Kennedy OakleyProfessor David Rehm Communication 10022 January 201850 First Dates: Broken downIn this class, Communication 100, we studies the introduction to communication skills like language, conflict, nonverbal communication and also about listening. This material really demonstrated how humans interact with one another and why we behave the way we do. Obviously I am not here to discuss everything we learned in this class, but I am going to try to compare the concepts we learned to a movie a lot of people have seen, called “50 First Dates”.
This movie is based on a Vet named Henry who sets his heart on romancing a girl named Lucy, but she has short-term memory loss. Because of this she can’t remember anything that happened the day before. So every single morning, Henry has to make her fall in love again. You learn that her friends and family are very protective of her, and Henry must convince them that he’s in it for love and nothing else. This movie that features Drew Barrymore (Lucy) and Adam Sandler (Henry) shows many of the concepts we covered throughout this class through their relationship.
I think the first thing you can see right off the bat of watching this movie is that the main character Henry, is the type of person to avoid conflict instead of confronting it. It seems that every girl he is with, he leaves immediately and makes excuses instead of trying to make it work. Everyone deals with conflict in their own special way. In the communication journal “Conflict and Interpersonal Communication” from the University of Minnesota, they discuss the different ways everyone deals with conflict. The first being competing, and then second Avoiding as shown in this movie. The avoiding style of dealing with conflict usually tends to indicate a very low concern for themself and an even lower concern for others, and never any direct communication about the conflict takes place. The avoiding conflict style is usually either passive or indirect, which means there is very little information exchange, which may make this strategy less effective than others, and really the worst strategy of all. In this movie though, Henry is able to communicate, but with the other girls he does not confront them about the real reason why he is leaving, he just disappears.
This is a terrible way to address issues because nothing is being solved in the long-term, just right now which can come back to bite him at some point. Another huge concept this movie shows is prejudice. Prejudice is an unfair and/orintolerant attitude toward others who belong to a outsider group. When Henry first meets Lucy he immediately is focused on her looks and fun personality, and the next day after she shuns him for being a “pervert”, he immediately gets shocked instead of assessing the situation and accept the fact that she has short term memory loss.
Soon after though he begins to get more comfortable with the idea. But this shows a little prejudice because he just went ahead and assumed she was “crazy”, instead of backing up and realizing what is really wrong. The topic that really stood out to me in the film is the concept of Self-disclosure.
Self-disclosure means to share information about yourself to someone else because you would like to communicate with them. Lucy struggles a lot with her short term memory loss because everyday is exactly like the day before. But, she is able to expose some information about herself to Henry like telling him about her family and her father. Even meeting him everyday shows a great deal of Self-disclosure. Throughout this movie you could also tell that Lucy started becoming a better listener.
When she first met Henry, she was very hesitant on speaking to him and becoming his friend. Later on, even though she has brain damage, she started opening up more and listening to the tapes that were made for her to understand daily what her memory issue was. Lucy also shows a lot of non verbal communication clues that help convey her interest in Henry. Even though every single day she does not remember the day before, she still seems to be able to fall in love with Henry every day. The one part of the film that this really stuck out to me was at the very end when they are all on the boat and she watches the tapes and then sees Henry, you can really see just in her eyes and body movements alone how in love she was with him, and that to me was a very sweet moment. From the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, it gives a very amazing description of what non verbal communication actually entails. It states that Nonverbal communication includes all communicative acts except for speech.
“Communication means conveying information through signals. We use body language without being aware of it, perceive and interpret other people’s body language.” (Mandal). I relate this so much with the movie 50 First Dates because of the fact that Lucy does not remember anything short term, she begins so depend on not only verbal clues, but the non-verbal communication of others to be able to gain their trust, especially new people like Henry. Lucy and Henry’s relationship is very much a breeding ground of communication concepts, and the application of these concepts really makes the movie as good as it is. Overall, Communication is functional because there seems to always be a purpose or some goal behind it, and this is true of all communication going from simple small talk to deep conversations. I have noticed so many topics that we discussed in this class and was able to easily apply them to this movie which was very interesting.
I really believe that you can sit down and watch any single movie and be able to point out these topics from this class. Now every time I watch a movie I am going to start noticing these small details unlike ever before