This essay takes up the challenge, issued by Fredric Jameson in a 1976 minnesota review essay, to become attentive to the “presence of some Utopian content even within the most degraded and degrading type of commercial product.” It does so through a reading of the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore film 50 First Dates (2004) as an example of the utopian film genre that Stanley Cavell identifies as “the comedy of remarriage.” It further draws upon the insights of Alain Badiou to theorize a larger schema of related practices that I name the “evental genres” before exploring in some detail how the deep fidelity practiced by the central couple in the film — most powerfully on display in its unexpected climax — develops a concrete figure of the day-by-day labors, the unending process of remaking, renewal, and reinvention required in any authentic marriage and hence any truly utopian project.
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Introduction| May 01 2016
Phillip E. Wegner; “The Great Sea Voyage Which Marriage Can Be”: Repetition, Love, and Concrete Utopia in 50 First Dates. the minnesota review 1 May 2016; 2016 (86): 81–100. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00265667-3458009
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