Let's face it -- many of the movies produced today appeal more to the babysitter than the couple who hired him or her. Finding an ideal date movie can be a challenge, but it's not impossible if you do a little research and pay attention to reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. A good date movie can help spark conversations during a post-show dinner, or create a pleasant mood for the rest of the evening. Picking the movie for a date can be a mutual decision, but you may want to be the one responsible for selecting the night's entertainment. It's a good way to show your date your openness towards watching romantic comedies or other movies in the so-called "chick flick" genre. Here are some tips for finding the best movie for a romantic date.
- Become a movie maven. This doesn't mean you have to know the name of the director of photography for "Citizen Kane", but you can familiarize yourself with movie history to separate the wheat from the chaff. You can find advanced reviews and other early buzz on an upcoming movie at online movie sites such as the IMDb, or you can find magazines dedicated to the world of film making. If you want to have a private film festival at your home for a date, you may want to learn the titles and ratings of classic motion pictures, whether they be dramas, comedies, costume pieces or romances. You may also want to consider local film festivals for date nights, since seeing classic love stories such as "Casablanca" or "The Princess Bride" on the big screen is always a good way to spend your time.
For information on newly released movies, you may want to become familiar with the better directors, writers and actors working in the romantic comedy genre. If your date enjoyed other movies by the same director or actors, the chances of her enjoying the newest release should be good. If this is your first date, gather as much advance information as you can on all of the movies available. Well-informed is well-armed when it comes to avoiding a movie that fails to live up to the hype.
- Remember the trailers and previews. While some moviegoers may view the previews as a necessary evil, you may want to take mental notes. If your date has a strong reaction to a particular preview, keep that information locked inside your mental Rolodex. That could be the next movie you see during your second date. If she says something about hating horror movies or that obnoxious comedian, you'll know to avoid buying tickets. Because some movies are promoted months ahead of their release dates, you'll have time to do your own research and avoid getting burned on a bad date movie. If the advance word is generally positive, add that title to your list of possibilities.
- Sequels and cast reunions may be promising. Although it's often true that sequels are rarely as good as the original, they are usually familiar enough for diehard fans. If your date really enjoyed the original Bridget Jones movie, the chances are good she'll at least appreciate the sequel. It helps if you remember how much she enjoyed a previous movie and you specifically bought tickets for its sequel. She may also enjoy movies with cast members from previous favorites. The series of improvisational comedies produced by Christopher Guest, for example, all feature cast members from earlier movies like "Waiting for Guffman" and "A Mighty Wind." If you know your date enjoyed one of those comedies, you should find success selecting a new title from that same cast.
- Have movie-related conversations with your date when possible. Most people enjoy talking about favorite movies from their childhood or young adulthood. Your romantic partner may mention a favorite actor or a favorite movie genre. She might even mention more esoteric information such as the style of a certain director or the cinematography of a favorite older movie. All of this information should help you select a new movie release she will most likely enjoy. Find the latest movie featuring her favorite actor or look for titles of movies by a favorite director. Unless you know your date very well, however, you may want to avoid selecting anything too artsy or esoteric for a casual date night. Popular romantic comedies or period dramas may be a safer bet. You may also want to avoid graphic slasher films and action movies geared towards a predominantly male audience. Animated movies may also be a hit, as long as the humor appeals to both children and adults.
There's no penalty for selecting a bad date movie once in a while, but you really want to step up your game a notch and pick the best movies out there at the time of the date. There are some times during the year when movie studios release relatively weak titles, but you should still be able to find something acceptable to both of you. If you find yourself in an absolute date movie drought, you can still take a trip to the local video store and let her pick out her own movies for an informal movie night at home.