I have started dating a lovely lady who is also a serious film buff. After we watch a movie she says things like “Well, I thought the art direction was good but the script suffered from being over-written.” To which I have no response, as up until recently my cinema-going has been basically limited to films based on comic books. I’d like to orchestrate a special cinema date, but need some inspiration. We went to the NFT recently, and while the film was pretty good, I felt like everyone was a snob there. Any other ideas?
PS I don’t think she wants to see Fantastic Four.
Don’t be scared off by its arty image, the National Film Theatre shows the most diverse range of cinema on the planet and welcomes everybody, from documentary fanatics to monster lovers. It’s true the screenings are a bit academic (there’s no late seating and a strict no-food policy), but in keeping with this, the ushers often supply you with papers detailing the film’s background and significance. You are not expected to know everything beforehand. The NFT also hosts lectures and educational events, frequently with celebrities and well-known filmmakers. Subscribe to their weekly e-mails and keep an eye out for one that might interest your girlfriend. We should also add that the bar’s outdoor seating provides a superior view of the Thames and is one of our favourite spots for people-watching on a summer afternoon. That’s a great date right there.
You may not be familiar with the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill. Its philosophy is “comfort, service, and quality of films”, which translates into a full-service bar, oversized leather seats, and side tables for your snacks and drinks. The only thing it doesn’t have is a pause button for when you go to the loo. A popular choice for couples is one of the 2-seat sofas in the back of the theatre, but in our experience these can be awkward on a date if it is early in the relationship. (People tend to stare at you as they’re walking out to the toilet.). Another option is the Ritzy in Brixton, where you can see first-run Hollywood films as well as offbeat titles. The Ritzy Café offers free music five nights a week and an art fair on Saturdays.
Whatever you do, don’t be intimidated by your girlfriend’s film knowledge. Movies are for everyone –that’s why there are so many different genres. Your lady will be more impressed that you’ve taken an interest in her interests, not whether you chose good or bad films. Besides, we’ve seen some pretty goddamn good comic book cinema lately.