Tuesday Post: Chick Flicks vs. Guy Picks

This week, the Men’s Club and the Demystifying Divas are posting on the subject of movies, specifically the negotiations involved in choosing whether to see a chick flick or a guy film when on a date. As some minions may know, I live in Los Angeles and I work in the Industry, so movies are a big part of my life. I love going to the theater, sitting down with some choice refreshments (small popcorn, cherry coke, and a movie-style box of ‘bunch of crunch’), and watching a film on the big screen. I love it so much that, when I’m not working, I’ll probably see three or four movies a week — several screenings without any company at all. Plus I can take a tax write-off for ‘business research,’ which makes the experience even sweeter.

Coincidentally, I also love going on dates. So taking a nice lady to the movie theater is something I do on a fairly regular basis. However, there are certain movies I don’t ever want to see, no matter the tax benefits, and avoiding these films when in the romantic company of a lady demands a little forethought. Be aware that if you reach the point where you’re negotiating the choice of film, you’ve already lost this battle: negotiation involves compromise, and sooner or later you’re going to find yourself trapped in a screening of “Le Divorce.” What I’m suggesting is more properly considered manipulation. While the undertaking has it’s own risks, you can almost guarantee that, if properly approached, you may never have to see a film with a clothed Meg Ryan again.

If you’re going to assume this challenge, it’s important to be prepared. First, you have to be familiar with all of the films currently screening in your area. I read the LA Weekly without fail on Thursday when it hits the stands, reviewing not only the films in release but also the schedules of the major theaters. When guiding a conversation about movie choices, you need to have options for both specific films and specific venues at the ready: the Arclight in LA is a great place for a movie date, but if you get there and the only movie that fits your timetable is “The Perfect Man,” you are totally screwed.

Second, know the lady you’re manipulating negotiating with. This is why movies make poor first dates. If you know she has a weakness for gag-inducing romantic comedies, you better be prepared with something else she’s going to enjoy from your list, like an Owen Wilson comedy or an action movie with Angelina Jolie. Talk to her about her favorite movies, her opinion of last year’s Oscar winners, and her DVD collection before you schedule a movie evening. If you’ve done solid research, there are very few films that can’t be made into a date event. Smetimes the choice is less about the specific movie than which female you invite to the movie you already want to see. There are indeed girls out there that actually do want to see the latest sci-fi or horror flick - trust me on this, gentlemen - but if you don’t know exactly who they are in your dating circle, there’s nothing I can do to help you.

Once you’re armed (knowledge is power), you’re ready to call the lady and suggest a movie date. The key-phrase to remember now is ‘First Strike!’ Suggest your vetted movie as part of the invitation, and be ready with an immediate second choice. This is where your research is going to pay off. Don’t try and sneak in “Layer Cake” (british gangsters) or “My Summer of Love” (british lesbians) if the research doesn’t support it: if your first two suggestions off the bat are films that she definitely doesn’t want to see, you’ve wasted the first-strike opportunity. Now you’ve given her an opening, and when she counters with her first choice (a movie that stars, say, Lindsay Lohan and a small automobile), how are you going to get out of seeing it without revealing yourself as the selfish prick you are?

Certainly, I have three distinct advantages in this undertaking that will not be shared by all of our readers. First, I live in LA, so there is always an abundant selection of films currently in theaters, with every genre fairly represented. Second, I tend to date women who are also in the Industry, so their tastes in films tends to be a little broader then the general public, thereby giving me a little wiggle room in my suggestions. Finally, since I’m not married or in a committed relationship, not every screening I attend has to involve a specific woman, or visa versa. If every movie you see is always with the same person, then a little compromise is sadly inevitable (I’ll let my married cohorts speak of this in more detail). I feel particularly sorry for my married friends that can’t even take the benefit of the tax write-off. Of course, there are trade-offs in a commitment, and if you’ve managed as a couple to solve the great challenges of the toilet seat and the remote control, then agreeing on a movie shouldn’t really be any challenge at all.

For more Men’s Club posts on the same topic check out Phin and Puffy; the Wizard is taking a break this week, probably so he can go and see a movie with the wife.

For for ladies’ points-of-view, be sure to visit Sadie, Kathy, Christina, Silk, and this week’s diva guest-blogger, Margi.

Please, however, don’t tell them I sent you. Let’s just keep my advice on this topic between ourselves.

Believe.

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