Advice

Harry Potter Loses His Virginity: This Week in Date Movies

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Picking a “date movie” isn’t as easy as scrolling through listings and finding something that suits your fancy. Don’t forget the “date” half. When the credits roll and conversation picks back up, the film is still front and center. Here’s how this weekend’s movies will twist your night, for better or worse:

Carrie

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What It Is: A remake of the teen horror classic. The movie still has a tormented girl who taps into her telekinetic side to wreak havoc on her school bullies, but now the kids mention things like “YouTube” and “Tim Tebow.”

If your date is a Stephen King aficionado — and there are many out there — taking him/her to Carrie might be a fun way to show you’re listening.

How It Shapes the Date:
The tense horror movie can have people clutching one another’s arms. A scare-filled horror movie can send dates jumping into each other’s arms. A vapid horror movie can end with “Well, that was dumb.” Which, even if it’s only relating to the movie, is the last thing you want to hear on a date. Unfortunately, Carrie fits that bill, a paint-by-numbers retelling of a movie everyone’s either already seen or heard enough about to know what’s going on. Carrie’s story is all about frustration: She’s tormented by classmates, she’s tormented by her mother, she’s tormented by her crippling social anxiety. Not a feeling anyone on a date needs to be empathizing with.  If your date is a Stephen King aficionado taking him/her to Carrie might be a fun way to show you’re listening. Otherwise, find your Halloween shocks elsewhere.

Make It: A fourth date, for fans only.

Kill Your Darlings

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What It Is: Beat Generation: The College Years. Young Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs are swept up in scandal when Ginsberg’s object of affection, Lucien Carr, stabs his ex-boyfriend.

A date to Kill Your Darlings will leave a couple dying for a a few cocktails, swinging jazz, and a bit of whatever poets do behind closed doors.

How It Shapes the Date:
There’s nothing quite as sexy as the vivacity of beat poetry — even when murder is on the table. Moving at the sound of rhythmic typewriter taps, Kill Your Darlings is a boozy, fleshy, ebullient celebration of the radical movement, and how it all got out of hand for handful of notable names. Daniel Radcliffe stars as Ginsberg, in a role that’s clearly aiming to distance the actor from his Harry Potter alter ego. While attending Columbia University, the influential poet discovered his sexuality and found a first taste of love in the form of Carr (played by the promising, young Leo DiCaprio clone, Dane DeHaan). As onlookers, Kill Your Darlings drowns us in the mood of New York in the ’40s, making it easy to see why Ginsberg was routinely drunk on the lifestyle. Though he and Carr’s relationship took a turn for the worse, a date to Kill Your Darlings will leave a couple dying for a a few cocktails, swinging jazz, and a bit of whatever poets do behind closed doors.

Make It: Second date (make bar reservations afterwards!)

All Is Lost

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What It Is: Robert Redford sails a boat. Robert Redford discovers a hole in his boat. Robert Redford finds his boat in the middle of a storm. Robert Redford is screwed.

If you’re the person who recommends it, you’ll be seen as a source of empowerment just for bringing it to a date’s attention. This wins cool points.

How It Shapes the Date:
It’s important to remind ourselves that the common man is capable of greatness. Genuine inspiration — it doesn’t matter if you can relate to its source, but the ripple effect can be so profound, anything seems possible. That’s All Is Lost in a nutshell. Very few people would voluntarily see this movie, a boiled down survival thriller with only three lines of dialogue. But if you’re the person who recommends it, you’ll be seen as a source of empowerment just for bringing it to a date’s attention. This wins cool points. Redford is astounding as the central problem solver, patching up holes, sailing into inevitable doom with courage, and sticking it out when matters get even worse. When he first jumps into action, we want to be this man. By the end, we realized we are this man. A religious movie experience.

Make It: A first date. Impress someone.

Adventures in the Sin Bin

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What It Is: One part The Apartment, one part Rushmore, and one part American Pie, Sin Bin is the coming age story of a highschooler finally done lending his van out for classmates’ hooking up.

The movie has an ear for contemporary youth culture, a wildly funny cast, and a desire to layer in authentic relationship problems on top of its madcap scenario.

How It Shapes the Date:
There are very few “teen sex comedies” worth any respectable adult’s time and even less that would make for a good date. Which makes Adventures in the Sin Bin a bit of a miracle. The movie has an ear for contemporary youth culture, a wildly funny cast (you’ve likely seen costar Bo Burnham performing his musical comedy in viral video form), and a desire to layer in authentic relationship problems on top of its madcap scenario. The main character Brian (Michael Seater) wants to learn how to have the kind of sex that women also enjoy. Very romantic! But there’s also plain ol’ shagging in a back of a van. Not the worst idea a movie can plant in your date.

Make It: A third date (the one where you finally get down and dirty).

Matt Patches is a writer and reporter living in New York City. His work has been featured on Vulture, Time Out New York, and The Hollywood Reporter. He is the host of the pop culture podcast Operation Kino.

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