What movies should you not watch with your significant other? We all love cuddling up for a romantic movie night with our sweeties. A cozy evening-in spent in front of the TV can be a great way to unwind, relax, and escape from the real world. However, not all movies are good choices for date night.
While most of us love watching a romantic rom-com with our partners, sometimes, romantic movies can take a depressing turn — and no one wants to sit with their boyfriend or girlfriend and watch a couple break up. And romantic movies aren’t the only dangerous films for couples, either — there are plenty of other movies that you should try to avoid when you’re planning your next in-house cinematic experience. Whether it’s a disturbing horror movie, a drama about a cheating couple, or even a movie that is so sexual it’s awkward, we’ve got you covered. Here are all of the movies you should never watch with your partner.
The Break-Up is the opposite of a romantic movie
The Break-Up, as the name suggests, is literally all about a couple breaking up. And no matter how solid you and your partner are in your relationship, watching a break-up movie will probably be more than a little awkward.
The Break-Up stars Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn as a couple of three years whose relationship falls apart at the very beginning of the movie. The couple end up staying in their house together after the separation, where they proceed to increasingly annoy each other. By the end of the movie, Aniston’s character, after a brief change of heart, realizes that Vaughn’s character will always disappoint her. He realizes the error of his ways a little too late. Instead of a romantic reconciliation, we get a more bittersweet finale. As The Guardian put it, “This isn’t the scene where they get back together because romance trumps all, it’s the scene where Brooke quietly, without blowing her own trumpet, learns to value herself.”
Needless to say, any couples with even a slight power imbalance may find that this movie brings up a few points of contention. We recommend sticking with a more lighthearted rom-com!
Amour is probably heartbreaking for date night
While you may think that watching a film about an old, long-standing couple would be a good call for movie night with your significant other, Amour is definitely not that movie.
Amour is a French film about an aging married couple. They are happy. However, when the wife has several strokes, her husband has to become her caretaker. Essentially, you’re witnessing a man who’s deeply in love with a dying woman who’s losing everything that makes her her.
Amour is incredibly hard to watch and, without spoiling the final scenes, we’ll just say that it ends tragically. As NPR put it, this is “not at all the typical Hollywood story of love, in which there is dancing and kissing and good times.” Instead, we join this couple after all of their “good times” have passed them by. NPR went on, “This is a story about the fact that feeling love… has rewards and it has risks, and that plainly, one of the risks is that something like this can happen to you.” For young couples, Amour will be a sharp reminder that even the most powerful love stories don’t always have happy endings.
Gone Girl is about a seriously twisted relationship
Gone Girl is a sexy thriller about a couple whose relationship goes very, very wrong. It begins innocently enough, with Amy and Flynn sharing a typical rom-com meet cute at a party, followed by the heady early days of young love. However, as reality sets in, the couple becomes dissatisfied with each other. Ultimately, things take a sinister turn with Amy framing her husband for her own murder.
Many critics of Gone Girl mused over whether Amy was a feminist icon for her fight against her husband’s misogynist microaggressions, or whether she was merely an example of damaging male stereotypes. As The Guardian explained, the film triggered multiple debates about male and female dynamics among fans and critics alike.
If you’re not automatically turned off by Gone Girl‘s disturbing and decidedly non-romantic plot, this should probably dissuade you from choosing this movie for date night, especially if you’re in a heterosexual couple. After all, you probably don’t want to get caught up in a heated, complicated debate with your partner about feminism when you’re trying to enjoy a relaxing evening.
Blue Valentine shows a failing relationship
Most couples would probably agree that watching a once-happy relationship slowly fall apart over the course of a few hours wouldn’t be a great way to spend an evening together. To that end, Blue Valentine tells the story of Dean and Cindy; the hyper-naturalistic film focuses on this relationship as both Cindy and Dean change over time, thanks to the pressures and strains of “real life.” As Empire put it, it’s “a love story that’s no Love Story.”
What’s so heart wrenching about Blue Valentine is how it’s shot. We watch their romance out of order, which means that the early, happy scenes are juxtaposed with the later, sadder scenes. In other words, the edits show us that the relationship has always been doomed. As Empire explained, “The issues that undermine Dean and Cindy have always been present — their strengths are also their weaknesses, their charms are also irritations.”
Yikes. For happy young couples, analyzing how a partnership deteriorates is probably not the best plan for date night!
