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10 Things That Make a Film Fit for Date Night

Movie Night

Illustration by Josh Shayne

There are varying opinions as to what makes a movie suitable for a date night. The two I’ve heard most often usually come in the form of guy advice, since the guy’s expected to have a film in mind, or come up with one, if he’s asking a girl to the movies.

I’ve heard that the guy should pick a “scary” movie – the girl may get all nervous and cling onto him for emotional support or “protection” (you know, in case the Blob unexpectedly gains admission to the theatre, slithers down the center aisle and oozes into the couple’s row, the guy can whisk his date from her seat and hop with her, from seat back to seat back, Roberto Benigni style, toward the Exit door down by the screen).

The other advice I’ve heard is that the guy should choose a chick flick, as it always involves some sort of romantic scene that ought warm his date up. She’ll end up wanting that kind of passionate romance for herself and her date will probably be the next guy she ends up seeing; thus, she’ll figure he’s just the man to do the romancing. It will probably be agony for the guy to get through the film, but hey, the pay off is supposed to be worth it; his odds of hooking up with his date should be dramatically increased!

Well, who could guess that I find these two suggestions completely absurd.

The woman who responds to these two scenarios in such ways is either dim-witted, has a suspension of disbelief that ought to be analyzed by a team of Freudian psychologists, is playing along because she wants the same thing the guy wants, or is dating in the 1950s.

On my first date with my fiancé, we went to see “Pan’s Labyrinth.” And though that film is awesome for a number of reasons, it did scare the hell out of me. I didn’t know him very well at the time, so instead of grabbing onto his bicep for emotional support during various scenes, I cupped my hands to my eyelids and waited for them to end. We hardly spoke when driving away from the theatre, and didn’t end up having a second date for another year!

What I’m saying is to choose your film wisely, so that even if it ends up being bad (you can’t predict that the film will be good or not, unless you’ve seen it ahead of time), at least the two of you should be in a fairly decent mood when it’s over.

date pornTry to choose a film that meets the following criteria:

  1. It was given good reviews by tough critics
  2. It was suggested by your date
  3. It either won or was a runner up in a prestigious film festival (think Cannes or Sundance)
  4. It’s lighthearted or conveys some kind of uplifting message
  5. It’s not about a bad or bizarre relationship
  6. It’s not about anything creepy or disgusting (no disturbing voyeurs or characters that are pretty much repulsive)
  7. It doesn’t deal with a controversial subject – even if the two of you have the same viewpoint, it’s not really romantic to get worked up over a tense issue
  8. It’s not considered a “chick flick” or an “action flick”
  9. It’s not overly crass, sexual, or juvenile – no films like Happy Gilmore or Step Brothers
  10. It’s a film you genuinely believe will be enjoyable to both of you

Remember, it’s always good to ask around for a good film suggestion, especially if you’re asking for one from a member of the opposite sex. Good luck!

Creative Commons License photo credit: debaird™

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