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Doug K

I'm not a Real Man, don't particularly like action movies, so we seldom disagree.. though I loved Wings of Desire, she found it boring.

Watched The Librarian: King Solomon's Mines on a plane ride back from Africa, it was goofy, full of great clanging anachronisms, but kinda fun. Good plane movie. I didn't expect Bob Newhart, I must say.


I have system to help couples pick a movie to watch. One of them makes a short list of five nominees and the other picks among those five. Then next time, they switch.

Ken Houghton

Newhart was the only thing worth watching in that sequel, imnvho. (Watching Noah Wyle may or may not be a pleasure in itself—YMMV in the affirmative—but in that case it might as well be a poster. I think Shira ended up watching the whole thing, but that was out of dedication.

Then again, calling a 1977 Joan Micklin Silver film an "obscure little independent" leaves me a touch boggled.

I won't let her watch Meadowlands with me. She generally spared me from the later chapters of The Starter Wife, except when the costume designers had done something especially worthwhile to the Debra Messing mannequin. I no longer try to get her to watch Manhunter or American Flyers or things I watch "for the art direction" (e.g., HEX or What Dreams May Come).

She spares me the SFX movies (exceptions for those with a story, e.g., Stardust); I spare her von Trier and, generally, Greenaway (see "art direction" comment above).

The in-theatre events of the past few years have been disasters (Underworld: Evolution was mine; Poseidon was hers), disappointments (X3, Spidey3), and disputes (Children of Men).

I think we're around to agreeing to watch television serieses together. But at least I'm not bullying her.

Erik Ostrom

I can't say we met over movies, but an important early compatibility test was when I took her to see Some Like It Hot. I spent the first half of the movie nervous that this woman I really liked wouldn't like one of my favorite movies, and then where would we be?

(We saw Casablanca later. She loved it too.)


So. From me as one of the guys in the store - I think you are off base.

I pretty much only want to watch action movies (broadly defined please - Star Wars yes, SAW III No.). And I have a modest collection of them to watch over and over - which she humorously derides and disclaims ownership to - and usually won't watch. Which we agree is fine. Watching a movie is usually not a time to look for challenge or learn. I just want to be entertained.

So while I'd never heard of Music and Lyrics, a quick glance confirms that you are correct that I probably wouldn't watch it if she rented it. If she wants to watch it - again fine with me. I'll throw the football with the boys.

Since movies are peripheral to our relationship at best - all of this works out just fine.

Exiled in New Jersey

We could float away mush content in our collection around here, and while I like Notting Hill and Best Friend's Wedding, when I hear that g-d piano in The Notebook, or have to suffer through the weepies of Lake House I know it is Sominex time. Then she is a sucker for false nostalgia like in most Redford directed films. Her biggest requirement is that films have a definite ending; she hates open-ended films. Sometimes other things bother each of us: if we could turn off the awful late 70s techno score in Long Good Friday she could sit through it and love it. She is more tolerant of David Fincher films than I, and I can never understand how anyone can like Melanie Griffith playing anything but a working girl. We could go on and on, but maybe the better thing to say is, 'Let's not go there.'


I can stand even the action movies. The ones I can't stomach are the sentimental sports movies where the last scene is a slo-mo of some play or other with soaring music in the background and athletes, wives, girlfriends, and fans jumping and weeping in amazement and awe.


The husband can't get enough of them.


I've always loved movies and my wife is a big fan. We don't always agree on what to watch, particularly when it comes to television, but we agree enough on movies that it's never been an issue.

There are only a few types of movies I don't like, and she doesn't much either, so we're OK on that score. I won't watch anything where the central theme is Alzheimer's, alcoholism or schizophrenia, I don't care how good The Notebook, When a Man Loves a Woman or A Beautiful Mind are supposed to be; I hope you enjoyed them. We also share a common disdain for the Black & Decker, dismemberment, slasher variants.

I tend to like good movies and bad, high art and low cheese. My wife is less tolerant of my baser tastes, she let me see the utmost testament to pure Velveeta, Wing Commander, by myself, same for high cheese like Grindhouse and anything else involving werewolves and/or vampires. And although I have no aversion to chickier fare, they're the type of film she enjoys watching on girls night out w/ her sisters and mom.

I don't know that movies HAS to be THE common interest in a relationship for it to prosper, or just survive, but I do think that there has to be some common interests. In my relationship w/ my own blonde, our tastes in movies is a good fit...


When my friends and co-workers in Chicago wondered why I was in a relationship with someone who lived in Phoenix all I would have to say is "She has a favorite Kurasawa film" and they'd all go "ooh" in that "now I see" tone of voice. Now I live in Mesa and we're married. Not specifically causal but a telling indicator of our compatability.

Although movies aren't a huge part of our life our tastes have many areas of overlap and we forgive, and don't bother subjecting the other to, those that don't. But if it means a lot to her as a narrative I will always go in with as open a mind as I can. She's already turned me on to "Ruben and Ed" and I've turned her onto "Manchurian Candidate." We were both knocked out by "The American Astronaut." Just more life exploring fun together...


