What's a good movie for an opening night?
September 12, 2005 2:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm the president of a would be movie club at my college and also the host of one of our movie nights. I run the Friday date night. What is a good movie for our first night?

We were thinking something light hearted more in the vein of hitch and wedding crashers. It seems to me that starting with Love story sets off the wrong tone. If you have a better Idea post it. Be serious if we can't get the first night right it will be very difficult to make the club succesful. If you have any ideas that will make for good publicity or any advice for running a movie club please post that as well.(P.S. keep running time in mind we have to hold the rooms)
posted by Rubbstone to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (69 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why not just show something with the greatest mass appeal? Anything by Pixar.
posted by quadog at 2:28 PM on September 12, 2005


Umm... Friday? You ain't got no job, you ain't got shit to do.
posted by klangklangston at 2:29 PM on September 12, 2005


91/2 weeks, or Wild at Heart.
posted by a3matrix at 2:31 PM on September 12, 2005


Blow them away: Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain.
posted by mic stand at 2:34 PM on September 12, 2005


Wicker Park (04)
posted by thomcatspike at 2:34 PM on September 12, 2005


Amélie is a good choice.
posted by me3dia at 2:36 PM on September 12, 2005


Another clever one is: The Girl Next Door.
posted by mic stand at 2:37 PM on September 12, 2005


When Harry Met Sally.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:44 PM on September 12, 2005 [1 favorite]


Based on nothing more than the fact that it's one of the great comedies of all time, and is one of those movies that people can't seem to look away from...

The Blues Brothers.
posted by fearless_yakov at 2:45 PM on September 12, 2005


The Blues Brothers? For a romantic date movie?

My suggestion: L. A. Story.
posted by kindall at 2:53 PM on September 12, 2005


Another vote for Amélie. I ADORE that film, and if you aren't used to subtitles, they become second nature after about 3 minutes or so.
posted by AlisonM at 3:00 PM on September 12, 2005


50 First Dates is a nice choice for a light-hearted date movie, methinks.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:01 PM on September 12, 2005


Damn, lighthearted? When I heard date night, I couldn't wait to post The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
posted by scazza at 3:03 PM on September 12, 2005


Mais bien sur! Amélie!!!
posted by phrontist at 3:05 PM on September 12, 2005


Could you swing a Classic?
posted by Wolfdog at 3:06 PM on September 12, 2005


Yes! Amelie! What could be better?
posted by jdroth at 3:09 PM on September 12, 2005


The greatest date movie of all time is of course the The Little Mermaid. Though it's questionable how well it'll play to the unrefined tastes of college students.
posted by nixerman at 3:18 PM on September 12, 2005


I'd be wary of Scazza's Cherbourg suggestion. It's a great movie, but I think it's a little too much of a genre piece to have the general appeal you're looking for. I remember it being a lot less accessible than Amelie.
posted by heresiarch at 3:39 PM on September 12, 2005


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
posted by Heminator at 3:41 PM on September 12, 2005


Say Anything
posted by billysumday at 3:43 PM on September 12, 2005


Z
posted by JohnR at 3:58 PM on September 12, 2005


I second Say Anything, or 50 First Dates. Also, Serendipity. I love Amelie, but I just can't recommend it for this - subtitles scare a lot of people off, especially college kids.
posted by geeky at 4:06 PM on September 12, 2005


Last Tango in Paris

Just kidding. Sort of. Hold the butter!
posted by Brian James at 4:08 PM on September 12, 2005


The traditional first-movie-of-the-year at my college's film club was always The Graduate.

Even though it came out before any of us were born.
posted by ambrosia at 4:12 PM on September 12, 2005


I love Amelie, but I just can't recommend it for this - subtitles scare a lot of people off, especially college kids.
your average college kid, probably, but aren't the kids showing up at a movie club going to be film geeks who're all hip to the obscure stuff?

