My husband and I try to have a date night every week, which we think is important after kids. So most Fridays, John and I drop the little ones off at their grandparents’ house for the evening before going out to dinner and a movie.
Problem is, like many couples, we have really different tastes in movies. He loves superhero, horror, and action flicks, whereas I’m a fan of indie flicks, girl comedies, and painfully slow, dialogue-heavy foreign films. Early on, these differences led to more than a little bad-and-forth sniping.
But we found a simple solution: we just trade off. He picks one week and I pick the next, unless we really want to see something that looks like it might leave the theaters soon (in which case, the other person gets to pick for the next two weeks).
This method saved us from constant bickering and has a few other great advantages:
We see a broader range of films than we otherwise might
Someone once said “a camel is a horse designed by a committee,” and while this may be unfair to camels, they make a fair point.
When you have to reconcile competing goals to please everyone, it waters down your choices. Since we don’t both have to like the movie, we don’t have to stick to “safe” genres.
We get to see what we really want
Since the tradeoff started happening, there’s been a fairly predictable schedule of chick flicks one week, then dick flicks the next.
But no one’s complaining. I may not always be in the mood to watch sarcastic renegades blow stuff up, but I’ll try to rally because I know that next week, my husband will sit through two hours of people giving each other quiet, longing looks without any fuss.
Plus, sometimes you can play the odds in your favor. Movies like Ex Machina and Inception were swing votes (either one us us might pick them), so you can gamble by picking whatever other film you wanted to see.
Sometimes you love something you never expected to
I’ve ended up loving may of my husband’s movie picks, even after being sure I’d hate them. The Iron Man series, for example, and Guardians of the Galaxy, were so much fun that I respected the entire superhero genre more after seeing them.
John was crazy about Life of Pi and Phoenix, both movies he admitted he would’ve never watched if left to his own devices.
Plus, it’s easier to have an open mind about seeing new films when you didn’t throw a fit about seeing them in the first place, because it doesn’t mean admitting you were wrong.
Stepping outside your comfort zone can be a great thing. You get a new perspective. It shakes things up.
And I’m not saying we never get bored or make mild threats (“I swear if you force me to watch The Gift, I will MAKE YOU WATCH ‘THE PERFECT GUY’ THE VERY NEXT WEEK!”), but arguments are minimal.
But sometimes you discover a hidden gem.
This week was Deadpool, so I’m thinking The Maltese Falcon may be on the agenda.