by: Our Staff
If you’re just tuning in, the staff of In Our Words had so many replies to our open question about the worst dates they’ve ever been on that they all didn’t fit in one day. Yesterday, we learned why there will only be blood if you don’t want nookie, why you should never bring up sharks or dead rabbits and why trying to get your mack on children’s movies is not always a good idea. Today, we will learn why Lars Von Trier is the biggest cockblock of all time.
Hey, you know what’s (not) a great idea? Make me late for a movie I want to see on a date. A quirky indie comedy at that, my movie theater bread and butter.
You know what will be a great follow up? Take me instead to see Machete, a movie that, among all its flaws, is directed by Robert Rodriguez. It also has Lindsay Lohan in it. I don’t watch LiLo movies that are not The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, or Mean Girls. I go with the gay staples and tap out. I want to remember a pre-Wilmer Valderrama Lindsay.
Want to be sure to seal the deal? Laugh maniacally whenever someone is killed in the movie. We’re talking ear drum busting, tear-streaming, making others around us uncomfortable laughter. The kind that makes me wonder if you are going to try to chop off my hands at the end of the night. Yeah. That’s the way to this guy’s bad movie date list, for sure.
Any movie that is basically a mirror of your situation with your romantic partner is generally not awesome. Super fucking awkward is what it is.
This was proven true when my first real lesbian girlfriend and I watched Kissing Jessica Stein on my dorm room couch. For those of you unfamiliar, KJS is about a “straight” woman who decides to give dating women a try with the confidently bisexual Helen, but is really wishy washy about it. And there are scenes of her saying “straight girl” things to Helen, oblivious to the fact that they are super offensive (like how vaginas are “gross,” for example).
And, my GF and I may or may not have had some of those exact awkward moments when I was equally if not more so offensive than Jessica Stein was to Helen. “Oh, wow, this is, um, sort of like you and me, huh?” I nervously laughed, “Funny.” My sweet, patient GF shot me a look. Not so funny, actually. Whoops.
I’m horrible at determining whether I’m on a date or not, mostly because in most of my experiences, the word “date” is never said. It took me a long time to figure out that “do you want to get coffee?” or “do you want to come over and watch a movie with me?” strongly implies date.
In one situation, a guy suggested the movie scenario. He came over and we went through my DVD collection. I don’t know what is stranger: the fact that I had a copy of Fatal Attraction or the fact that I suggested that we watch it since it’s a classic. He had never seen it and didn’t even know what it was about, so it seemed like a good choice.
It wasn’t until after the movie was over that I realized how uncomfortable he was. His hands were tucked under his legs and he couldn’t make eye contact with me. That’s when I realized it was a date. To try to lighten up the mood I teased, “You play fair with me, I’ll play fair with you.” He looked at me with confusion (or maybe it was alarm). I didn’t think he got the movie reference so I tried again: “I’m not going to be ignored.” Another one of my problems is that sometimes I think I’m being hysterical when really I’m just being awkward. So I didn’t notice that he was slowly inching away from me on the couch or that his laughter wasn’t authentic but nervous. And because I didn’t notice, I said, “You don’t happen to have a pet rabbit do you?”
Needless to say, I didn’t hear from the boy after the Fatal Attraction incident.
When you are a horror-gore-goth kind of stud, it is always exciting to meet ladies who share a similar obsession for grotesque film. This, however, does not mean that it is always a good idea to invite said ladies out to a movie date simply because no one else wants to go with you. For the same reasons that your obsession for bikram yoga or for cleaning your bathroom are generally not great reasons to pencil in your sweetie, hyped physiological horror films are also not.
A few years back, I went on a date with a girl to see Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist (the title should have been my first red flag for lack of sexiness factor). She loved horror flicks just as much as I did and we thought nothing of it. The movie was released in October, so the obvious Halloween theme seemed kind of adorable. WRONG. It was not bobbing for apples in witches hats: it was 108 minutes of extreme awkward. It was so bad that I actually felt like I was reliving watching Y Tu Mama Tambien with my parents. Seeing Willem De Foe’s asschecks while he’s trying to have sex with a tree is pretty much the epitome of unsexy.
Don’t give in (like I did) because the poster looks wicked. Play it safe and go see a movie where Ryan Gossling takes his shirt off (this is likely to make everyone feel sexy). Just like a good outfit, assess the occasion and always overshoot. Do not give in because the options feel slim. There are always other outfits, there are always other dates, there are always films without Willem Dafoe naked.
Sometimes, it’s just better to keep your mouth shut.
I was out on a third date with a guy who seemed hell bent on one-upping me in the “most disturbing film witnessed” category. For the record, his was Elephant, so I already knew I could wipe the floor with him, but I thought I was playing it “safe” when I described general nutjob Lars von Trier’s Antichrist, the details of which he didn’t fully believe.