If you have any ideas that will make for good publicity or any advice for running a movie club please post that as well.(P.S. keep running time in mind we have to hold the rooms)
my intuition would be that you'd want something people likely wouldn't have seen at a first-run theatre. *shrug* your mileage may vary.
posted by juv3nal at 4:47 PM on September 12, 2005


It Happened One Night
posted by johngumbo at 4:49 PM on September 12, 2005


Annie Hall

After breaking up with his girlfriend Annie Hall, neurotic comedian Alvy Singer goes on a stream of conciousness journey through his memories of their relationship, trying to find out what caused them to part ways. He often breaks the fourth wall, speaking to the camera, entering peoples' stories, and even using animation.

That....or Everything you always wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask.
posted by filmgeek at 5:21 PM on September 12, 2005


A Fish Called Wanda
Shakespeare in Love
The Lady Eve
Better Off Dead
posted by Zed_Lopez at 5:46 PM on September 12, 2005


I second It Happened One Night and would also suggest Bringing Up Baby. Both are comedies in addition to being romantic. :)
posted by srah at 5:50 PM on September 12, 2005


I second Better Off Dead. What a great film.
posted by mr.dan at 6:19 PM on September 12, 2005


Amélie is just way too cliché. Say Anything is great if you're in the 9th grade. Pixar movies?! I'd sooner recommend Men Behind the Sun. L.A. Story is fabulous, but pretty dated. I'd go with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Before Sunrise.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:28 PM on September 12, 2005


Oh, and if you want to avoid the cheese in Before Sunrise, there's always Before Sunset.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:29 PM on September 12, 2005


Flashdance

I'm serious! That was the first movie shown to my film criticism class at NYU. It is the epitome of the Hollywood narrative film. Nothing better than seeing a bunch of pretentious film students (myself included) have to sit through - and secretly like - a movie like that. The Prof went on to show how it fit the formula for a blockbuster movie perfectly. Good info to know and enough of a whack to the head for a bunch of prats to pay attention.
posted by qwip at 7:33 PM on September 12, 2005


Even though everyone and their dog has seen it, I'm still a bit sweet on Groundhog Day -- and if L.A. story is wonderful if a bit dated, Roxanne has probably aged better, Cyrano purists be damned.

Not for openers based on your criteria, but once your audience is ready to go beyond the "romantic comedy" mainstream, they'll enjoy the semester-abroad feel of Before Sunrise, despite its dialogue-heavy nature. (And if you think that's good, its follow-up, Before Sunset, is arguably even better.)
posted by skyboy at 7:35 PM on September 12, 2005


D'oh! C_D seems to have called out my choices just as I was posting.
posted by skyboy at 7:36 PM on September 12, 2005


I may have really twisted ideas of good date movies, but I'd ask someone out just to get to see Doctor Zhivago, Ryan's Daughter, or The Big Sleep.
posted by steef at 7:40 PM on September 12, 2005


Grosse Point Blank is very romantic (no, really), and has a great soundtrack.
posted by Scoo at 7:59 PM on September 12, 2005


Harold & Maude. Years ago in college, my girlfriend and I were talking with one of the faculty members there, a guy who ran the college's print shop/press room, and we asked him to recommend a movie. He loaned us his copy of H&M, amazed that we hadn't seen it yet. On a later visit loaned us his copy of Being There, which I must recommend, too.
posted by emelenjr at 8:02 PM on September 12, 2005


Malcolm X
posted by cloeburner at 8:08 PM on September 12, 2005


The Princess Bride.

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

"You know Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?"
"Yes."
"Morons."

"Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
posted by zardoz at 8:56 PM on September 12, 2005


High Fidelity. (running time 113 min.) It's light-hearted, it's got comedy, romance and some really fantastic music.
posted by Lynsey at 8:57 PM on September 12, 2005




Ooh, The Tao of Steve is a great chick flick hidden in a guy movie.
posted by geekyguy at 9:14 PM on September 12, 2005


Lolita (1962)

Just about the perfect sex comedy.
posted by Ptrin at 9:18 PM on September 12, 2005


Response by poster: Umm... Friday? You ain't got no job, you ain't got shit to do.
Full ride. I'm doing something for my college to foster a community
posted by Rubbstone at 9:36 PM on September 12, 2005


Surplus
posted by eustatic at 9:42 PM on September 12, 2005


I'll second Annie Hall...
It's the romantic comedy.
posted by lorbus at 9:43 PM on September 12, 2005


Response by poster: So far this list has been great I'm going to come back tommorow and pick my movie. I'll Be sure to tell you guys what it is.
posted by Rubbstone at 9:57 PM on September 12, 2005


I highly recommend watching la jetee before your main attraction. Its about 20 minutes long and is without a doubt minute-for-minute the best sci-fi film ever made. 12 monkeys (and in some ways Terminator) are remakes of la jetee.
if you like documentaries, Vernon Florida just came out on DVD and is amazing.
posted by alkupe at 10:05 PM on September 12, 2005


Notorious. When I first saw it I wondered how Hitchcock got it past the Hayes office. The scene was filmed that way on purpose!
posted by brujita at 10:06 PM on September 12, 2005


Another vote for When Harry Met Sally!

Also, Moonstruck is pretty good for a date night. It is funny and quarky, but it gets the job done.
posted by nickerbocker at 10:20 PM on September 12, 2005


the pillow book
posted by juv3nal at 11:05 PM on September 12, 2005


Some thoughts: if my former housemate was any indication, Say Anything is a good idea, though not for much longer; college kids still love the 80s, it seems. Also don't see why Amélie wouldn't work, subtitles and all; I find it a bit hard to believe that there'd be so many college kids who've never seen a foreign film, not even something like an Amélie or Life Is Beautiful. And dammit, it's a great film for any occasion, cliche or not; try telling me it's more cliche than, oh, anything with Meg Ryan in it.

I would guess that the hard part will be appealing to guys (which would explain your original picks of Hitch and Wedding Crashers); yeah, it's a stereotype that girls are suckers for romantic comedies, but by calling it a "date night" I think you're pretty much eliminating all the girls who wouldn't be caught dead watching Runaway Bride. So High Fidelity and Grosse Point Blank are good choices; the ladies love John Cusack because he's cute and romantic, the guys love John Cusack because he's cool and funny. Plus the former has good music and the latter has guns, so how can you go wrong?

As for my own picks, I don't have many because I'm not a "date movie" person myself. But I'm a big fan of As Good As It Gets just because it's not your usual rom-com. I haven't seen it myself, but if you want to play the pretentious film student angle to the hilt, try In The Mood For Love by director Wong Kar Wai. More teen-oriented modern fare includes the Romeo + Juliet remake with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, though that's a bit old without being "classic" old; similarly, 10 Things I Hate About You with Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles (though I think it's more of a high school date movie personally).

If you want to try for an ironic laugh (which might actually be a brilliant move, especially if you're trying to set a particular tone for the club itself), there's a whole slew of tragic "women's films" from the 40s and 50s, though I can't remember any titles off-hand. In a similar vein, look for anything with Rock Hudson in it. All That Heaven Allows is a classic Hudson film that hits all the horrendously cliche highlights. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think All That Heaven Allows would be an awesome pick, if adventurous.

Finally, stay away from Closer.
posted by chrominance at 11:24 PM on September 12, 2005


If you're going to do a John Cusack film, which it seems like a lot of people are suggesting, then I would also vote for "Better Off Dead".
posted by o0o0o at 11:44 PM on September 12, 2005


Allow me to also vouch for Amelie for the umpteenth time. And the Princess Bride. And Roman Holiday.

I also recommend Sabrina (the original) and Beauty and the Beast, although that one may be a bit too Disney for the guys in the audience. The Kenneth Branagh version of Much Ado About Nothing and the Kevin Kline version of A Midsummer's Nights Dream are entertaining. I wouldn't really call Gosford Park a date movie, but it's a great little film and might be worth tucking away for if you guys ever do a "period piece" night.

