As University students settle into their languid class routine, and as the thick, swampy humidity makes the conversion to brutal cold, social outings begin to change. After Fall Rush ends and beer money dwindles, students look to the comfort of a motion picture theater to enjoy the excitement of the big screen, or choose to spend their evenings nestled in front of that holy blue glow of the television. Since autumn is second only to spring in the hierarchy of romantic seasons, one may wish to go to a moving-picture with a partner of interest. In our self-consuming desire to save the common man from the hell that is a bad date, here are some films to avoid like the plague if you want your relationship to last past the first evening.
10. Quills It”s not that the acting isn”t excellent, or that there are any problems with the plot, lighting or set design, but it”s just that as you prepare to make the old yawn move (don”t you dare deny that you”ve tried it), the last thing you want to see is a tongue-less Marquis de Sade writing his last and supposedly greatest work on the walls of a sanitarium with his own feces. Oh, and the sight of Joaquim Phoenix having sex with a dead woman won”t score you any points either. However, if you and your partner are for some reason excited by this type of action, maybe you should check it out, and don”t ever call us. Ever. In fact, stop reading this list right now. We don”t want to give you any ideas
9. Fear Yeah, good going, playa, a movie with “Marky Mark,” you can both enjoy this, right? Good call, jackass. He”s a man”s man, but the ladies love him, too. And nothing gets a little lovin” initiated quite like that scene on the roller coaster, which we can”t mention in polite company. But really, his only problems are an unhealthy obsession with his girlfriend, carving her name into his chest and killing her family. These aren”t exactly the images you want burned into your and your girlfriend”s minds on one of your first encounters. The right girl may just get up and leave, and the wrong one may ask why you don”t do anything romantic like that.
8. Swingers Guys, this is for you. Don”t get us wrong. This is a fun, clever and insightful movie, and between us we have probably seen it more times than is healthy for a human being, but for the most part, girls just don”t like it. While the guy is chortling to himself over Mike”s botched phone messages, calling out Trent”s lines, “Like fuckin” House of Pain was gonna do anything?” or constantly using the “money” and “beautiful babies” catch phrases, the girl is probably politely paying attention while privately wondering when it”ll be over and why her date is so easily amused. Choosing this movie for a date rental is the guy equivalent of a girl choosing “Chocolat,” which reminds us
7. Chocolat Girls, in the immortal words of Jane Austen, this movie sucks my ass. This trite garbage is exactly what”s wrong with cinema: Schmaltzy, overproduced dramatic scenes. Acting from the school of Quivering Lip. A plot so inane that it makes “The Cutting Edge” look like “The Philadelphia Story.” And yeah, we know that everyone likes Johnny Depp with blond hair and an Irish accent, but when he delivers lines like “I”ll come over and take the squeak out of your door for you” with that smarmy little look on his face, we want to claw our eardrums and beat Harvey Weinstein to death with them.
6. The Wizard Fred Savage, the poor man”s Sean Astin, stars in this one hundred-minute Nintendo commercial for “Super Mario Brothers 3,” (which rules, by the way). This film also features heavyweight actors like Christian Slater. Actually, originally we weren”t sure why this was on this list we just thought it was funny to include it for the obscurity factor. But when you think about it, any girl watching this movie is going to spend the whole time wondering what she”s doing with this 12-year-old in a man”s body who can”t keep from drooling when he sees the Power Glove (which also rules). Nostalgia”s a bitch.
5. Schindler”s List This Spielberg classic is one of the most brilliant and devestating films about one of the most horrifying chapters of world history, and everyone should see it at some point to gain a full understanding of these tragic events. However, seeing it with your date is about as appropriate as reading the “Kama Sutra” with your grandmother. Any three-hour movie about theolocaust is sure to be a mood-killer after your night at Joe”s Crab Shack, so if you foolishly decide to ignore our sage-like advice and decide to view this masterpiece in the company of your new significant other, leave your game at home, fellas.
4. (Tie) I Spit on Your Grave/Last House on the Left Films in the rape-revenge sub-genre as a whole don”t usually make for a cozy evening at home. Usually we”re all for innovation in cinema, and these films play with gender roles as the women take control away from the men in their lives. The positive messages involving women”s liberation and power are overshadowed by the several scenes involving male genitalia being severed. Bad for the girls, worse for the guys. Add poor production value and lots of blood, and watch even the most seasoned Casanova end up “having a headache.”
3. Left Behind: The Movie Another sub-genre that is generally full of atrocious date movies is the Book of Revelation “save your soul from the Apocalypse” films that have recently peppered the market. This Kirk Cameron vehicle is a fun-filled ride chock full of guilt, damnation and proselytizing. Just what you want when you”re trying to put the moves on your date: Religious guilt. Although the title and subject lend themselves to good pic-up lines, e.g. I”ve got a Revelation in my pants don”t be Left Behind,” it”s not worth the suffering that is the viewing of this terrible movie.
2. Kids From the opening proclamation of “I”ve got no legs” to the end where Casper joins the viscious circle of AIDS, this flick is all of your worst nightmares come true. The antics of the characters are enough to squash any romantic sentiment. As if the thematic elements were not enough, then drinking milk from a tampon and peeing on a wall in broad daylight should peak your date”s interest. This film is brutally realistic, which has nothing what-so-ever to do with dating and romance. As far as physical derring-do, just try it after the horrific finale. Or the horrific beginning. Or pretty much everything in between. This flick is more effective than birth control pills.
1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Okay, so we know what you did during “I Know What You Did Last Summer:” You made out. Slick “horror” movies with attractive people getting relatively clean deaths are great date movies. You can ignore them completely, or allow your date to get scared right into your arms. “TCM” was revolutionary, grim and disturbing. It plays more like a documentary than an exploitation flick. The dinner table scene, in which such notables as Leatherface, the old man, Grandpa and the Hitchhiker tease a girl before they plan to devour her is not prime smoochin” material. Along with “Halloween,” “TCM” ushered in an era of grime and depravity, culminating in the first-date gems such as “Scream” and “Valentine.” Go see those this one may cut off a little more than you can chew.