Who says dates are all about romance?
By Sofia Rivera, Simmons College
“What do you want to watch?”
“I don’t care, what do you wanna watch?”
“I dunno you choose.”
It’s date night again and you’re lackadaisically scrolling through the Netflix interface of possibilities (or looking through your DVD library if you’re old), trying unenthusiastically to choose a movie.
Eventually you’ll go for something in the section labeled “Comedies Where the Only Female Character is Perpetually Unlucky in Love,” or, “Dramas Where the Girl Doesn’t Realize She Loves Her Best Friend ‘Till the Last 10 Minutes,” or for the long-haul couples, “Another Wedding Movie.”
Rather than settle on a film neither of you really feel like watching, why not expand your horizons beyond the beloved but overdone dressing room montages and James Blunt soundtracks?
If you’re allergic to Hugh Grant, these nontraditional rom-coms will make for the perfect date night.
1. Rocky (1-7)
To be honest I’ve never seen Rocky, or any of its subsequent iterations, but my sister recommends the never-ending series based on personal experience—so it is tried and tested.
To compensate for my lack of “Rocky” knowledge, I did like the high school essay-writers do for required reading and Wikipedia’d that shit.
Plus, by committing to the enterprise you’re ensuring that your relationship will last at least seven dates, or one very long one. And with “Creed 2” set to premiere in 2017, your partnership has a future to look forward to. If you’ve already split up by the time it comes out, that’ll be the perfect excuse to get back in contact.
“Did you see what’s in theater?” you’ll text.
“For old times sake?”
“Why not ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ “
You’ll bump hands in the bucket of popcorn and realize that if “Rocky” can survive eight sequels, you can give this another shot— your love is worth *fighting* for.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean
When was the last time you watched “Pirates of the Caribbean”? If the answer is longer than a week ago, it’s been too long.
Let me lay it out for you: Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp in pirate form, his best form to date. If you’re into period dramas, this movie has got you covered. If you’re a pirate kind of gal, just look at the title. If you like looking at good-looking people, take a seat.
Also belonging to a string of sequels that was perhaps wrung a little dry in an effort to recreate the box office success of the first (and best) film, you could set up a series of “Pirates” dates.
For the early stages of a relationship, this is the perfect opportunity to whip out the line you’ve been saving since you first heard it at the impressionable age of 10: “If you were a pirate, would you carry your parrot on this shoulder…or this shoulder?” you ask with a sly smirk, snaking your arm around your date’s shoulders.
Further contact can be initiated during terrifying scenes, such as when the one-eyed guy catches Keira hiding in the closet or when those demon monkeys take over the screen (surprisingly impressive CGI for the times)— you’ll shriek, then giggle with embarrassment and bond over the roller coaster of emotions.
3. The Cabin in the Woods
I largely hate scary movies because I have trouble separating them from reality: “Jaws” cursed me with heart palpations every time I try to enjoy a day at the beach, “Halloween” nearly ruined one of my favorite holidays (how can you separate the fake serial killers from the real ones when they’re all dressed in costume?!?), and since I live on Elm Street, I don’t hate myself enough to watch “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”
But, in their own twisted way, scary movies are romantic.
You snuggle up, tension is high and you’re so grateful to have the person sitting beside you.
This particular horror film is prime because it’s chock-full of those terrifying pop-out moments, perfect for hand holding (more like death gripping), but it also attempts to explain those idiotic decisions the protagonists of scary movies always make.
The psychological plot line keeps it doubly interesting, and makes for good post-movie conversation. An additional bonus: you and your date probably won’t be renting a cabin in the middle of the woods, so no paranoia necessary! And if you do choose to ignore this feature film warning and camp out in the middle of nowhere…you get what’s coming to you.
4. The Princess Bride
As it centers around a romance and is full of comedy, this film arguably falls into the rom-com genre, but to shlep to it into this stigmatized category it to do it a great disservice.
The story of a grandfather telling a story to his grandson frames the adventure of a stable boy, Westley, doing anything necessary to win the heart of Princess Buttercup. There are sword fights, amazingly quotable lines and of course Rodents of Unusual Size.
This is a perfect first date movie if just to weed out the undesirables—if your date can’t appreciate this timeless masterpiece, they are deranged and don’t deserve you. For the good eggs who know quality cinema when they see it, you’ll both guffaw at the same time and quote the characters in harmony.
Westley and Princess Buttercup makes an adorable couple’s costume once you inevitably become an item, and when you eventually get married, you can sneak some perfectly cheesy “Princess Bride” references into your vows: “As you wish.”