And if you want to be daring, give Secretary a try.
posted by kosher_jenny at 12:14 AM on September 13, 2005


When I was the president of the movie club we started out by showing Plan 9 from Outer Space by Ed Wood, widely regarded as one of the worst films ever. A few years later when I stepped down as president, we showed Citizen Kane, seen by many as the greatest film ever. Thus we came full circle...

You might want to try some other movies, but it helped us a lot in promoting it that we had an idea and a concept instead of a title. People are more interested in "the worst movie ever" than in "Plan 9 from Outer Space". I think that's why we had or biggest attendance when we showed Psycho (and promoted it by re-enacting the shower scene with a overhead projector, a piano and a garden hose)
posted by bering at 3:57 AM on September 13, 2005


Oh, just wanted to second a couple of geekyguy's recommendations:

The Apartment
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Roman Holiday


...fantastic flicks, all of them.

Harold and Maude is beautiful, but I fear kids these days need beautiful people to believe in love on the screen.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:49 AM on September 13, 2005


Playing By Heart. Stellar cast, romantic, funny, sad, and I just realised lately that that IS Jon Stewart making out with Gillian Anderson! Seriously good movie.
posted by heatherann at 5:09 AM on September 13, 2005


Umm... Friday? You ain't got no job, you ain't got shit to do.
Full ride. I'm doing something for my college to foster a community


Ok. Take the little chip off your shoulder and check out Friday, it is a very funny movie. Pretty soon, you'll be throwing that quote at people.
posted by geekyguy at 5:51 AM on September 13, 2005


I also vote for Amelie and Bringing up Baby. In a similar vein to the latter I'd recommend The Thin Man, which is funny, and has fantastic dislogue and chemistry between the two leads.

Personally I think Trust would be a good date movie, but that's just my opinion.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 8:14 AM on September 13, 2005


aren't the kids showing up at a movie club going to be film geeks who're all hip to the obscure stuff?

If this is true, Wings of Desire (subtitles and German) is very romantic.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:36 AM on September 13, 2005


Rubbstone:
Friday is the title of the movie. The tagline is "You ain't got no job, you ain't got shit to do."

It's not really a date movie, but I misread that, thinking that Friday was the date you had picked.

If you want the ultimate date movie, go with Motherfuckin' Casablanca. It's like panty-peeler, yo.
Heh. I feel dirty typing that.
posted by klangklangston at 11:51 AM on September 13, 2005


Good, non-convetional date movies:

Sunshine State
Silkwood
Philidelphia Story
King Kong
Sex and Lucia
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down
He is a Woman, She is a Man
The Funeral
Fame
Secretary
Tampopo (Seriously- this movie is ace. Show it!)
The Shaft
But I'm a Cheerleader
Before Night Falls
posted by klangklangston at 12:00 PM on September 13, 2005


Crossing Delancey

A sweet love story, with a scene where a weird bag lady sings 'Some Enchanted Evening' that always brings a lump to my throat.

And speaking of 'Some Enchanted Evening', "South Pacific" is a great romantic movie too, one of Hollywood's finest.
posted by essexjan at 1:42 PM on September 13, 2005


I'll second (or howevermany) Tampopo and The Thin Man.
posted by srah at 7:30 PM on September 13, 2005


I'll infinity Tampopo.
posted by joshuaconner at 10:33 PM on September 14, 2005


Rubbstone: I'll Be sure to tell you guys what it is.

And?
posted by geekyguy at 11:19 PM on September 18, 2005


Best answer: I'll Be sure to tell you guys what it is.

Maybe Liar Liar or Big Fat Liar, jackass!
posted by geekyguy at 8:49 PM on December 18, 2005


Best answer: They never let us make it so how can I tell you what movie it is if it never happened.
posted by Rubbstone at 9:11 PM on August 18, 2006


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