My husband and I have been married for nearly ten years. We agree on most things. For example: where to live, how to raise our son and what to spend our money on. But there is one vital and highly necessary thing we can’t seem to agree on: what to watch on TV.
We’ve been known to spend hours talking about what movie to watch. I’ll throw out a suggestion, and he’ll veto it. He’ll throw out an idea, and I’ll give a big thumbs down. Back and forth and back and forth until the time we were going to spend watching the movie has been eaten up by our ridiculous inability to find something we’re both willing to watch. Can you relate?
Women and Men Want Different Things in a Movie
For me — and, I think, a lot of women — the thing that I’m looking for in a movie is relationships. I’m not saying I want the movie to be about relationships, or to be some plotless character study of a dying old lady’s relationship with her dead husband’s cat or something. I’m just saying that I need to feel an emotional connection to the characters and their interactions with each other if I’m going to commit ninety minutes of my life to them.
I need to feel an emotional connection to the characters and their interactions with each other if I’m going to commit ninety minutes of my life to them.
For my husband — and, I think, a lot of men — the thing that draws him to a movie is action. Not necessarily gunfights and explosions — though he is a big fan of those too — but what happens, and how the characters deal with what happens.
Choosing Takes Forever!
All this makes sense. Women tend to be more focused on emotions and relationships, and men tend to be more focused on plans and doing things. So it’s no surprise that those inclinations would come out in our movie preferences. But, when you’re sitting at home exhausted after a long week and all you want to do is turn on a movie and veg out, the fact that your movie disagreements make sense doesn’t help you get any closer to finding something to watch.
Women tend to be more focused on emotions and relationships, and men tend to be more focused on plans and doing things.
The thing is, there are movies out there that you and your significant other can both enjoy: films that have compelling characters doing exciting things. Movies with love stories that aren’t only love stories. Movies where people do things, but you care about who’s doing them and why.
So, just in case you and your significant other are, right this very minute, sitting on the couch trying to figure out what to watch — except that you’ve secretly clicked over to Evie and started reading articles because you got so bored with the movie discussion — let me help you out. Here are five movies you and your significant other will both enjoy.
The Big Sick
Romantic comedies tend to be a hard sell if the point is for both of you to enjoy the film, but The Big Sick has something for everyone. I think my husband liked this movie more than I did. It’s about a couple whose relationship was rocky, to begin with being suddenly faced with a mysterious illness. It doesn’t sound particularly funny, but it is. It came out in 2017 and is based on a true story. Believe it or not, Kumail Nanjiani, who plays the lead, is playing himself. That’s one issue I did have with the film: I don’t think Nanjiani is a particularly good actor. But the premise is compelling, the characters are sweet and believable, and it’s got enough going on that guys won’t think it’s a total snore-fest.
Noises Off is the best movie ever made. No, I’m not exaggerating. The film didn’t get excellent reviews when it came out in 1992 and has since fallen into obscurity, which is why you’ve probably never heard of it but, trust me if you and your significant other like to laugh even a little bit you’re going to love this movie. The film is a farce about people putting on a farce. The premise is that a bunch of really incompetent actors are trying to put on a show, but things keep going wrong. It’s a madcap, crazy, romp and it’s pure delight. It’s also got some huge names in it like Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter, Carol Burnett, and Marilu Henner. There are relationships galore and more things happening than you’re going to know what to do with. Seriously, watch this movie, you’ll love it.
Back to the Future
Back to the Future is pure fun from start to finish. If you’ve never seen this classic from 1985 — or you haven’t seen it in a long time — it’s worth watching. It’s the story of teenager Marty McFly who is accidentally transported into the past and must find a way to help his parents fall in love lest his entire existence gets erased. Fantastic performances from Michael J. Fox, as Marty, and Christopher Lloyd, as the wonderfully eccentric Doc Brown, make you believe in this entirely unbelievable tale. The love story between Marty McFly’s parents is both silly and sweet, and the high stakes for Marty make this film more emotionally appealing than it has any right to be.
“Houston, we have a problem.” Based on the real-life disaster aboard the Apollo 13 moon mission, this 1995 blockbuster is an edge-of-your-seat exciting ride from start to finish. With huge talents like Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, and Gary Sinise, the characters are vivid and make you care genuinely about whether or not these astronauts, stranded in space, are going to make it home to the wives who love them. One of the amazing feats of the film is making things like air filters, gimbal lock (whatever that is), and battery power become — for two hours and twenty minutes — the most important things in the entire world.
If you’ve never seen any Alfred Hitchcock films I highly recommend nearly all of them — they fit the bill for movies you’ll both enjoy — but Rear Window is a particularly fun one. Psycho and Vertigo are the usual picks regarding Hitchcock, and those are both great movies, but Rear Window has the added appeal of the interplay and banter between actors Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly which is a joy to behold. The film, which came out in 1954, is about a man who’s confined to his apartment with a broken leg and begins to suspect that a crime has been committed in the apartment across the street. It’s suspenseful, exciting, and romantic, all at the same time.
So, breathe a sigh of relief, cue up one of these movies, and let your evening in commence. Watching movies is way more fun than arguing about them.