As I’ve made the dating rounds over this past year, I’ve experienced a lot of negativity toward movie dates. The reasons that people hate taking their dates to the movies are endless: It’s hard to have a conversation during a movie. Movies are expensive, especially if you get snacks. It’s hard to pick a movie. Choose any excuse you like, and I’ve heard someone say it. Sure, all of these things are true, but taking your date on this time-honored tradition can actually help you figure out if they’re a good fit for you, even if you’re sitting in a dark room not talking to each other. Next time you find yourself thinking that movies are a bad date, remember these five reasons why you should be taking your date to the movies.
1. You will find out if they’re smart.
Although not all movies are thought-provoking, even the dumbest of movies can give you some insight into whether or not your date is a gallant or a goofus. What kind of movie they’re drawn to can tell you a lot, and so will their reactions to different types of humor. If you see a dramatic movie, you’ll be able to see if your date is able to relate to the characters and understand the significance of the events and personal interactions presented in the story. Afterwards, you can discuss the movie with them to see what kinds of responses and critiques they can offer. This works both ways; while you can easily see if your date is too dumb to hold your attention, you can also find out if your date is too smart for you. (My apologies to all of you Goofuses out there.)
2. You will get a feel for their sense of humor.
Obviously this is easier to accomplish if you see a comedy because then you can judge the type of comedy they choose, as well as how they react to the jokes. Do they not get a smart comedy? Are they still laughing after the fifth fart joke? Did they scoff at the jokes in a film you enjoyed because they thought the humor was too pedestrian? Familiarizing yourself with your date’s sense of humor can help you figure out if you want to spend more time with them.
You may be wondering how this figures into a non-comedy. Have no fear! If you choose a movie in another genre, the way they react to the storyline can still help you get a feel for their sense of humor. Is your date amused when the protagonist in a horror film has to kill his best friend to survive? Does your date laugh when the little girl opens her Christmas present and the family finds that her puppy has suffocated? (Why did they wrap the puppy in a box? Are they stupid?) You can easily find out if you need to “go to the bathroom” and then move before that psycho climbs into your window. Additionally, many of these movies will also feature bits of humor to lighten the load, and you can use those as your humor-test.
3. It can give you a sense of your compatibility.
At some point in time, you’re going to have to be able to chillax with the person you’re dating, especially if things turn serious. That means that you’ll need to have some common interests or the ability to compromise. Movies are a great way to test those waters because you get to see each other’s interests and figure out if there are any major hang ups. Does your date hate all of the things you love? It’s better to find out now than to get attached and later realize that Netflix and chill on a Tuesday after work is a permanent no-go.
4. You will have an instant shared experience to talk about afterwards.
Sometimes it’s hard to find something to talk about with your date, especially if you’re feeling nervous. Seeing a movie together creates an instant shared experience and provides a lot of avenues for conversation. You can analyze the plot, complain about the terrible jokes, or debate whether or not the main character was a whiny baby. No matter what movie you see and how good or bad it is, there will always be something for you to say about it.
5. You’re in a dark theater.
Bow-chica-bow-wow. Seriously, though, the lights are low, you’re sharing a snack, and maybe a hand misses the popcorn bucket and grazes a thigh. I’m just saying that it’s right there.
You can hold hands through the movie, or maybe one of you is bold enough to try that arm thing. Whatever ends up happening, you can always blame it on the darkness. Besides, you have the rest of the movie to recover from embarrassment if things go awry. This is your chance to set the stage for kiss or no kiss later in the night. (As a film programmer, I cannot advocate kissing during the movie because you should be paying attention to the screen, yo.)
Now that movies are back on the table for date night, you have no excuse to miss out on all of the great films coming to theaters. Don’t forget the snacks!