To me, a “date night” movie is a movie that stimulates conversation, because if it doesn’t, the post-movie part of the date will suffer terribly.
So, a date night movie doesn’t have to be a great movie, or even a good movie – it just needs to give you something to talk about – something more than what you would have talked about if you had stayed home and watched t.v. – i.e., wtf was Buzz Aldrin doing on Dancing with the Stars except copping a cheap feel of a young girl’s ass before he dies, wtf is Tiger Woods thinking with those horrifically uncomfortable new Nike commercials with his dead father’s hypocritical diatribe on wtf was he thinking, because he’s certainly not thinking about selling sneakers, or applauding wildly as Donovan holds up a Redskins uniform – see ya!
Talking points, that’s a good date night movie, that are worth around $10 a topic.
So, for instance, if on date night, you see Shutter Island, which wasn’t such a great movie, or even a good movie but had a lot of talking points, the conversation after the movie will go like this:
“So was he or wasn’t he?”
“He was.” (Then you get to talk about the plot, which was pretty convoluted, and I don’t want to spoil anything – you can fill in the conversation)
Later – “What was Scorsese thinking?”
“Well, the movie looked fantastic – it definitely had the 1950’s film noir feel.”
“All it needed was Jon Hamm.” (Then you can talk about the costumes, the cinematography, and the incredible amount of smoking that went on in the movie.)
You get the idea – all of the above is springboard to further conversation – what was the plot about, Scorsese, Mad Men, etc, and, importantly, this is conversation that doesn’t make you feel bad about your life, your body, your attitude, your reading habits — fine, I’m happy I got off the couch, spent my $10 bucks, and cheated on my diet eating popcorn and milk duds.
But Date Night, the movie? Here’s the conversation:
“I still hate Steve Carrell.”
“Ok – just say it!”
“His abs . . .”
“Ok, ok – he’s got abs . . .”
That’s all there is to talk about – Mark Wahlberg’s abs – and then you feel bad you got off the couch, bad you ate the popcorn, bad you ate the milk duds, and stupid for plunking down $10 bucks to see Tina Fey and Steve Carrell do something unthinkable with a stripper pole, complain about their ordinary lives that resemble your own ordinary life, and come to the conclusion, gosh there’s no place like home, and we’ve got to stop wasting our time trying to be the intellectuals that we’re not reading books about young girls in the Sudan getting their periods in the desert.
I hate to be negative about Tina, but this movie just wasn’t good. There’s just so much you can say about Mark Wahlberg’s abs, and then that’s it – go home, watch the dvr’d 30 Rock from last week. I guess it’s a renter, but then, you’d watch it at home, where you were probably going back and forth to the fridge during the entire movie instead of being confined to what you bought at the concession stand, and then you’re really going to feel bad about Mark Wahlberg’s abs.
In other news – my brother has joined the bloggedy — if you hate Chris Wheeler, are leading the band leading Donovan out of town, or need a wedding band any time in your future, give him a look see at Howard of Mainline Affair.