Titus didn’t make the list, but this picture sets the perfect tone, I think.
Any old website can toss off a list of great date movies. What you really need is a list of movies that you probably shouldn’t watch on a date. Believe me, in many of the following cases, I’ve tried. (Some of them are just symbols, emblematic of the general kinds of movies you shouldn’t sit at with a romantic partner.)
Either way, trust me: I know what I’m talking about on this one. Sometimes the best education is failure, or some crap like that. A less popular truism is: Don’t do
some most of the things I’ve done. Do as I say, not as I do.
[Warning: Semi-spoilers abound.]
This one should be a no-brainer, and in most cases it is. But the movie is so good that some might be tempted to watch it with a loved one. Don’t. It’s literally the most depressing movie of all time. It’s fantastic, but offhand, I can’t think of a more downbeat ending in the history of cinema. Maybe THE EXORCIST, but that one gives you just a little bit of CASABLANCA-“beautiful friendship”-style hope right at the end. This one, contrarily, is the ultimate doom-bringer. There’s a time and a place for that kind of cinema, but it ain’t when you’re with your girl.
ROB ROY (1995).
I saw this with a girl back in high school. It’s a sweeping romantic historical epic, plenty underrated in many ways. The love story between Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange’s characters is very powerful. and Tim Roth and Brian Cox make for some memorable villains. However, the scene where Tim Roth sexually assaults Jessica Lange is kind of hard to recover from, especially if you’re me and you were a super-sensitive high school kid. This movie taught me the first of many movie-date rules I needed to learn: Avoid Movies With Rape Scenes.
HALLOWEEN: H20 (1998).
Now this was a date, with an extremely cute young lady. I was probably hoping for big things. You know what doesn’t put me in the mood to put the moves on? Disappointing horror sequels. You’d think a scary movie would be an assist on the way to a romantic lay-up, but not if you’re a horror fan and the movie’s shitty and you start stewing when you should be mackin’. This lesson is one I still forget from time to time.
This one wasn’t a date, but it also wasn’t a movie that I would have ever atteneded without a female human being to accompany me. First of all, this is a movie with a Motown karaoke scene. Rare is the sight more loathsome to me than that of a bunch of white people jumping around, lip-synching into hairbrushes to the tunes of some of the greatest music ever. (I get particularly riled up when the artist vandalized is Marvin Gaye, as is the case here.) Secondly: this is a cancer movie. Like a whiny, weepy, corny cancer movie. That’s a good guideline as far as what to avoid in a date movie — in any movie in general, actually. There’s nothing wrong with using movies for escaping all the shit you have to deal with in reality, particularly when you’re in the mood for romance.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (2004).
The political movie is an absolute don’t when it comes to dating. If talking turns to disagreement, the date’s over before you even notice where it went wrong. But let’s say you agree on everything: In this case, you’re still looking at Michael Moore and George Bush Jr. for two hours. Highly unsexy. Move on.
MEAN GIRLS (2004).
Like BRING IT ON before it, this is a pretty decent movie, but also like BRING IT ON, it’s the kind of movie that invites the sort of disconnect that is a little too complicated to be worth it. In other words, ladies: That guy you’re with, he may say he likes this kind of movie, and he probably does, but not for the same reasons you do.
This movie is nominated to serve as the representative of every movie that requires you to wear those 3D glasses. Nobody can make that look sexy. You can be George Clooney or Jessica Alba and you’re still going to look like an untouchable dork if your date looks away from the screen and over at you.
ALL ABOUT STEVE (or any Sandra Bullock romantic comedy, really)
Yes, this is the twenty-teens and yes, anyone championing traditional gender roles is viciously — and usually rightfully — torn down, but even still, I say: A man has to draw the line somewhere.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2009).
Three words you never want to hear at the end of a movie: “Is that it?”
You don’t want to hear those words later on that night either, but if you’re both in an awful mood after sitting through a movie where literally nothing happens and then it ends, then you won’t ever get to that point in the first place. Remember what I said about terrible horror movies being the actual death of romance.
TOY STORY 3 (2010).
You don’t want to be that weird couple making out during a kid’s movie, do you?
Happy Valentine’s Day!