Date Ideas

Wine Lovers, This Is Your Moment: 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:

The Family

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What It Is: Goodfellas and Godfather Part II actor Robert De Niro returns to the mafia crime genre courtesy of the man behind The Fifth Element. The twist: It’s funny! Or it’s supposed to be.

If your date is movie buff, this love letter to old school cinema may tickle their fancy.

How It Shapes the Date:
There’s little date fodder packed into this bizarre comedy. It has a lot of heart, with De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Glee’s Dianna Agron comfortably playing family and bemoaning life in witness protection (they hide out in the quaint town of Normandy, France). It also has lots of hearts being spilled on the floor, courtesy of vengeful mobsters. If your date is movie buff, this love letter to old school cinema may tickle their fancy. Otherwise, don’t expect much in the way of laughs or thrills. Even the romance is sidelined — there’s a plot where Agron (stunning) takes solace in the warm embrace of her math tutor (French hunk) and they “get it on.” Why this isn’t the focus of the movie is beyond me.

Make It: A third date that involves a fancy French meal and gallons of wine. Thematic!

Insidious Chapter 2

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What It Is: The sequel to the 2010 was created in a laboratory and designed to make you jump. Ghosts, demons, and screeching violins are just the beginning of this supernatural nightmare.

Jump scares can translate to jump-into-my-arm scares. Totally acceptable movie theater PDA.

How It Shapes the Date:
The original Insidious was a solid reinvention of the haunted house genre. Insidious Chapter 2 is what happens when you load every horror movie convention into a shotgun and blast it at the drawing board. This time, the run-around-in-terror format has been elaborated upon. Now there’s a scary serial killer, zombie brides, alternate dimensions, and other wacky, incredibly loud twists and turns. It’s mostly unenjoyable, unless there’s reason to believe a frightening flick can drive you and your date together. Jump scares can translate to jump-into-my-arm scares. Totally acceptable movie theater PDA.

Make It: A second date.

And While We Were Here

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What It Is: A romantic drama set on the island of Ischia, quite possibly one of the most stunning places on Earth. Adding Kate Bosworth and UK heartthrob Jamie Blackley to the mix is beauty overload.

It may not be exactly like hooking up alongside the Gulf of Naples’ crashing waves, but almost.

How It Shapes the Date:
Not much happens in this low key excuse to watch two people kissing against the Italian coast. That might be OK. There’s dangerous date material packed into And While We Were Here — Bosworth’s character is unhappy with her marriage, feeling stuck with a husband who doesn’t stoke her intellectual flames. She meets young hotness Blackley while sightseeing and before long, they’re sensually making out in warmly lit alleyways. Maybe she’s making bad decisions, maybe we feel kinda sorta bad for her husband. But maybe we also need a reminder that the 30+ crowd is perfectly capable of unleashing passion in the sexiest manner possible. If the affair aspect of And While We Were Here doesn’t scare you off, the slow pacing and meandering plot do find a Last Tango in Paris-esque erotic drama groove that could pave the way for your own night to remember. It may not be exactly like hooking up alongside the Gulf of Naples’ crashing waves, but almost.

Make It: Whichever date you know will end with both of you heading back to one place.

Red Obsessions

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What It Is: A fascinating documentary on France’s famous Bordeaux region, the escalatinc marketplace for wine, and why China is the reason certain bottles are now going for nearly $20,000 a pop. Sound a little dry? Wait for the aftertaste.

When you and your other inevitably wander off to snag a bottle of inexpensive Malbec, the ripple effect of Red Obsession will make it taste like the finest vino you’ve ever had. Seriously.

How It Shapes the Date:
Red Obsession may be the perfect date movie. It’s educational, thought-provoking, elegantly narrated by Russell Crowe, and involves wine. So much wine (and the pricey stuff). The documentary focuses on Château Lafite, a favorite of Chinese billionaires. They’re rabid for the stuff, scouring the globe for cases to hoard in their cellars. The film’s wine discussion hits every interest, from the obvious taster perspective to the economic influences of wine trade to the wild human stories of collectors. By the end, when you and your other inevitably wander off to snag a bottle of inexpensive Malbec, the ripple effect of Red Obsession will make it taste like the finest vino you’ve ever had. Seriously.

Make It: A first date. The film is available in select theaters and “on demand.” So make it a night out or in.

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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