanding of what these are and how they can impact our lives. Also, I loved the clip. Good job!

I remember seeing this movie and thinking that Goldfield's syndrome was real (but then realized it wasn't). This is definitely a great example, I would have never thought to incorporate movies and other "pseudoscientific" areas in popular culture in these posts. The clip also was awesome, Great job!

Good example, definitely some similarities between her disorder and the real thing (anterograde amnesia). The difference shows how Hollywood changes things just to make money. The pseudoscience involved in the movie is relevant in real life as it is almost everywhere, whether its weight loss pills or supplements to get stronger.

This post was a really good explanation of a situation in which Hollywood twists properties from their scientific truth to a more marketable alternative, which seems believable to the majority of people who don't know better. You can't just assume that everything you hear is real and true. Good example!

This was a very interesting blog entry to read! I found it particularly interesting that individuals who suffer from anterograde amnesia only have a short-term memory consisting of about ten minutes. It seems like it would almost be impossible for me to function effectively everyday if I could only remember things in a cycle of ten minutes. I find if it so surreal that some individuals live their whole life with this type of mental disorder and can still operate in their own life and achieve basic functions.

This was a great post! The analysis of Drew Barrymore's character was very interesting. I did not know that people with anterograde amnesia had such a short span of remembering the things that they encounter every day.

Very good observation of Hollywood's screenwriting. They definitely did not think about the disease too thoroughly and there are flaws with the portrayal of Drew Barrymore's disease. It is similar to a movie I blogged about which was Memento. They actually made sure that the main character was suffering from a memory disorder that was similar to anterograde amnesia

In my opinion, when watching movies or anything on tv, you should take everything they say with a grain of salt. Producers do not always use 100% accurate information. In order to make the movie or tv show sell, they need to "spice it up" with some other information that is fiction just to make it more interesting.

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This page contains a single entry by theis373 published on March 4, 2012 12:19 PM.

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