The six worst films to watch on a first date

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.

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Six hysterical adolescent claims you made in your teenage diary that are still true today

WHEN you were an acne and angst-ridden adolescent, you filled your diary with outraged hysterical moans. These six have proved surprisingly accurate: 

Mum and Dad don’t understand me

They don’t, they don’t try to, and they never will. It’s just back then it was about your music and now it’s about your facial hair choices and still driving a second-hand car. And now you’ve got kids who you don’t understand and do you care?

I wish I had bigger boobs / a bigger schlong

A valid hope back then when you were still sprouting, but you’re still vaguely hoping it and you’re 35? It’s time you came to terms with your B-cups and disappointing manhood. No matter what the unsolicited emails clogging up your junk folder promise.

I wish I could go off and live on my own somewhere

You absolutely still do. But instead of dreaming of escaping your mum and dad, your siblings and your school, you’re now dreaming of escaping your flatmates or girlfriend or husband or children.

It’s so unfair

It is and it always will be. Someone younger and with better hair always gets the promotion you were due, your neighbours will always have a fancier garden office than you, your siblings will always be loved more. It turns out that the primal cry of the disaffected teenager is one of life’s great truths.

Everybody hates me

Most probably, yes. Especially as you were the kind of person who spent their teenage years griping about their existential problems longhand in a diary. What is it now, Twitter? Guardian comments? Some kind of pathetic blog?

They’ll all be sorry

Oh, they’re sorry. It’s just that you hoped they’d be sorry because a disregarded teenager triumphed and became an incredible pop star, writer or leader of men and they’d be endlessly contrite about how they treated you. While in fact they’re just sorry you turned out like this.