MEETING a date for a movie, the coward’s choice for anyone worried they’ll have nothing to say? Choose one of these and you’ll never see them again:
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Beautiful Studio Ghibli animation about the American firebombing of Japan in 1945, following three children who – spoiler! – starve to death. Harrowing and worthy, there’s never a good time to watch it but there is a worst time; on a first date with a woman who said she loved animation but actually meant Disney.
Road Trip (2000)
You’ve got to share a sense of humour, right? So why not this absolute favourite of your younger years, a raunchy comedy classic about college pals? Except it’s aged terribly, is horribly offensive, and within ten minutes you’ll stop it to put on something less embarrassing like your recent colonoscopy.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Date not up to speed on the Marvel movies, and they’re very important to you? Invite him round to watch the last of a 22-film sequence, pausing frequently to explain who every character is, their origin and what they’re talking about. Film his reaction to Captain America swinging Thor’s hammer and be let down when he doesn’t even notice.
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Your date will think he’s misheard you when you suggest this film, because surely you mean Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 masterpiece based on the Shakespeare play? No, you mean a low-budget movie about gnomes getting it on. Because you hope he’ll get so bored he’ll shag you.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
There’s nothing like watching a genuine romance between two flawed but devastatingly attractive people to make you realise that your own romance is faltering, that neither of you is devastatingly attractive, and that even your flaws aren’t compatible.
Ai No Corrida (1976)
You’d heard it was foreign and sexy: a perfectly classy night out at the local arthouse cinema to give entirely the wrong impression of you, as first dates should. Instead you sit through 108 minutes of disturbing pornography that ends with a castration. Your date leaves without a single word.