Don't watch Mother! with your significant other
Mother! may look like your average horror film from the outside. And while you may think this movie would be perfect for cuddling up under the covers with your significant other, it’s probably a little too disturbing for couples to enjoy. As IndieWire put it, the film “has so many jaw-dropping moments you might actually feel sick to your stomach.”
Mother! follows Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a married couple who live in a beautiful house, but things get weird when more and more uninvited guests turn up there. The guests trash the house — eventually, the house becomes some kind of post-apocalyptic war zone, with warring gangs, fires, cults, and more. When Lawrence’s character gives birth, things take an even more sinister turn. As the crowd fawns over the baby, something tragic, gruesome, and deeply shocking occurs. More brutality and death ensues.
Whether you and your partner have children of your own or not, watching this couple’s life and home literally being torn apart won’t be easy.
(500) Days of Summer is a tough watch for couples
When (500) Days of Summer first came out, everyone expected it to be a quirky romantic comedy. However, the end of the movie turns all of the rom-com tropes on their head. While the film doesn’t show a couple falling in then out of love, it does show a relationship that simply doesn’t work.
What makes the romance fail in (500) Days of Summer is the fact that Tom never fully sees Summer. As screenwriter Scott Neustadter told Entertainment Weekly, “He wasn’t observing the inner life of the Summer character. He projected on her.” What results is a movie couple that illustrates some of the more harmful relationship dynamics out there for heterosexual couples.
In fact, if you do watch (500) Days of Summer with your boyfriend, you may find yourself second guessing him as much as you second guess Tom in the movie. As Nylon said, “Invite him to come over and watch (500) Days of Summer. Ask him who’s in the wrong — and don’t be afraid to dump him if he says Summer.” Of course, if you don’t feel like jeopardizing your relationship maybe settle for another film.
Closer is jam-packed with deception, lies, and adultery
Closer, which stars Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Julia Roberts, and Clive Owen, follows two British couples; after falling in love, they end up switching partners. The movie is filled with plenty of deceit and broken hearts, so it’s easy to see why it might not be a great pick to watch with your significant other.
What’s so disturbing about Closer is that it shows how people can be capable of convincingly pretending to be in a loving, honest relationship. As Roger Ebert wrote in his review of the film, “Fascinated by the game of love, seduced by seduction itself, they play at sincere truthful relationships which are lies in almost every respect, except their desire to sleep with [the] other.”
If you have ever had any doubts about your partner and the nature of their feelings for you, this film will definitely serve as an awkward reminder of how easy it is for relationships to fall apart, even when they look good on the outside.
Her shows a man getting over a break-up in a strange way
Her begins with a married couple whose relationship is coming to an end. Then, over the course of the film, Joaquin Phoenix’s character falls in love with his AI voice controlled assistant. While a movie about a man falling in love with Alexa may sound pretty funny, it’s actually quite a heart-wrenching story that illustrates just how difficult losing love can be.
Roger Ebert’s review of Her states that the film is “definitely a challenging but not inapt date movie.” However, we think you might want to skip watching this movie with your significant other — especially if you’re in a new relationship. As Inverse noted, “The film is wise to reveal what few romantic dramas written by men dare to admit: The guy sucks.” Just like in (500) Days of Summer, Phoenix’s character prefers to live in a world of fantasy, especially when it comes to his love life. His ex-wife sums it up: “You’ve always wanted to have a wife without the challenges of actually dealing with anything real.” Oof.
If you want to avoid some depressing conversations about how difficult love can be, we suggest skipping Her.
Don't watch Shame with your significant other
One important part of any romantic relationship is the physical side of things. And while watching characters get it on in a movie can be kind of fun for some couples, there’s definitely a line that you don’t want to cross. To that end, Shame is a film that deals with sex addiction — and there’s a lot of graphic sex in this film. That alone may be enough to turn some couples off. However, not only is there a lot of sex, this sex is framed as something shameful, dangerous, and unhealthy.
Michael Fassbender plays Brandon, a damaged, sex-obsessed man. As CNN wrote in a review, “Any addiction is potentially destructive, turning something enjoyable, like a pint of beer or an intimate evening into something entirely different.” Even Fassbender found the film “pretty disturbing,” as he told the Irish Examiner.
Chances are, you and your partner will also be disturbed by this raw portrayal of how sex can become a twisted addiction just like anything else. If you don’t want to ruin your next intimate encounter with your significant other, we’d suggest avoiding this movie.
