Rumour has it that when production for 50 First Dates was being planned, Adam Sandler convinced the producers to film in Hawaii. He thought it would look good on the screen, and he wanted to spend time there.
Most of the movie was set and filmed on the Windward Coast of Oahu. The production specifically avoided filming in Honolulu. They wanted to show another side of the island, and give the film a small-town feel.
The Hukilau Cafe in the film is actually based on a real restaurant on the island. The cafe didn’t have the right decor or location, so they decided to create a cafe for the film. They used a clearing at Kualoa Ranch next to the fish pond. The cafe was built from scratch and given a very rustic look.
While the movie’s version of the cafe is long gone, you can still visit the actual Hukilau Cafe in the town of Laie. It doesn’t resemble the movie version, but is still very popular. Having been there, I can tell you the food is delicious and the service is very friendly. Definitely try and stop by if you are in the area.
Another area of Kualoa Ranch was used in 50 First Dates as well. Several scenes feature Adam Sandler creating distractions by the road to make Drew Barrymore notice him. These were filmed in the valley of Kualoa Ranch.
Remember that the fish pond and valley are on Kualoa Ranch land. This is private property and you can’t just wander on to see it. However, they do offer a variety of tours. You can see my article about Kualoa Ranch here.
If you have any questions or thoughts about 50 First Dates or any of the filming locations, please share with me in the comment section below.