Date Ideas

The Selena Gomez Action Pic That Will Make You Ill: The 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:

Getaway

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What It Is: Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez are trapped in a car! In Bulgaria! And someone is making them drive into various Christmas villages! But they don’t know who!

Getaway doesn’t even bother with pornographic shots of the Shelby Mustang Super Snake. Instead, it violently mashes the senses with hyper-speed editing and Gomez’s ludicrous “badass” character.

How It Shapes the Date:
The end of August is a barren wasteland for multiplex patrons, making the date movie hunt even trickier. Take Getaway, a vehicular action thriller that would like you to think it’s cut from the Fast & Furious mold when, in reality, it’s the visual equivalent of nails on a chalk board stretched over 90 minutes. Tell your hot rod-obsessed other that Getaway doesn’t even bother with pornographic shots of the Shelby Mustang Super Snake. Instead, it violently mashes the senses with hyper-speed editing and Gomez’s ludicrous “badass” character. In fact, the jagged style of Getaway may induce actual motion sickness. “How about we… clean vomit off each other’s shirts?”

Make It: Don’t.

I Declare War

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What It Is: Apocalypse Now by way of afternoons spent playing capture the flag as a kid. A band of tweens come of age while gunning people down with imaginary firearms and paint-filled balloon grenades.

Instead of forcing nostalgia down our throats, it transports us back to an era of innocence. It’s a wonderful feeling — and one to be shared.

How It Shapes the Date:
Childhood is one of the few universal topics. We all grew up, we all entertained ourselves in whatever conditions life served ourselves. Early days of playing, imagining, and observing connect us all. A “war movie” starring a scruffy cast of 5th graders may sound suited for your 5th grade cousin, butt I Declare War taps into that shared experience in hopes of recalling a viewer’s own memories. Instead of forcing nostalgia down our throats, it transports us back to an era of innocence. It’s a wonderful feeling — and one to be shared. When the kid soliders aren’t running for their lives (“dying” means spending the afternoon on the sidelines), they’re relating to one another. There’s palling around, hints of young love, and a lot of awkward rage moments. If you don’t have a scrapbook of childhood photos to flip through with a date, I Declare War offers an alternative.

Make It: A third date. It’s time to share a few stories from the days before you were you.

Afternoon Delight

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What It Is: Kathryn Hahn (Parks & Recreation) plays a L.A. woman hitting a slump in her marriage. To spice things up, she recruits a stripper (Juno Temple) to teach her the ways of a carefree life. We’ve all been there.

Seeing normal people having imperfect sex on screen winds up being refreshing. It’s just that the bleak introduction may not do your date any favors.

How It Shapes the Date:
Afternoon Delight is one of those chuckle-worthy, nothing-to-write-home-about indie comedies that reminds you how wonderful an actor can be (Hahn) while mucking up the performance with insular points that become more and more irksome after the credits roll. Beyond the square meal of laughs, the film will inevitably lean into a date in one of two ways: Either the idea of a married couple whose sexless relationship and requires stripper interference to light it afire will suck all the physical attraction out of the night or the couple’s discoveries will set the mood for the rest of the night. Seeing normal people having imperfect sex on screen winds up being refreshing. It’s just that the bleak introduction may not do your date any favors.

Make It: An early evening date, but for long-termers only.

My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

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What It Is: A filmed performance of comedian Mike Birbiglia’s one-man show. A bit more theatrical than a stand-up show, not quite a full-fledged “movie.” The theatrical pickings are so slim — and this show is so good — that this Netflix exclusive is worth staying in for.

Any potentially awkward moments for your date will be swept under the rug with Birbiglia’s humorous execution. By the end, you’ll have your relationship completely figured out.

How It Shapes the Date:
Birbiglia is a brave, graceful, and hilarious storyteller. My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend was born from a troubling moment in his life: After loosely dating a woman for months, he realizes that there’s another man in her life. The twist is that the dire situation might be his own fault. Birbiglia attacks relationships and love from every side, and even when it questions the need for monogamous relationships, the long-form monologue is hopeful for true romance. Any potentially awkward moments for your date will be swept under the rug with Birbiglia’s humorous execution. By the end, you’ll have your relationship completely figured out.

Make It: A tenth date, when going out feels a bit more casual, but no less serious.

Matt Patches is a writer and reporter living in New York City. His work has been featured on New York Magazine’s Vulture, Film.com, Hollywood.com, MTV, and he is the host of the pop culture podcast Operation Kino. He continues to love Groundhog Day.

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