AMC – Fantasy Movies for Every Step of Your Relationship

My new column is up at AMC, Fantasy Movies for Every Step of Your Relationship

Once upon a time, my brother called to ask if I’d seen Pan’s Labyrinth. I had, and I raved about it, carefully avoiding spoilers. Later I found out that he’d taken a girl to see the movie as a first date. Bad move! As brilliant as that film is, it’s also profoundly not a good first-date flick; taking a date to see something that leaves you distressed, grossed out and sad is not the best plan. A good date movie shapes the subsequent emotional responses so it needs to be chosen with thought. With that in mind, allow me to guide you through the steps of a relationship, movie by movie.

Stop by the AMC site and let us know what films led you to happily ever after.

Edited to add:
Since the AMC folks can tell the success of a column in part by the number of comments, if you all wouldn’t mind making any new comments over there instead of here… It would help ensure that I stay hired. Many thanks!

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

12 Responses

  1. karen wester newton

    Believe it or not, Disney’s THE RESCUERS. I had loved the books by Margery Sharp and wanted to see the movie. When my then boyfriend now husband agreed to go with me (we were in our late 20’s), I knew I had a keeper. It’s an OK movie, BTW. Not as good as the books, but not bad, especially for a Disney cartoon of that era.

    (and I’ve given up trying to select another icon. It always marks the ones I select as used but it never assign them to me. I’m still stuck with Peewee Herman’s father, and now you have three “used” but not unused icons)

  2. Jhayne

    Slightly off topic, though not by much, I shook the hand of a woman who brought her nine year old daughter to the opening night of Pan’s Labyrinth. I thought it worth letting her know that someone approved, amid all the people who were shocked and appalled that she had allowed her child to witness such a “violent” film, and yet I completely disapproved the children who were in theater with me when I went to see Dark Knight. Somehow, the brutality of Pan’s Labyrinth was more appropriate, in my head, than the brutality of Batman. The violence had more of a fairy-tale feel, and fairy-tales, of course, have all sorts of terrible things like women self mutilating their feet so they’ll fit into a shoe to marry for money. I can’t agree that it would be a bad first date movie, as it’s deep enough in such ways, to provide hours of good conversation after.

  3. Dennis

    Reminds me of when I took a gal to see “A Clockwork Orange” and she demured. So, at her direction, we instead went to see Alfred Hitchcock’s “Frenzy” which was at a neighboring cinema. She wanted to leave about 15 minutes into that one. That was pretty much the end of that dating sequence. 🙂

  4. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury

    I’ve been living happily ever after for so long, I don’t remember if there were any films involved.

    We did see a stage production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s MIKADO on our first date, though.

    Films I’d recommend for first dates: LAKE HOUSE (Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves); I.Q. (Tim Robbins and Meg Ryan), and other Meg Ryan movies, come to think of it: KATE AND LEOPOLD, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, YOU’VE GOT MAIL, (haven’t seen WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, so can’t speak to that one); some Reese Witherspoon movies: LEGALLY BLOND (haven’t seen the sequel), SWEET HOME ALABAMA, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (which brings us to another Oscar Wilde film, AN IDEAL HUSBAND); also STARDUST, and maybe that’s enough for now.

  5. David Anthony Durham


    I found that post quite amusing. I’m not planning any first dates like… well, ever again. But still, nice post. Light, humorous, and yet with just enough insight that it’s actually good advice. Fun.


  6. John Burridge

    Fun post.

    Here’s my cautionary tale:

    Once upon a time, I thought it would be a Good Thing to play the Ballroom in a Bubble scene from “Labyrinth” to set a romantic tone. Bad move. I guess I got caught up in David Bowie singing or the costumes or something. When the scene was over, my partner turned to me with a look of incredulity on his face and asked, “Is *that* your idea of romance?” (Note to self: don’t play scenes where some magic guy drugs a girl then plays cat-and-mouse with her at a party.)

    Oh well, at least I didn’t follow it up with Sting’s, “Every Breath You Take.”

    Luckily, our relationship survived that bump. The movie we both love to watch is “Moulin Rouge” — OK, and “The Wizard of Oz” — but I’m not sure if “Moulin Rouge” counts as a fantasy movie.

  7. Kelvin Kao

    Pan’s Labyrinth, eh? That movie was quite dark. I think it was a great movie, but probably not a great first-date movie if you prefer to start it off with something not so heavy. However, some people do rather have a deep conversation starting out, so I guess it depends on the person.

    I am actually quite bugged by the wire works in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (it’s considered a fantasy film? I guess so). Maybe it’s because I grew up in Taiwan and have watched many films featuring kung-fu fighting. For me, these kung-fu masters have extra-ordinary abilities to jump a great distance and height, and they can hang in the air for a long time. However, these motions should be an extended jump. You should still bend your knees, pushed your feet against the ground hard to have more force going up, and then you try to stay in the air for as long as possible, and finally you land (or go into a second jump). The impact should be there because it’s an extended jump. However, in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, the people just seem to float in the air as if there’s no gravity. They spin around in the air in perfectly smooth circles instead of like in jumps, you have a speed-up and slow-down. The moves in the movie might look pretty, but some of them really bug me because it doesn’t have enough base in physics. Oh well, but that’s not the point of this post, is it? =P