Over the past few days I've been hard at work trying to fill Screened up with as many different new features as I can, but this isn't my first internet rodeo. You see back before I decided to let my inner movie geek shine, for a period of time I was a writer for an online dating advice column. And while writing about movies is far less stressful than having to to be responsible for people's love lives, I still had fun writing those articles. So I figured why not combine these two articles into this offspring of a feature, where I recommend films that would make for a great date movie.
Now I know that lots of people think that seeing a movie isn't a good date experience, but this is Screened, a site for movie buffs by movie buffs, something tells me none of those people visit this site. Don't get me wrong, for some people a movie is a bad idea for a date, because you don't get to talk, you just sit there staring away from each other for two hours, and then before you know it the evening is over. But these people aren't movie geeks like we are, for people like us seeing a movie together is a great date experience. First off it provides you with two hours of entertainment, but more importantly after the movie is over the two of you have something to talk about. I know it's cliche but communication can be one of the hardest things to achieve on a date, but at the same time it's the most important part of a relationship. But many people have problems coming up with something to talk about, and seeing a movie instantly gives you tons of ammunition for the rest of the night. And not only that but it also serves as a great barometer for the rest of your relationship because a really good movie can tell you more about the person you're on a date with than hundreds of hours of just talking. If you come out of a movie and it really moved you and really touched you, and your girlfriend says "oh man that was the dumbest thing I've ever seen," well then hey, I'm not saying that means it's hopeless, but it does certainly give you stuff to think about and lets you see them in a light you might not have seen them in for years.
So basically what this feature is going to be about is that each week or so I'm going to give you a movie recommendation for a good date, but before you take my advice there is something you have to realize, and that's that everyone is different. The girl or guy you're trying to hook up with isn't going to like just any kind of movie because there is no one movie that is perfect for everyone, especially when you're trying to impress them and start a relationship. So before popping in one of my recommendations, ask yourself, is my girlfriend the kind of girl that would like this movie? Hopefully I can help with that, but let's get started with my recommendation for this week, and my first recommendation is appropriately named...
Beginners was a small budget movie from last year that's about Ewan McGregor dealing with the death of his father while at the same time learning how to fall in love with Melanie Laurent. It's far deeper than most romantic comedies as it deals with heavy issues, such as discrimination, death, and being true to yourself, and tackles it all in a very art film sort of approach without being a 100 percent art film per se.
As I said, not all movies work for everyone on a every date. If you have a tough as nails girlfriend who plays in a Ramones cover band on the weekend, then no, this movie will not be for you. So who would it be for then? The ideal person to see this with would be 50% intellectual, 40% softee, and then with a dash of hipster sprinkled on top. Granted I know that that's a hard combination to find, but if the person you're dating sounds even remotely like this then this film should work. Why is that you ask?
As I said, movies on a date aren't there to kill time, they're there to help you come up with something to talk about. And this movie is all over the place with discussion topics. First off the style, as I said, is fairly unique in that they try to capture an art film quality without actually being an art film, so if your date is a fan of movies at all, you two can spend an hour talking about how effective it was, did it work or did it not, what parts of it came through and if they fumbled anywhere. And as I said, not a bad idea to show this to an intellectual who enjoys history, because there are tons of parts throughout this where Ewan McGregor talks about the differences between the world he lives in and how the world was when his father was his age and when his father was getting married. These bits aren't in there a lot, but they could be seen as an emotional history lesson. So if your girlfriend or boyfriend enjoys stuff like that, not only would this film lead to conversations, they'd lead you to subjects beyond just films to talk about.
Movies aren't there just to give you and your date something to talk about, there also there to help you and your partner become closer, and what does that better than something that makes you go "Awww." In this movie Christopher Plummer plays McGregor's dead father, and through flashbacks we see his final days where he comes out of the closet and reveals that he's gay, and it shows how much he's missed and how he's kind of over the hill and came out too late, and you have to be made of stone to not feel for this guy. So if you and your girlfriend haven't yet had the talk that all couples have to have eventually have, where you talk about your families and whatever drama is there, this is the movie that will tear that wall down and get you two to start. And also, I'm just going to say it, this movie has an adorable dog that keeps asking Ewan McGregor "Are we married yet," and it couldn't be cuter. I don't care who you are, cute animals make people want to cuddle.
So in the end Beginners isn't a perfect film, it's fun and charming and warms your heart, which doesn't make it a movie worthy of winning many awards, but it will lead to a good date if you're with the right person. And in a way the fact that its not a perfect film will help your date, because you don't want a movie that will overwhelm the rest of your evening, you want one that will just get the ball rolling. So give it a try, and if this isn't the right date movie for you and your partner then come back next week when I'll focus on a different genre for a different type of date. And I'll just sign off the same way I always do when I write a relationship advice column, good luck and I hope I didn't just ruin someone's life.