Date Ideas

There Will Be Blood Pumping: 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:

Gravity

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What It Is: A race-against-time adventure set in the vacuum of space. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are in it, but this is a movie about the spectacle enveloping them. Computer graphics recreate the outer orbit of Earth and the destructive possibilities of a NASA mission gone wrong all to thrilling results.

It’ll take a few hours for the adrenaline kick to wear down. Take advantage.

How It Shapes the Date:
Action movies love to describe themselves as roller coaster rides, but Gravity owns the label and then some. For those with a fear of heights, this movie may induce actual vertigo. Director Alfonso Cuarón finds ways to marvel at the planet from the vantage point of innerspace while staging sequences that send the heart racing double time. If you’re date can handle a truly visceral experience, then make an outing to Gravity a priority, and try to find the biggest IMAX screen in your area. It’ll take a few hours for the adrenaline kick to wear down. Take advantage.

Make It: Second date where you’ll get to comfort each other when it’s over.

Runner Runner

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What It Is: Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck star in a organized crime thriller set in the not-so-thrilling world of online gambling.

It takes place in tropical Costa Rica, gives Timberlake and costar Gemma Arterton a few sexy moments, and yet there’s zero heat here. A quick way to stamp out your date’s fire.

How It Shapes the Date:
Runner Runner is hard to resist. Timberlake and Affleck are two of the most universally adored stars working today, the objects of girlcrushing and mancrushing alike. Paired together in a rather mundane setup — Timberlake’s an ambitious brainiac and Affleck is the gambling ringleader ready to offer him the world — strips them of all likability. It doesn’t matter how many times you listened to The 20/20 Experience or how stoked you are to see Affleck play Batman in two years, Runner Runner is simply a bore. It takes place in tropical Costa Rica, gives Timberlake and costar Gemma Arterton a few sexy moments, and yet there’s zero heat here. A quick way to stamp out your date’s fire.

Make It: A fifth date on the off-chance you’re in Vegas and need to kill two hours. You’ll pick up a few poker tips before getting back to the good stuff.

A.C.O.D.

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What It Is: A dysfunctional family comedy starring lovable Adam Scott from Parks & Recreation and a bunch of other funny people. A.C.O.D. stands for “Adult Child of Divorce” which many of us can relate to.

A.C.O.D. should leave everyone who sees it wanting a piece of that smiley, tweed-wearing dude in their lives.

How It Shapes the Date:
Hey, nice guys! Your moment is now! Little happens in this indie comedy, which is mostly an excuse to watch Scott riff with comedy elite rather than construct an emotionally fulfilling examination of divorce’s ripple effect. But Scott is a ball of charm from beginning to end, playing the down-on-his-luck regular Joe who learns to live a little. For those who think nice guys lack the potential to be interesting boyfriends or nice guys in need of a motivational pep talk, A.C.O.D. should leave everyone who sees it wanting a piece of that smiley, tweed-wearing dude in their lives.

Make It: First date.

Rush 

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What It Is: A drama revolving around the 1976 Formula One rivalry between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl).

The movie boils down to that instinctual need for… well, a rush. Leaving a date movie feeling adventurous is never a bad thing.

How It Shapes the Date:
An interest in racing is not required to enjoy this high-octane, cinematic experience. All one needs is a willingness to lose themselves to the exhilarating sensation of speed. Easy, right? Like Gravity, Rush puts us in the driver’s seat in order to convince us there’s a reason why anyone in their right mind would compete in Formula 1 — a sport that’s killed off many talented people. Hemsworth and Brühl are two Oscar-worthy hunks (and for fans of hunks, Hemsworth makes a few nude appearances) who make the talkier parts of the movie worth watching, with the latter making good on one of the more romantic bits of courtship we’ll see this year. But the movie boils down to that instinctual need for… well, a rush. Leaving a date movie feeling adventurous is never a bad thing.

Make It: A third date, with a higher priority for people who do like racing.

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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