This Week in Date Movies

Build Your New Relationship Out of LEGOs: 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:

The LEGO Movie

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What It Is: 

A adventure movie extrapolated from the popular, narrative-less building blocks you used to build spaceships and castles when you were a kid.

How It Shapes the Date:

Because of its toy chest origins, The LEGO Movie can be easily mistaken for a kids movie and a cheap cash grab driven by ad wizards. It’s neither. If you grew up with an imagination, LEGO is one of the funniest movies you’ll see all year, stuffed with mature humor and laced with subversive themes (the LEGO characters exist in a world where instruction-following quickly leads to conformity). The movie is totally appropriate for children — if you have one of those and bring them along on for a babysitting date, they’ll soak up the animated comedy’s high fructose energy — but even 20somethings will feed off LEGO‘s creative spirit and mile-a-minute humor. It’s colorful, sarcastic, peachy humor, with a little plastique romance thrown in for good measure. And what better way to keep the date going then to pick up some actual LEGOs and spend a night cobbling together a 300 piece Millennium Falcon? LEGO Movie sets the mood.

Make It:

A second date with time allotted for hands-on activities.

The Monuments Men

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What It Is:

George Clooney writes, directs, and stars in a war movie throwback that tells the story of a platoon tasked with rescuing art stolen by the Nazis during World War II. To make it irresistible, Clooney recruited his famous friends, including Matt Damon, Bill Muray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, and John Goodman.

How It Shapes the Date:

If you’re a fan of “Golden Era” Hollywood — an era heir-to-the-Cary-Grant-throne Clooney wishes he could time travel back to —  then Monuments Men will be up your alley. Critics agree the movie has an old soul, down to its slow pace and lively fanfare. But reviews also admit there’s not much to the movie. As NPR puts it, “There’s lots of information, some nice images, plenty of earnest sermonizing about culture and almost no suspense, or tension, or character development, or structure. Or, well, art.” But without adult-targeted alternatives, history buffs or those looking for a fix of drama should fare well with Monuments.

Make It:

A fourth date where it might be acceptable to doze off for an hour.

The Pretty One

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What It Is:

After her twin sister is killed in a car accident, the introverted Laurel (Zoe Kazan) assumes her identity in hopes of kickstarting her life (i.e. hooking up with Jake Johnson).

How It Shapes the Date:

While it’s dressed up with a heavy dose of quirk (not only does Laurel fall in love while impersonating her dead sister, but she’s also a skilled art forger), the core of The Pretty One is a pretty standard romantic comedy. That’s not a bad thing. No amount of twee introspection can suffocate the chemistry between Kazan and Johnson, who is growing up to be one of Hollywood’s  versatile and charming leading men. Though masquerading as a dead twin is extremely screwed up and never advised, the metaphorical value fans a feel-good fire of being an individual with enough honestly to fall in love. A twisted sense of humor makes this a solid choice for any daters who become physically ill at the sight of new Katherine Heigl vehicle.

Make It:

A first date.

Vampire Academy

VAMPIRE ACADEMY

What It Is:

Cross Harry Potter with Twilight and you get Vampire Academy, the story of a 17-year-old half-human/vampire who attends a school for, um, half-human/vampires.

How It Shapes the Date:

No one knows! Traditionally, 99 percent of movies are shown before they arrive in theaters to ensure that someone is talking about it, be it critics or the general public. Not Vampire Academy, which is being kept in the shadows (not the best indicator of quality). Vampire Academy is based on yet another young adult fiction series, and if you or your date is anxious to catch the film adaptation, they’re likely obsessed with author Richelle Mead’s original tomes. That can be off-putting in an early date situation; showing off a geeky interest early in a budding relationship can come off as obsession and create distance. So if you’re thinking of dressing up as your favorite Vampire Academy character, go ahead — but leave your date at home. Or at least wait until he/she knows your other interests that don’t involve “Dhampirs”

Make It:

A 12 millionth date.