I recently noticed that my wife (I’m 37, she’s 35) had missed out on a seminal 80’s movie experience. We were watching Hot Rod and there was a scene in it parodying the warehouse “I’m a frustrated big city kid in the backwoods” dance scene from Footloose. While I was commenting on how spot-on it was, my wife said she had never seen Footloose. Well, this shocked me, as I thought everyone growing up in the 80’s had seen this. I have a fondness for this movie, despite the fact that it doesn’t really stand the test of time as a good movie, mainly because of the music and the fact that this was the first movie I ever saw on a “date”. Which means that my mom drove me and a girl to the movie theater and we both saw the movie sitting next to each other in a rather uncomfortable and uncertain way all the while wondering if we had any zits showing and if we were supposed to hold hands or kiss or something.
And that started me thinking about other “date movies” I had seen that I didn’t have such a fondness for. When I was in high school and early college, every date pretty much consisted of a movie and/or dinner. Usually just the movie because of lack of funds. Courtesy dictated that it was always left up to the girl to decide which movie to go see. And it seems like whether it was just a girl and I or a group of guys and girls going out that there was always one movie that we went to see over and over again. This is how I ended up seeing Dirty Dancing and Ghost about a dozen times a piece. Now, both of these movies whip the ever-loving crap out of me. So every time we watched it, I would sit there bored out of my skull, wondering if I should try to hold hands with the girl, put my arm around her or if there would be enough time to drive somewhere and make out before I had to take her home. After watching these movies so many times I developed an intense, white-hot hatred towards Patrick Swayze that was only slightly mollified by his SNL skit with Chris Farley. The other movie I saw a dozen times was When Harry Met Sally. This movie wasn’t as bad because you had the over-sexed cad played by Billy Crystal; and as an 18 year-old I felt that if someone as homely as Billy Crystal could be over-sexed, there was surely a high probability that I could, at some point, be over-sexed or at least adequately-sexed as well. You also had Meg Ryan, when she was still really hot, faking an orgasm…how can you go wrong with that.
And this brings me to the worst date movie ever. My wife and I went on a double date for our first date and for the first part of the date the girls decided the agenda. We went to a fondue restaurant called the Melting Pot. I was immediately skeptical when I was told about this, as the whole fondue concept, despite the yummy melted cheese and chocolate, has always seemed a bit gay to me. But, it turns out, the fondue restaurant is actually a really good first date idea, as long as you and your date click, as it provides about three hours worth of time in which to converse and get to know one another. On the flip side I guess if you found that you really hated the person you were with early on, it could be a veritable hell (plus, you usually drop around $100, which wouldn’t ease the pain). Anyway, everything was going well, we really seemed to have a lot in common and the conversation was very easy-going and natural. On the way home someone suggested we go see a movie before ending the evening. So we pull up to the theater and check the listings. Although none of us was really sure what the movie was about, every one agreed on the movie based on the fact that that someone had heard it was directed by the same guy that did Seven and so it would probably be a cool scary movie. The movie I refer to is of course 8mm, a movie about a PI that is hired to investigate the main character in a snuff film and spends the rest of the movie in a maddening, sickening descent into the world of hardcore, child and underground pornography. Basically, no one looked at each other or spoke on the way home but I somehow finagled a second date with my wife and the rest is history.
I have to mention that I have a friend that claims that there is a worse first date movie. He took his wife, a nice Baptist girl from a town in Oklahoma with a population of 500, to see The Accused for their first date. I imagine that the mood was ruined somewhere around the fifth or sixth showing of the graphic rape scene.
I guess we can call them 1a and 1b for worst date movie