There are a number of movies that defined my childhood/teen years, though only a few that I cannot even try and separate from my dating years back then. Here are some of those movies for me and/or some of my contemporaries who shall remain semi-anonymous:
As far as I’m concerned, this was THE date movie of 1996, aka 8th grade. Which is quite strange and disturbing, seeing as how the main message to young women is “never date anyone ever, and always listen to your dad, because your boyfriend is probably a sociopath”. I guess the reason why this was probably popular amongst 8th grade girls has to just be because of the part where Reese Witherspoon gets fingerblasted on the rollercoaster while Mazzy Star’s cover of “Wild Horses” played. That’s really all I ever wanted out of dating in the 8th grade, to be honest. Also, I know quite a few girls that were actually fingerblasted DURING that scene too! Oh and also, probably this movie was popular because Marky Mark’s hot peak period of time was obviously 1996. Even though it was pretty fucked up to think that character was cute. I’m going to go ahead and blame this movie for any masochistic dating behavior that has manifested in myself since 1996.
I think I saw this with one of my first boyfriends, and was probably one of my first exposures to anything vaguely related to post-modern irony/pastiche. What’s funny about that it is that this movie is totally inseparable with the 90s. Also, wasn’t this around the time that people were saying Skeet Ulrich was going to be the next Johnny Depp? The last time I remember Skeet Ulrich being in anything recent was a poster on Satan’s wall in South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, which was like, a total Freshman year in college-era movie. Regardless, it kinda had something in it for everyone, which is I guess one of the key components to a date movie, and if you were like, alive in the 90s, chances are you went on a date to go see it. Also, I can’t fucking believe the Wayans brothers are still “parodying” that movie a million years too late and as far from the mark as possible.
3) Beavis and Butthead Do America
Maybe this is just me and my ridiculous people I dated in middle school, but the first guy that I ever actually dated and had a huge crush on wanted nothing else but to see this movie at the very fist mention of it months before. A number of things went wrong in the meantime– he broke his leg snowboarding, and I was way too shy to like initiate anything….plus the fact that you know, this movie does not exactly ease any sexy time out of an 8th grader whatsoever. So, this guy loved it, as did I, though, I considered it a personal failure that our much built-up movie date was, in the end, memorable for nothing else but “Cornholio”. I guess it definitely could’ve been worse.
4) I Know What You Did Last Summer
This definitely reminds me of my first real boyfriend, and my first real annoyance at a boyfriend making fun of so-called “girl” movies. Why is it that somehow, some people think that stupid movies aimed at primarily women are actually the women themselves faults? If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s dudes (or the patriarchy’s rather) faults for not wanting to give up their privilege, trying to make us think that we’ll just settle for sub-par acting, and just want to have their babies all the time and enter some marriage deal. Whatevs. We all know the only reason guys went to see that movie was because of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s boobs.
This was, bizarrely, my first movie date post-3rd grade. We were both too shy to even look at each other, and now that I think about it, we were just as well suited to each other as a lesbian and some crazy racist religious misogynist in a boring and unfunny Western re-make– JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE, GET IT??!?! Just in case you were all wondering, I think he like manages a baseball team now. I think things worked out like they should’ve for us.