50 Shades of Grey might be a little awkward for couples to watch together
While 50 Shades of Grey is an undeniably sexy movie, it’s probably not a great choice for date night. This movie tells the story of a couple who launch into a BDSM-filled relationship. While the movie is definitely pretty — well — exciting, it might not prove to have the same effect when you’re watching alongside your significant other.
Whatever your tastes may be in the bedroom, the graphic, over-the-top depictions of intimacy in 50 Shades of Grey are sure to leave you both feeling pretty awkward. Plus, as many viewers have pointed out, the sex scenes in 50 Shades of Grey are actually seriously unrealistic. As fetish model Emily Sarah told The Guardian, “It didn’t show an authentic side to BDSM.” She also pointed out that Christian, the male lead, is actually quite problematic. “I’ve met a few Christian Greys. As someone who, in the past, has experienced many unhealthy and abusive relationships, I would definitely stay away from him.” So not only will these BDSM scenes be awkward, they may also prove unsatisfying, and, worst of all, quite problematic.
Magic Mike is best saved for girls' night
Magic Mike definitely wasn’t made as a movie for heterosexual couples; the film follows Channing Tatum as Mike, an ultra-muscular male stripper. While you and the girls might have tons of fun watching this movie, chances are, your partner will find this movie a little awkward.
While you and your boyfriend may decide to skip Magic Mike for date night, if he’s feeling brave, he might actually take a few things away from the movie if he can bear to sit through it. As one female viewer wrote for Cosmopolitan, she watched the movie with her partner, and it actually went pretty well. While he was a tiny bit jealous of his girlfriend’s adoration of Tatum’s rock-hard abs, he had to admit, the dancing was actually pretty good. As she told him, “I have to say I really give you credit for watching that movie with me and bearing it while I grinned like an idiot the whole time.”
But if you don’t want to put your significant other through that same experience, save this one for girls’ night.
Don't watch Revolutionary Road with your significant other
Revolutionary Road stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as a suburban couple who fall out of love. And while you may be tempted to try this film thanks to the classic Leo and Kate pairing, this movie is not quite as romantic as Titanic.
As one viewer wrote for the Vulture, “This movie ruins lives.” Apparently, she had a panic attack the first time she watched it and got into her fight with her boyfriend the second time. So, what’s so bad about this movie? While the couple begin their relationship with plenty of artistic ambitions and lofty aspirations, “real life” once again sets in and ruins things. Soon, they are living a dull life in the suburbs. As the Vulture reviewer put it, “Everyone’s soul is beige.”
This picture of how a relationship can become dull and mundane over time is sad and, for young couples, just a little bit scary. We definitely recommend sticking with Titanic.
This is Where I Leave You shows just how complicated relationships can be
Most couples probably won’t want to watch a depressing family drama about death and divorce on their night in, and This Is Where I Leave You is an example of such a film. This movie contains just about all of the sad adult things that could happen to a person. Judd, played by Jason Bateman, loses his job, wife, home, and father all at once. He then has to spend lots of stressful time with his dysfunctional family at his father’s funeral. Judd’s wife and her new boyfriend also play a big part in the drama, if that gives you an indication of what to expect.
For you and your significant other, watching this sad display of how relationships can sour may feel a little depressing. Plus, as Roger Ebert’s review noted, there are plenty of other family dramas to choose from that are funnier and more relatable than This Is Where I Leave You. If you insist on watching a depressing family movie, maybe skip this particular option.
Marriage Story shows what happens when couples break-up after building a life together
Marriage Story is less about marriage than what happens after a marriage ends. Obviously, this subject matter isn’t ideal for loving couples, but this divorce story is particularly hard-hitting. While Nicole and Charlie seem to have a happy relationship, it becomes clear that neither of them are really content with their dynamic as a couple. Nicole, for instance, feels that she’s lost her true self in the relationship. As Ian Kerner, a relationship expert told The Atlantic, she “felt that she became a passenger as he was driving.” As Kerner also noted, Charlie couldn’t’ see the relationship through his wife’s eyes, which meant they could never get on the same page.
Every couple has its problems, but Marriage Story will remind you and your significant other of the fact there are certain things about you that the other person will never fully understand. If you want to avoid facing your most deep-seated concerns about your relationship, Marriage Story probably isn’t the best choice for you and your partner.
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