Hitting an arcade, grabbing drinks, or scouring a pumpkin patch are preferable first date ideas, but as the weather turns chilly, it’s OK to get “lazy” and suggest watching a movie at your place.
Keep your game up with a great bottle of wine, homemade pizza, a plush throw blanket, and the perfect flick.
You thought asking for their number was difficult? Choosing the wrong movie will destroy you, your rep, and any mood you hope to create. Here’s a list of the 14 absolute worst movies to watch with a date. Some may be tremendous films, but they are terrible date flicks.
The raunchy comedy franchise may be a quoter for you and old high-school friends but do not play any of these four films with a date. Cringeworthy sexual scenarios and bodily fluids are not ideal images when you are trying to woo a prospective S.O. Plus, choosing American Pie may send the signal that you’re not taking them, this, or yourself seriously.
Watch instead: Wet Hot American Summer
Requiem for a Dream
Trying to avoid a mood of debilitating sadness and bleak emptiness? Cool, then don’t watch the 2000 psychological drama Requiem for a Dream. Adapted from the Hubert Selby Jr. novel of the same name, the movie follows different characters as their lives get as dark as imaginably possible. If you know anything about Selby Jr. it’s that his work is brutal, depressing, and exhausting. Now, 100% watch this film (and read the book) because it’s a masterpiece, but please don’t do it on a date. It may be the most emotionally persuasive movie ever made, turning the vibe way way down.
Watch instead: Memento
The Lord of the Rings
We don’t care if you have Frodo figurines and a Legolas costume in your closet, keep this fantasy flick to yourself, at least during the first month of dating. It’s a major tell — not bad, but there’s more to you than speaking Elvish. Plus, at 3 hours and 48 minutes for the first film alone, it’s too damn long. Your date will be eyeing the door and wondering how to slink out politely. Keep the early date movies to a two-hour maximum.
Watch instead: The Fifth Element
Leaving Las Vegas
Nicolas Cage forever, amiright? Well, not on the first date. Leaving Las Vegas is the story of an alcoholic who goes to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. He falls in love with a hooker but still drinks himself to death. Mood or no mood?
Watch instead: Gone in 60 Seconds
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Weird flex. Very weird, not sexy, flex — especially if you’re choosing the 2005 Johnny Depp remake. Eerie, sort of sad songs haunt your living room as children explore a technicolor chocolate factory owned by an absolute psycho. There is no suiting scene to make a move.
Watch instead: Stranger Things
A Clockwork Orange
One of our favorite dystopian classics, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange is sadistic, depraved, and full of violence. Not. First. Date. Material. If it doesn’t scare away your Bumble match, I’d be concerned. Basically, the main character commits sexual violence to the song “Singing in the Rain.” You make the call.
Watch instead: Pulp Fiction
It’s a love story, right? Ryan Gosling, right? Blue Valentine is about an out-of-love married couple who keep a big, sad secret. It’s painful to watch with someone you’re interested in. One, it’s never good to add Ryan Gosling to the equation, and two, don’t start your relationship thinking of how much people can change and fall apart.
Watch instead: When Harry Met Sally
Jack and Jill
Comedy is a great go-to for a first date movie. Laughter is an aphrodisiac and lightens the mood. So why not play Jack and Jill, the 2000 comedy featuring Adam Sandler as both male and female twin leads? Sure, Adam Sandler is a funny guy, and at 1.33 hours, the movie fits our time suggestion … but out of all the comedies on this planet, if you pick this one, I hope your date never contacts you again. You don’t want mediocre, forgettable, moronic, or to be associated with diarrhea jokes. There’s a reason it has a 3% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Watch instead: The Wedding Singer
Book of Eli
True story: A buddy played this movie on a first date. After two hours of Denzel Washington wandering a post-apocalyptic wasteland where people eat each other, the date didn’t understand the big twist. Granted, some films are hard to understand (i.e. 12 Monkeys, Donnie Darko, etc.), but Book of Eli has an incredibly easy plot. So not only did this buddy and his date watch a super-non-romantic film, but he also found out immediately that it would never work out. Give your budding relationship every chance to grow by not playing this movie.
Watch instead: Mad Max
It’s too freakin’ long and the mood shift toward the end creates an uncomfortable vibe. We’d rather listen to a Queen album and drink wine on the floor than watch this with a date.
Watch instead: Listen to a record.
In fact, never watch this and your life will be happier. Even if you and your date are into horror movies, go with a vintage classic instead of this gory franchise. Seriously, this will kill any semblance of a relationship (pun intended).
Watch instead: Get Out
If Saw is on one end of the do-not-watch spectrum, the 2007 remake of Hairspray is on the other. They’re both equally prohibited. Based on the Broadway musical, it’s a little “extra” to blast Hairspray and sing along to John Travolta’s part. A better bet is taking your date to a real musical or live play.
Watch instead: A play.
Eyes Wide Shut
It’s a wee bit early to be getting sexual to the degree that Eyes Wide Shut suggests. It’s a nearly three-hour awkward-fest of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman joining an underground sex cult. And while we’re at it, we suggest keeping the films Fifty Shades of Grey and Nymphomaniac off the queue. Overtly sexual films will not lead to seduction, and it’s rude to assume your date’s comfort level or sexual preferences or experiences. Keep things light.
Watch instead: Soul Plane
The Human Centipede
If you have to ask why this is a no-no for a first date, just imagine what a centipede made out of humans might look like. Playing this movie brings a whole new meaning to the term “cuffing.”
Watch instead: Dawn of the Dead
- The Films of John Waters, Ranked
- The 10 Best 90’s Movies Ever
- The 25 Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now
- 10 Anime Movie Essentials
- 10 Best Thriller Films of All Time