Date Ideas

Watch Michael Fassbender Be the Best, Worst Lover: 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 Counselor

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What It Is: A brooding thriller from author Cormac McCarthy, starring Michael Fassbender as an in-over-his-head lawyer, Brad Pitt as a smooth talking swindler, and Cameron Diaz as a bombshell who has sex with a car. Seriously.

It may not make a lick of sense — an outing will surely culminate in discussions of “what the hell was that about?!?” — but it’s a movie that provokes in hot and heavy fashion.

How It Shapes the Date:
The Counselor looks like a star-studded thriller, but really it’s a dense, methodical, not-all-that-sensical portrait of people scraping along at the bottom of the moral barrel. The movie is light on plot and heavy on mood — sexy, tense, and occasionally creepy. The movie opens with an erotic scene of Fassbender and Penélope Cruz intertwining under white sheets. Later, as previously mentioned, Diaz spread eagles and has her way with a convertible. As characters die off in moments of extreme violence, it becomes clear that The Counselor is out to add a bit of kink to the mainstream. It may not make a lick of sense — an outing will surely culminate in discussions of “what the hell was that about?!?” — but it’s a movie that provokes in hot and heavy fashion. What could be an icky first date would be a perfect….

Make It: Fourth date. All relationships need a little kick from risk.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

A DOG NAMED SUKI

What It Is: The spin-off of the long-running stunt series that takes Johnny Knoxville’s old man character and turns him into a Borat-style prankster.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is a good way to introduce your potential significant other to a side of your personality that’s rarely given an outlet.

How It Shapes the Date:
After a hit MTV show and three ridiculous, gross-out, death-defying features, you know if you’re a Jackass fan. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa isn’t more of the same — you won’t see anyone swallowing goldfish and regurgitating them back into a bowl in this movie — but it has the same spirit. Knoxville, donning elderly makeup, hits the road with a youngster and causes trouble in public places. It’s crude, it’s rude, it’s the kind of thing where you shouldn’t laugh but you can’t help it. At least, that’s how some people feel. Your date may think Jackass is the pinnacle of stupidity (hard to dispute). Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is a good way to introduce your potential significant other to a side of your personality that’s rarely given an outlet.

Make It: Third date with a “one for me, one for you” stipulation. That way, when your date is totally repulsed by the movie, it feels more like a nice favor he/she did.

Blue Is the Warmest Color

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What It Is: Clocking in at three-hours, the French-language coming-of-age film chronicles the blossoming sexuality of a high school girl through her early twenties.

This is a roller coaster ride, a movie that will peel back every one of your layers until you’re the vulnerable, emotional human being you were born to be. That’s a scary proposition for a date movie, but an intriguing one.

How It Shapes the Date:
Blue Is the Warmest Color will make you yearn for, recall being in, and potentially, fall in love. It’s a universal tale that’s presented with such verisimilitude, it’s a bit shocking. The movie follows Adele as she comes to understand her own homosexuality. She becomes infatuated with an older woman, an artsy college student named Emma. The two lose themselves to one another; dates in the park lead to nights out at clubs lead to a passionate evening of sex lead to a committed relationship lead to unexpected implosion. People call the Transformers movies “roller coaster rides.” No — this is a roller coaster ride, a movie that will peel back every one of your layers until you’re the vulnerable, emotional human being you were born to be. That’s a scary proposition for a date movie, but an intriguing one. If you think you’re in a love-at-first sight situation you’ll know by journeying on Blue Is the Warmest Color with that special someone.

Make It: Second date.

12 Years a Slave

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What It Is: The buzzy awards-contender lives up to the hype with actor Chiwetel Ejiofor delivering a courageous performance as a free black man sold back into slavery in 1841.

Unless you’re really comfortable with your date, this may not be a movie worth sharing together. 12 Years a Slave is a vicious film because it has to be.

How It Shapes the Date:
12 Years a Slave is an essential movie. You have to see it, just to empathize with a topic that’s been watered down by decades of droll textbook interpretations. Director Steve McQueen (who previously directed the sex addiction drama Shame) is unflinching in his presentation. The violence is raw, the verbalized hatred towards slaves even more piercing. The movie is relentless and powerful, the type of experience you’ll glad to have had, even when you’re curled up in a ball sobbing afterward. That’s the key here: Unless you’re really comfortable with your date, this may not be a movie worth sharing together. 12 Years a Slave is a vicious film because it has to be. If anything plan this one for a day when the two of you will go back to your respective homes or when things are far enough along that you can sensitively engage material together. Be ready and comfortable to cry.

Make It: A first or a sixth date.

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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