This Week in Date Movies

What Movie Should You See This Valentine’s Day?

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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:

About Last Night

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What It Is:

Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy, and Parenthood‘s Joy Bryant star in this remake of 1986 rom-com of the same name (which was based on a David Mamet play, of all things).

How It Shapes the Date:

Great romantic comedies are few and far between. Even Matthew Mcconaughey failed to deliver a truly great one (despite trying over and over and over). With a raucous sense of humor and a frank take on friendships, relationships, and sex, About Last Night nears greatness — and does so without trying too hard. The movie follows two couples: Ealy and Bryant as a pair who fall head over heels in that terrifying whirlwind known as love, with Hart and Hall as a couple that splits early on, only to continually provoke each other into bed. About Last Night might add too much pressure to a first date, but by diving into both the male and female relationship experience with humor and heart, it stands to convince any wary dater that “long-term” is not a synonym for “life-ending.” Pairing that lesson with chicken mask fetish sex (universally relatable) makes for a great time at the movies.

Make It:

A third date.

Endless Love

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What It Is:

The weekend’s second ’80s remake focuses on the blossoming young love of Jade (Gabriella Wilde), a studious post-grad desperate for connection, and David (Alex Pettyfer), the local mechanic’s son who has been dreaming of hooking up with her since middle school. When they finally do – sparks! Nicolas Sparks.

How It Shapes the Date:

OK, Endless Love isn’t an actual Sparks adaptation, but it’s the closest we’ll get to an Airplane!-style spoof movie of one. While About Last Night manages to pair comedy and schmaltz to warm and fuzzy degrees, Endless Love is an unintentional riot, where laughable lines like “ I want to feel this with you” are meant as raw declarations of love and sneaking into a zoo to smooch by the elephants is racy behavior. Couples in desperate need of serious romance could turn to Endless Love for a fill of googly-eyes, but cynics might be better off. Hit up a happy hour, arrive to the theater slightly inebriated, sit in the back so as not to disturb those lost in Jade and David’s summer fling, and laugh away the night. This is a ridiculous movie — and it’s better for it.

Make It:

A (buzzed) first date.

Winter’s Tale

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What It Is:

The only non-remake of the week is an adaptation of the 1983 fantasy novel of the same name. Set in an alternate universe version of 1916 New York City, Colin Farrell stars as a petty thief who falls in love with a TB-striken heiress (Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay) while on the run from Lucifer’s cronies, bossed by a demonized Russell Crowe. Totally weird, but not the same kind of totally weird as Endless Love.

How It Shapes the Date:

Magical realism, turn-of-the-century surroundings, and sappy romance go hand-in-hand. The idea of Winter’s Tale is quite fascinating. The execution, not so much. Instead of explaining why Satan lives in the sewers of New York City or why he wants to kill Colin Farrell or why a pegasus occasionally swoops down from the sky and comes to our hero’s rescue, the movie glosses over the necessary bedrock to drown itself in emotion. Luckily for those looking for a bit of sappy romance this Valentine’s Day, Farrell and Findlay’s chemistry goes a long way to making Winter’s Tale touching. They share fairy tale love; if the girl kisses a man, he could die from consumption. So what does Farrell do? Makes her dreams come true. In bed. It’s silly and unabashedly romantic, and if daters can make do with a few bizarre fantasy twists along the way, this one’s worth checking out.

Make It:

A fourth date, when you know if laughing at a flying horse will get you in trouble or not.

RoboCop

Joel Kinnaman

What It Is:

A remake of the sci-fi social satire tones down the damning of commercialism in favor of explosive action and a thin exploration of drone technology.

How It Shapes the Date:

Nothing says romance like watching Joel Kinnaman of The Killing don metal football padding and smash the thugs of Detroit into next Tuesday. Nothing. As if the filmmakers knew they would land on Valentine’s Day weekend, the Robocop reboot features an enhanced family plotline, a brief moment of sexy time between Kinnaman’s Murphy and his wife (Abbie Cornish) paving the way for a story of love, betrayal, and diminishing dopamine levels. Like it’s character, Robocop is an action movie cobbled together from existing parts, rehashing so much that even thrill junkies may be subdued into a stupor. If the premise sounds intriguing, daters may opt for the original (on iTunes!). If it’s wild gunplay ballet their chasing, there are video games for that.

Make It:

A sixth date if you absolutely must leave the house that day and refuse to chance a lovey dovey rom-com.