A big problem between myself and one of my exes (when we were together) was that she disliked all movies. Yes, didn't like movies AT ALL (didn't matter whether Bergman or Bay). She liked watching this vampire anime TV show Hellsing......yeah, that was problematic.

My current girlfriend is Russian, and we tend to argue more about what schools of painting we prefer, with me voting for the Ashcan school and her going for the more mundane choice of the French Impressionists.

Of course, my movie tastes are a bit difficult for almost anyone to fully handle - a fan of Marxist Senegalese cinema, silent animation, Hungarian thrillers, Prolecult, 1970s Yugoslavian New Wave and French film noir are hard to find.


>but I know our first long and serious conversation began when we discovered that we both loved an obscure little independent film called Between the Lines.

Having a friend who was for a time an entertainment journalist back before they were called that, I saw a preview of Between the Lines with the director (but, alas, not the cast) at a small screening room in Manhattan. I remember liking it, though thinking back 30 years on I now mostly remember Marilu Henner's pasties.


Well, I'm the one who likes sci-fi and action and fantasy and cheese, and he's the one who doesn't. So I either watch those films alone, or we watch something else.

I liken it to how we deal with food choices: the pickiest eater ends up calling the shots most of the time, just because it's unfair to eat somewhere where one person can only eat one dish on the menu, if that.

If it's a gender thing (and it may well be) it's not so much that "man" movies prevail as men prevail.

(We bond over other things, obviously!)


I like action movies more than my husband. He has a far greater tolerance for slice-of-life stuff, though neither of us prefers it. We tend to like the same movies, though that depends on the movie more than genre. He can watch war movies far more than I, though sometimes he's only looking at the planes.

I nearly found myself in trouble when I got roped into a bunch of ladies watching Steel Magnolias. They were weeping and sighing and I was internally aboil over the crass manipulation, because every sad thing in the movie was completely preventable, and I thought the characters welcomed their suffering. But I kept my mouth shut.

We both love so-bad-it's-good movies.

I think the point of the video store arguing is that it was never the woman's turn. And that's just selfish. Though my husband does not share my liking for Joan Crawford movies (she scares him, though to me that's the point) he wouldn't stop me from getting one. Can't these people afford two VCR's or DVD players? If not, turns seem only fair.


And yes, we both love Casablanca.


Bossy makes her husband sit through old Waltons reruns. Just trying to do her name a little justice...


"She has a favorite Kurosawa film" is a great line. And both Joan Crawford and old Waltons reruns scare me too.

I always get the movies from the videostore just because I'm paying more attention to pop culture, and try to keep it varied, everything from the girlie "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" to the action-boy "Shooter" (we loved both). The only real no-no as a couple is Chinese language films, which I love, but he literally hates listening to the language. Still, I did get him to sit through and laugh at Jackie Chan's masterpiece, "Drunken Master II" which I would recommend highly for Family Movie Night.


Neither I, nor my partner, are film buffs so "what movie to watch?" is a moot topic. Music on the other hand -- "I Love the '80s" was pretty much a sing-a-long for me, whereas he is suspicious of anything composed after Stravinsky. We've compromised with stuff from "The Great American Songbook" for shared listening pleasure.

mac macgillicuddy

Whether the people love, hate, or indifferent to it, Casablanca seems to have a role in many people's backstory (I happen to put it at the top of my all time best list, but the backstory isn't something I'll get into here).

What I really want to say is that I drew the short straw and took our kids to see The Simpsons. And from start to finish, I NEVER CRACKED A SMILE. Homer is right, at the beginning, when he tells us we are all suckers.


So, on the one hand, bless you, because the husband cheerfully watches MGM musicals on a frequent basis while I just volunteered to watch The Civil War, so I think it works.

On the other hand, it's dreck. Just saying.


On the other hand, it's dreck. Just saying.

julia, do you mean my post or Ken Burns' documentary? I hope you mean my post, because I really liked The Civil War.

Kit Stolz

I agree with your critical depiction of "guys who always have to feel like guys," but despite my affection for its stars, I think "Music and Lyrics" is not a good choice to convert anyone to a lighter style. It's a not-very-funny romantic comedy with a pathetically unreal "meet-cute" and a plodding plot. If it weren't for Grant's talent at self-deprecation, it would be altogether unwatchable.


All of a sudden I'm reminded of the discussion in Y: The Last Man (yes, a comic), where compatibility is revealed as not liking the same things, but hating the same things.

So perhaps the couple in the original post differ on what kind of shlock they desire, but united in their distate for, say, movies with subtitles?

Oh, and unless that "next disc" is the last one for BSG, you might be somewhat annoyed-slash-disappointed by the mid-season doldrums that affects that show. I liked a lot of the mid-season episodes, but there are many that didn't. "The Scar", for example, is one that alienates a lot of fair-weather viewers, as it focuses on a character that many people don't like and is entirely a one-shot besides.

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