Argument-avoiding Valentine movies

Laura's screening
with Laura Weaser

Breaking with usual blog tradition, I am not reviewing a movie today, but movie genres in light of Valentine's Day.

The Notebook: the ultimate romantic film that all guys universally loathe.

As Valentine's Day looms, movies or DVDs on the couch are often a popular choice for couples, both the first-daters and the long-term couples.

So here are, from my movie-expert brain, my pros and cons of movie genres for Valentine's Day to help avoid the awkward argument in the middle of the video store/cinema and provide you with good banter after the screening.

The romantic comedy:

It goes without saying, the romantic comedy epitomises Valentine's Day (so much so, they even made a recent movie about it… called Valentine's Day). But despite what you may think, this shouldn't always be your first port of call for movie time.
Girls will love them, and guys will loathe them. Why? Because these movies set unrealistic, Disney-style notions of love and relationships that will leave the girl resentful and thinking, ‘why couldn't my boyfriend be more like Noah (from The Notebook) or Edward (from Twilight)?'
I'll tell you why ladies – because these characters are ridiculous.

Sure, every girl wants to be treated right, but there is nothing romantic about a vampire creeping into your room to watch you sleep.
The key to rom-com is balance.

My personal favourite is comedies that have the two protagonists getting together in the end, but ultimately rely on good humour to get you through the film.


The scary movie:

What better way to get your partner or first-date to snuggle up than by finding the scariest movie possible? If she, like me, is a big wuss, she will be looking for any way to cover her eyes and scrunch into the smallest ball on the couch possible.
If she is your first date, you will be nervous of course and nothing takes the tension out of the situation than her irrational fear of monsters/ghosts/possessed children/serial killers.


The action film:

Like the reverse of the romantic comedy, the action film is designed for men.

Attractive girls, fast cars, bullets, explosions – you name it. But if done right, there is something in it for even the most die-hard romantic comedy lover.
The key here, like the rom-com, is balance.

Action films can be an abundance of hot girls (making the partner/first date potentially uncomfortable), BUT there is often a bevy of good looking men too.

Make sure you get one where the leading man is equally as attractive.
Also, many big blockbusters have a romantic sub-plot layered underneath, which means while the guy is getting his fix of adrenalin, the girl can enjoy the one-liners exchanged between future couples.
Other ‘smart' blockbusters, such as Inception, don't provide a lot on the looks department, but complex action films like this will have you embroiled in a heated debate and make for good post-movie conversation.


The thriller film:

Thriller is tricky – it can either be a horror in disguise (Saw is classed as a thriller) or it can deal with very heavy-handed issues and potentially uncomfortable subject matter.

Best to stick to light-hearted material for a first date or if you and your partner enjoy a good intellectual debate, thrillers could be for you.
Remember to throw in key film-theory words like psychoanalysis, surrealism, European art house, canted angles and saturated mis-en-scene to win your point.

Like my tips? Love movies? Visit my movie column ‘Laura's Screening' at


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