Date Night Salvaged

It’s a good thing opposites attract, because when it comes to the movie choices Lori and I make… we rarely agree. And that was the consensus when were exiting the theater after watching The Grey last Friday night.

It’s funny, Lori and I have a terrible record for movie choices on our anniversary. We laugh about it, because usually we’re pretty good about finding something that we both like when we actually ante up for the theatre. She typically likes romantic comedies, with favorites like While You Were Sleeping and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. My favorites are Jaws, The Shawshank Redemption, Heat and A Bronx Tale. But years of marriage have taught us to find common ground in films. She enjoys the occasional action film, and I the occasional romantic comedy. And we both can always land on fantasy-adventure greats like Lord of the Rings. Despite our years of discovering common cinematic ground, our anniversary movie choices over the last 21 years have been epic fails. For some reason we have a terrible history finding good films come anniversary time.

Most of you read about the plans I had for Lori and I last weekend. She had the choice of three dates and opted for the shopping and night out locally. The date started amazing: we shopped, we had a nice dinner, we laughed, we talked. But then, forgetting about our anniversary-movie-flop curse, we decided to include a movie into the mix.

She actually suggested the new Liam Neeson film, The Grey. “Todd loved it,” she said. “And it has Liam Neison.” (Todd… did you hear that? She trusted your opinion from our Movie Reviews & Quick Q’s page. Ha! Keep reading, my friend!)

I thought the film looked good as well; so we easily agreed to see it.

We should have known better.

It was our anniversary after all. There is no way we’ll ever make a good movie choice on our anniversary!

I remember the one year that we chose Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film Collateral Damage. I know, I know. How could we even have thought… Anyway, we went to see it. Then there was the year we saw Hannibal. Yeah… you’re losing all respect for me, aren’t you?

I don’t know what it is. I think something is in the air early February every year and it affects our judgment.

So this year we go and see The Grey.

At the end, Lori turns to me, almost angry, and says, “That was the worst film I’ve ever seen in my life!”

In all honesty, I can only remember thinking two thoughts at this point. 1. Is there any way I’m going to be able to salvage this night and still get lucky? (Sorry, but we married guys still think this way!) And… 2. I’m going to seriously kill my buddy Todd!

Funny, I didn’t find The Grey so terrible. It’s not gonna go down as one of my favorites, but I liked the fact that it wasn’t your typical Hollywood, predictable, mindless-action flick. I grew to like several of the characters in this story about a handful of men in a desperate situation, struggling to survive. But I totally understand Lori’s perspective. The movie was very dark and didn’t leave the audience much to celebrate as they left the theatre. It sure didn’t leave Lori feeling like celebrating anything as we left the theatre!

Luckily, 21 years together have taught us a few things. We talked about the film for about 5 to 10 minutes on the way home—in this case, I let her vent. It was actually quite entertaining. I wish the filmmakers could have heard her opinion. She was on a roll, trashing every aspect of the film. Gene Siskel would have been proud.

After shooting the film full of holes, she took a deep breath and looked at me with her amazing brown eyes. After taking in her adorable features for a moment, I said, “I’m really sorry you hated that film so much. What can I do to make it up to you?”

“Comedy.” She said. “I need comedy!”

We got home, I lit a fire, we snuggled on the couch and laughed together, watching a comedy.

The night was salvaged, and The Grey forever goes down in my anniversary-movie-flop hall-of-fame.

What about you? What has been your biggest date flop?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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13 Responses to Date Night Salvaged

  1. Jen says:

    Wow, that sounds exactly like our anniversary and vacation movie flops. We’ve watched Crash, Sin City, and Legion. I actually liked Legion, but it wasn’t the best choice for a romantic night in. I think it has do do with having to pick whatever is playing in the theater on your anniversary. I’ve learned that if I’ve never heard of it or saw the preview and wasn’t that interested, I should stay away.

  2. Casey says:

    We only do romantic comedies and comic book movies on date nights. I can’t really say that we’ve had many disasters. We just saw “One for the Money” this past Friday. Can’t say that it was one of my favorite movies, but neither of us hated it, so I guess that’s saying something. Seeing as how it was our first date night in quite a while, I probably would have been ok with “The Vow.” On second thought…

    • Romantic comedies and comic book movies sounds like a pretty good plan. And may I be so bold to suggest making a date night a regular thing. Even if it’s cheap. Order a Jamba and walk around a mall. Split a milkshake. Just sit across from each other, look in each other’s eyes and listen.

      • Casey says:

        Yeah, we’ve been talking about it. We’re both feeling pretty bad that we haven’t made date nights a priority and plan on getting back to them.

  3. Todd says:

    Sorry Lori

    : (

  4. Daryl says:

    Back a few years ago, It was my pick for the next movie. My wife and I went to see The Watchmen and it was around our anniversary in November. I usually preview movies, but I assumed since it was a comic book like Spiderman, we would be ok. My wife, like yours, loves romantic comedies, and I’m for the action movies. Well, there definitely was a lot of action! Oh man! And on top of my wife and I turning red over the raunchiness of the movie, there were a few people from our church there that we saw coming out. Ouch! Great teaching time. Haha… I’ve gone back to previewing and my wife drills me on every movie now.

  5. Howard Blecha says:

    last Sunday afternoon the Kids and I decided to do a Mad Max movie-a-thone. I had never seen Mel Gibson’s first movie and we found it in Walmart’s bargin bin. So we got the popcorn and had all 3 movies ready to go. My wife sat down to join us and we watched Mad Max. There is a reason the movie did not get an accemy award. I can’t believe my wife actually sat through the whole thing. After Mad Max 1 the kids left to go baby sit and we pull out “Facing the Giants” and then a late afternoon nap. not what I had planned but it ended well

  6. Brian says:

    One time before we had kids, my wife and I were living across the country and found ourselves alone for Thanksgiving Day. We decided, “Hey, let’s go see a movie.” Nothing was starting at the right time, other than “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”. We didn’t know anything about it, and decided to see it. Wow…worst Thanksgiving Day movie ever. Don’t know if you saw that one, but don’t see it during the Holidays!

  7. april says:

    When I was still single, I went on a “friend” date with my pastor who happened to be the man I had a big crush on. We went to see The Thomas Crown Affair. So the first part of the movie is pretty good, but the last half was practically porn! Here I am sitting in an almost empty theatre with my Priest (Episcopal). He kept whispering to me “this is ridiculous!” other than that, we mostly just sat there mortified and frozen. We both agreed later that we should have gotten up to leave but neither of us could move. We had driven to the theatre separately and after the movie, we both just jumped in our cars and left! Most embarrassing movie date ever!