This glut of cruddy romantic movies has prompted Jessica Grose to ask a puzzler over at Slate: what is the worst date movie of all time? Her vote is for the Julia Roberts/Clive Owen/Natalie Portman/Jude Law film Closer.
Back in the early days of courting the Official Blog Wife, we were spending a lovely, romantic vacation weekend together. This was the kind of trip when I was able to forget about the rest of the world and focus on the inherent awesomeess of my bride-to-be. Everything about those three days was perfect -- until the very end of the third day. We were walking along a boardwalk and came upon a movie theater, which was playing a matinee of a film that I had really been wanting to see in the theater.
"Let's go see it!" I said. My future wife, still in the throes of vacation bliss, agreed.
The movie was.... Crimson Tide:
I know, I know. Unless you're into sub movies like Run Silent, Run Deep, Das Boot, or The Hunt For Red October -- and, as an IR film geek, I am so into these movies -- this genre is likely the absolute worst date movie you can take a date. A lesson I learned the hard way fifteen years ago. To this day, when I see Crimson Tide on cable, I feel a little shiver run down my spine. I'll still watch it, of course -- but shivering. When the wife and I are flipping channels and we see it on cable together, she emits a noise that no English word can precisely capture. I'm sure there's a long German word that fits the bill -- something that combines derision and dread, but still leavened with a bit of tenderness.
My dear readers, if you are so lucky as to find a soulmate that shares an enthusiasm for a particular movie genre -- zombies, for example -- then enjoy that shared interest to the hilt on a date movie. Otherwise, do the right thing and go rent The Philadelphia Story.
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.