By my third “I’m telling the truth!”, we were at his place and to say I was thinking about Antichrist by the time we were inside would be a (dirty) lie plus be incredibly creepy.
Skip ahead to browsing the Netflix queue and guess what’s been added to the Instant Watch library? I tried to sell Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, as I believe fast dialogue will put anyone in the mood, but he was set on sitting through Antichrist. Needless to say, seeing an extreme close-up of Charlotte Gainsbourg cutting off her own clitoris kinda killed the atmosphere, and we both sank into a very disturbed sleep, plagued with nightmares about forests and Willem Dafoe’s (fake) penis.
Next time, I’ll just say the most disturbing movie I’ve ever seen was Secretariat.
I haven’t had any problems with movies on dates. I will put up with all kinds of awkward groping if you bought me a ticket to a good movie, as long as you let me watch the damn thing.
Art museums, though, I will no longer step foot in with anyone I’m even thinking about dating. I’ve had no less than three burgeoning relationships die horrible, awkward deaths after I said, “Hey, there’s this cool exhibit I want to go see!” One was a lot of Impressionist nudes, which was a very sexy exhibit, and then I realized I wanted to go home and make out with anyone except the guy I was with.
Later, I took a guy to an exhibit of flamboyant men’s fashion, and had to fake my period later to make him leave my house because I couldn’t figure out a better way to tell him the thought of sex with him suddenly disgusted me. Finally, I took a guy I’d been dating a few weeks to an exhibit of Charles Schulz’s love letters (I know, right?). He chose not to go home with me that night, and I had to dump him a week or two later for being way too boring.
Never take a date to see art, guys. It will ruin everything.
While watching Dear Zachary (a film I knew nothing about going in), I had to shut the movie off to go sob in the bathroom while my boyfriends stared at each other awkwardly. This was close to the hardest I’ve cried at anything ever, and when I emerged from the bathroom (fifteen minutes later!), my face was completely swollen. I barely spoke for the rest of the night.
This story is not that story. This was actually worse.
Here goes nothing.
My worst date movie actually wasn’t a movie I technically went on a date to. My friend, Shawn, and I were once the third and fourth wheel on a date with my friends Alex and Anum. They were in my Arabic class and finally decided to go out on a date after months of obtusely flirting with each other and pissing everyone around them off with their inability to just fucking make out already. Because I’m everyone’s mother and wanted to help them encourage them to get on each other’s junk, I decided to chaperone their sure-to-be-awkward first date and even suggested a movie for it: Funny Games.
I’m a big fan of the director, Michael Haneke, and I loved both Cache and The Piano Teacher; neither of these are great date movies and should have been GIANT red flags, but the only movie theatre in walking distance of our university was the Esquire Theatre, and Funny Games was the only viable option playing at the time. It was this or Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (which I’d actually already seen).
Some of the reviews for the film were this-movie-will-pop-out-of-the-screen-and-attack-you terrible, and A.O. Scott’s write-up is still the most damning account of a film I’d ever read. I’d also heard that a lot of people walked out of the film at Cannes, one critic threw up and another cried. But I figured: Come on, guys, it’s just a movie! How bad could it be? The Human Centipede had not been released yet, and I was young, naive and, apparently, ready to have my innocence skull-fucked.
After the movie was over, I walked out of the theatre in an angry stupor, hands in my pockets, refusing to speak to anyone. When we exited the Esquire and emerged into the daylight, the too-bright sun broke through my silence, and I spontaneously started to cry on the sidewalk. I was so pissed off at the things that Michael Haneke had put me through and all of the images I could never unsee, that all I could do was sit on the ground and weep into my hands while my likewise shellshocked friends stared at me.
And when I got home, I shared this experience with my boyfriend, who refused to believe that the movie could be that bad and badgered me about it incessantly. By his logic, because Haneke had meant the film to be a chore to sit through and wanted to get such a reaction out of the audience, that meant he had succeeded and the film was good, right? Right? The sane response to this would be to hear him out and tell him why he was wrong, but that was not my reply. Instead, I immediately started crying and ran into our bedroom.
He saw it shortly after and, of course, loved it (partially out of spite); he tried to get me to discuss it with him, insisting that we talk about it, damn the emotional costs. I didn’t want to talk about it. All I wanted to do was forget. Any time he would bring it up, I would immediately start screaming something along the lines of, “Stop it! Stop it! PLEASE STOP!” or cover my ears and yell, “La-la-la-la! I can’t hear you!” (This is, obviously, how adults discuss things.) The situation got so bad that these arguments actually caused real damage to our relationship, and I sometimes would shut down and refuse to speak to him entirely for continuing to bring up that film. Motherfucker knew what he did.
We broke up about seven months later, for very different reasons, and remained friends after the split; however, we still can’t talk about that movie. That movie came up in conversation the other day, and I threw him my best Charlize Theron in Young Adult evil stare. I might not have the ability to put him on the couch these days, but I know where he sleeps. I can make him pay.