For many of us, routine dating will involve the occasional, or in some cases, frequent trip to the movies. For many others, the preferred choice will involve lazy nights in with a glass of vino and that impeccable DVD choice. And although, many long term couples relish the consistency of the ubiquitous TV box set, there is simply nothing better than a carefully chosen date movie to put you both back in the ‘mood.’
Having previously collated the Ten Films Guaranteed to End Your Relationship I thought I would flex my altruistic muscles instead this time, and present ten very worthy date movies.
Whether on DVD, or at your local Cineplex/Art House venue, these films are all worth rediscovering.
Have a favorite movie for a night in? We’d love it if you could take a moment or two to share your favorite choices too.
Out of Sight (1998)
The first choice was an easy one. How could a picture with two of the sexiest screen stars: the sensual Latina diva, JLo and the dapper gentleman George Clooney, not float your boat? This perfectly executed piece from Steven Soderbergh also weaves in a crime story, which allows us the dual pleasure of seeing the ferocious Jennifer Lopez with a gun in her hand! With one of the most intricately edited sex scenes in contemporary film, Out Of Sight is also a well-paced movie that will allow you to ‘keep up with the story,’ while also firing that occasional smooch in, here and there.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
It is well known that the quirky romance in Edward Scissorhands helped define a generation of youths, who had otherwise grown misanthropic about the world around them. Tim Burton’s beautiful masterpiece also happens to be a universal love story that reveals how we can surpass ‘difference,’ whatever that may be. Ignore race, gender, or sexual identity…could you love a man or woman with metallic body parts? Of Course you can! Tender, beautiful, and affecting, this is definitely one that will pull at the heartstrings.
Billy Elliot (2000)
I am sure some of you are furrowing your eyebrows right about now. But don’t worry, this drama about a young working-class lad who hungers for nothing more than to be a dancer is of all things, a potent date movie! The rollicking retro soundtrack, fused with the narrative’s feel-good story, will have you and your partner bursting with joy, hugs and maybe the occasional dance move afterwards…
Like Water For Chocolate (1992)
Did you think 9 ½ weeks was kinky? Well check this out – this romantic tale set in Mexico is also your chance to show your loved one that you are open to cinematic diversity. And what better a choice, then a bit of Hispanic fusion? Like Water for Chocolate creates a deeply moving, passionate, and yep, you guessed it – lustful world out of the mundane acts of cooking, bringing food to life with a sensual pizzazz otherwise unseen on screen. If you have been itching to add a bit of erotica to your domestic duties, then pop this little gem in to the DVD player, it might just change your life!
High Fidelity (2000)
One of my personal all time favorites, this tale of a heartbroken man who seeks to recount his past girlfriend experiences is, contrary to popular belief, very much a film that can ‘inspire’ and ‘revive’ tepid relationships. Arguably melding together one of the best music soundtracks of all time, High Fidelity reminds us that relationships aren’t perfect…and that pining for the past, or living in regret may not be the best way to go about living, and or loving. In the end, Laura and Rob’s reunion feels ‘perfect,’ not least because it is ‘real’ – and lacks the saccharine melodrama intrinsic to most movie romances. The film also boasts a sensual performance by the delightful Lisa Bonet, and who else but Bruce Springsteen? This is one for the collection.
Almost Famous (2000)
Like High Fidelity, Cameron Crowe’s magnificent journey through the 70s is imbued with an epic, and inspiring rock soundtrack that sets out to please music enthusiasts everywhere. Also, particularly poignant here is the tender relationship between band groupie, Penny Lane and William Miller. It’s a traditional geek gets the hottie storyline, which proves that the best men are the ones who are ordinarily taken for granted. Are you shy, quiet, nerdy, i.e. you’re not a rock star or an astronaut? If so, this film will have your loved one thanking the gods that she chose you over the likes of JT or eh, Mick Jagger?
Singin’ In the Rain (1952)
There is nothing as reassuring, or as refreshing as a man who has the courage to admit to his love of musicals. For all of you still hiding in the closet (no pun intended here), I present: Singin’ In The Rain. Who can forget that wonderful image of Gene Kelley dressed in a yellow-slicker, hanging from the side of a lamppost? It’s one of those moments that instigate childhood memories, it's one that reminds us of our collective experience, and our unbridled willingness to love and embrace the ‘moment’! Accessible, and unabashedly upbeat, there is no denying the effectiveness of this classic Hollywood motion picture.
Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)
This film has the privilege of being my favourite contemporary film. But disregard my bias for a second and let yourself discover one of the most enchanting, believable, and reassuring romantic comedies of all time. Ignore the fact that the film touches upon art, performance, child sexuality, self-harm, interracial relationships, and a spattering of the insane…this movie is a perfect tale that sees two seemingly lost souls come together in a rare, beautiful and whimsical manner. Fragile, tender and beautiful…Me and You and Everyone We Know captures the minute details of romantic relationships and uses them as a means to tell a story that is nothing short of universal.
Say Anything (1989)
Is there anything as romantic, or indeed as iconic as the scene when Lloyd (John Cusack) holds a looping boom box outside of the window of his forlorn sweetheart, Dianne? No! Not of this generation anyway. Lloyd, perhaps the most brazen teenage romanticist alive holds both a passion for commitment and an ear for a cheesy, romantic tune. Even I can’t help myself.
Everyone needs a black and white, classic movie in the pile to rouse up those pent up feelings of lustful longing, and nothing achieves this better than Casablanca. Not as long as the epic, Gone With The Wind, Casablanca is compelling because it is a tragedy – it is about sacrifices, ones that we can all relate to, even if we haven’t endured them ourselves. Not to mention, there are two of the most iconic performances of all time, with special note to Humphrey Bogart, whose hard-talking exterior reveals a tender man, who still remains suave and enigmatic. Topped off with the classic tune, ‘As Time Goes By,’ big close-ups, and delicious smokey-filled rooms, Casablanca is an amorous treat for the senses.
And on that note, I leave you… ‘Here’s lookin’ at you kid…’