One of my favorite things to do on a date is go to the movies. I love eating the greasy, too salty popcorn, I love the being nearly deafened by the loud action films, and I really love seeing the previews of the movies that aren’t out yet. I don’t even mind paying $10 a ticket as long as no one near me talks on their cell phone.
However, I am not a huge proponent of taking someone to a movie on a first date because the purpose of a first date is to get to know someone. The only way you can get to know someone in a dark, quiet theatre is in a way that you probably shouldn’t until at least the fifth date.
If you happen to pair a movie with a dinner before or after, then this can be acceptable, but you may want to think long and hard about the type of movie you choose for your date. The genre you choose could have dire consequences.
Action (Man of Steel, World War Z, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Iron Man 3) – This is probably my favorite genre because I feel like these movies have everything – suspense, fancy special effects, hot guys and girls, sometimes a love story – and they don’t take themselves too seriously. Most of them are funny even when dealing with a serious issue like terrorism or sudden death.
The fallback is that most of them are three hours because movie directors seem to be in some sort of competition to see how long they can extend the average human attention span. Depending on how your date is going, you may not want to spend 180 minutes with your date even if it is while watching retired soldier Channing Tatum save President Jamie Foxx while simultaneously rescuing sassy fiancee Jessica Alba.
Horror (The Purge, Evil Dead) – This genre would appear to be the best option for daters because of the whole “oh my I was scared by that clown popping out of that closet and I need to grab your arm” scenario.
Warning: this can backfire horribly.
Once I accidentally hit one of my dates in the face because at the time I was jumping for his arm, he was reaching down for the bucket of popcorn we put on the floor. I would not recommend this genre for a first date, especially if there is no chemistry during the pre-movie dinner and you don’t want someone grabbing or touching you for comfort.
Comedy (This Is The End, The Hangover III, Internship, The Heat) – This is my second favorite genre because comedies are lighthearted and hilarious (especially if they have Will Ferrell or Melissa McCarthy in them) and can cure the nervous jitters that go along with every first date.
If you and your date don’t share the same sense of humor (I thought “Borat” was horrible), if the movie is terrible and not funny (again see my comment on “Borat”), or if the comedic topic is risque (ah, see I can use “Borat” as all of my examples).
Romantic comedy or “chick flick” (Before Midnight, Big Wedding) – My only advice is just…don’t do this to someone who you want to see again. Man or woman, it’s just not the right choice. At least one of you is lying about your feelings.
Dramas (The Great Gatsby, Bling Ring) – While dramas tend to have beautiful cinematography, the topics are usually too serious for a casual first date. Use this genre with caution. Unless you have seen the film before and know exactly how it ends, I would not recommend taking a date. You could end up with a blubbering mess on your hands and no one wants to deal with that. Even on your tenth date.
Documentaries (Stories We Tell) – Like my advice for comedies, you may want to avoid this if the topic is risqué, which is the point of most documentaries. They hit all the hot button issues – religion, drug trafficking, environmental issues, politics, health care. Unless you want to ditch your date, then by all means take them to a controversial documentary and then disagree with whatever opinion they share.
Pixar or children’s (Monsters University, Epic, Turbo) – These are fun. I personally am a huge fan of the “Toy Story” trilogy, “Monsters Inc” and “Monsters vs. Aliens.” But not all adult people will get a kick out of hearing Steve Carell’s voice come out of a computer animated elephant, so just bring up an old Pixar movie and see what their reaction is before dropping a twenty on tickets.
Emily Little (nee Campbell) was a perpetually single girl who recently met and married her Mr. Right. Her blog, Dating Emily, has been a two-year diary of her adventures in relationships. Her life of bar-hopping and casual dating has turned into one of dog-walking, craft-making and budgeting for eventual home ownership. But just because she can make a mean casserole doesn’t mean her adventures are over. As she prepares to become a first-time homeowner and eventually, a mom, she is discovering that the adventure may just be beginning.