- Published on Friday, December 21 2012
- Written by Guest Contributor
It’s a tale as old as time. A man and woman decide to stay in for their date night and watch a movie. Plans of popping popcorn, drinking red wine, and snuggling are tossed around and both of them are starting to look forward to the evening. Then comes the time to actually choose the movie to watch. The man will usually select a horror movie, and the woman will select a romance. Neither one will want to watch their partner’s choice. Interestingly enough their reasons are actually quite similar...
FEAR -- She probably won’t want to watch the horror movie because she doesn’t want to get scared or have nightmares. He probably doesn’t want to watch the romantic comedy or drama because he is scared of being ridiculed by his friends for watching a “chick-flick”.
SENSITIVE STOMACH -- Another reason she’ll give for not wanting to watch the horror movie is that she thinks the gore will make her sick to her stomach. Another reason the man will give for not wanting to watch the romantic comedy/drama is that he thinks all the cuteness will make him sick to his stomach.
DOMINANCE -- The man will suggest a horror movie because it’s the type of movie he knows. With such knowledge secure in his head, he can easily explain certain themes and elements that are happening in the movie. Also, he can assume the role of the protector and draw her into his arms when things get tense in the movie. The woman will suggest the romantic comedy/drama for similar reasons. It’s territory she is familiar with and she can explain all of the things happening in the movie that the man really doesn’t want to hear about. Also, she can initiate the snuggling when the movie becomes sweet or emotional.
JEALOUSY -- The man will not want to watch the romantic comedy/drama because, unless he himself is Ryan Gosling, he knows he will not be able to live up to the idealized male lead without being laughed at. The woman will not want to watch the horror flick because the last thing she wants is his attention pulled away from her in order to ogle the copious amounts of nude women that tend to turn up in those films.
So, what’s the ultimate solution? Well, breaking up would probably work in this case. But if you’re committed to your relationship, then one of you will invariably have make a decision at some point. Below are a four valid compromises to keep your opponent (I mean, loved one) from feeling the sting of defeat too harshly...
1. The Eye (original 2002 Chinese version): A woman receives an eye transplant and finds that her new eyes allow her to see ghosts and other terrifying visions. While the 2008 remake might seem like the more obvious choice, I insist that you take a look at the original first. There are enough creepy and terrifying moments in this movie that will satiate the man’s desire for horror. These moments are counterbalanced with a beautiful visual style that carries with it a sort of dreadful poetry that both men and women will find absolutely absorbing. Also, the female lead is not a hyper-sexualized character that serves as merely a piece of eye candy (no pun intended). She is a vulnerable woman in a set of extraordinary circumstances that the viewer will come to root for because we follow her closely on her journey and see her evolve into a person that, while still afraid, is resolved to bring an end to her horrifying situation.
2. One Fine Day: George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer play individually divorced parents that, through a series of circumstances involving their children, are constantly forced to deal with each other during a hectic day. While seemingly polar opposites, they find they have more in common than they originally thought, and romance might just be in the air. This romantic comedy may not seem much different than the the hundreds of other ones floating around out there, but give it a chance and you’ll find that it does not pander to the audience but genuinely wants to tell a good story. There is also real chemistry between the two leads, which never hurts. The reason this is a safer choice for men is because the movie is not told just from the woman’s point of view. You get an equal amount of time with the male lead, and he is not played up to be God’s Gift to Women. While Clooney’s character certainly has his quirks, he is but an ordinary man trying to do right by his child in his own unique style. While men might incur a few jabs from their friends for daring to watch such a movie, they will more than likely not take those jabs sitting down and will ultimately rise to defend the movie.
3. Psycho: While not considered a true "horror" film by many (It’s more of a psychological thriller), it is certainly a film filled with horrific moments and is often credited for pioneering the slasher genre. This is a good choice for women because, for the first half of the film, we follow Marion Crane very closely. The interesting choices she makes will ignite the imagination of any viewer as they will often put themselves in Marion’s place and try to imagine how they would act given the same set of circumstances. While her character was very sexualized for the time period, she will come off looking tame compared to most of the fodder in modern horror films and should not be seen as much of a distraction to the male viewer.
4. The American President: Michael Douglas plays a recently widowed President who meets and falls in love with a political strategist played by Annette Bening. This may seem like an odd choice, but if you were willing to trust me with One Fine Day, then you should definitely trust me with this one. Women will be drawn to the unusual circumstances of the love story while the men will be distracted by the politics of the piece. Again, our two leads have very nice chemistry, and each of them are fleshed out characters that the audience comes to care about because we are allowed the opportunity to get to know them. The movie does not waste its time winking at the audience or talking down to them, but rather is confident in the story it wants to tell. While most romantic comedies have a good mix of drama and laughter, this one does not feel like it’s routinely going through the motions. The story of two people trying to make their relationship work is certainly not a new one. But the idea of it happening to the President of the United States brings fresh obstacles and unique solutions to the forefront and sets it apart from it’s rom-com brethren.
What flicks do YOU like to watch with your significant other?
Greg McIver currently resides in New York City. He is a lover of film ranging from the classic to the contemporary. You can check out his other movie reviews and articles on film at www.nerdtopiacast.com.