Skip’s Quips: Does a Date Movie Have to Be a Rom Com?

Admit it: You’d rather spontaneously combust than watch Monster-in-Law again.

I sure would. I’d even throw in a bit of melting à la The Wizard of Oz‘s Wicked Witch of the West if that 2005 Jennifer Lopez/Jane Fonda opus could pass me by once more.

Why flicks like these are regarded as date movies I’ll never know. My theory is it’s the Meet the Fockers recipe: add some big-name stars who aren’t afraid to get embarrassed, mix in a flimsy script laden with crude jokes, fry it up alongside some uninspired direction and serve with a side of cynicism–the idea that folks will find it suitable for significant-other viewing. Because, of course, it doesn’t have any huge CGI battle scenes, orcs or parsec-swooping spaceships in it.

Frankly, I’d rather take a date to see Kagemusha. Oh, wait–I already did that.

Maybe that’s what’s really missing from our moviegoing patterns. We’re prescribed a diet of genres that purport to be appropriate for various ailments–a need for romance, a need for comedy. But isn’t it better to see a movie just because it’s really good? Is it an illusion to think that you want light comedy on a date? Perhaps you’d be better off with Alexander Nevsky…if the alternative is Fockers/in-Law.

I believe quality trumps type–that no matter what mood you’re in, a great film will make you feel better. And a bad one will make you feel worse.

Which is not to say that your date will always be a success after a viewing of Kagemusha. But you might win out on originality. Chalk that one up for the cinephiles.

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