It’s Friday, the end of a long, frustrating week, but that’s all OK because tonight is date night with your special someone.
The big question, though: What are you going to do? All the good restaurants are packed, and the laser tag arena is already sold out for the night. Sure, you could go to the movie theater, if you wanted to watch a dozen people in front of you scroll through their Twitter feeds for two hours.
Or the two of you could stay in and watch romantic Netflix movies.
It might sound as fun as going out for a date, but by the time you’ve gotten through a couple of flicks, you’ll be thanking yourself for avoiding the crowds of obnoxious people in favor of focusing on the two that matter: you and your special someone.
Here are the five best Netflix movies for date night:
Best Netflix Movies for Date Night: Don Jon
Joseph Gordon-Levitt decided that being a good-looking, successful actor with a solid independent creative company on the side wasn’t enough. So he wrote and directed a movie: Don Jon.
The nice thing about being a Hollywood A-lister is that you have some pretty cool friends you can get to help with your self-made movie. Like, say, Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore. The result is one of the most refreshing (and unrelenting) romance movies in recent memory.
JGL plays Jon “The Don” Martello, a contemporary version of the fictional Don Juan, a man known for his talents with words and, um … physical expression. Jon’s on a quest to bring home the “perfect 10,” and when he sees Barbara (played by Johansson), he thinks he has victory in his sight. But the more Jon attempts to impress Barbara, he begins to realize how much he has to learn — about her, about love and about himself.
Don Jon is great for anyone who’s a fan of self-discovery, New Jersey, or Joseph Gordon-Levitt without his shirt on.
Best Netflix Movies for Date Night: The Graduate
Another classic, The Graduate stars Dustin Hoffman as a recent college grad who’s trying to find his way in the world. However, it’s not his experiences in the working world that shape the young man. Instead, it’s his interactions with his friendly crush — and her mother.
Dustin Hoffman gives one of his best performances, despite being at the start of his career, and the whole cast contributes to make it a memorable (and rather quotable) film. The dialogue and the cinematography are both iconic, and will give you and your special someone plenty of moments to talk about on future dates.
The Graduate is one of the great movies that moves seamlessly between being laugh-out-loud funny and intimately painful. And that texture makes it one of the best Netflix movies for date night.
Best Netflix Movies for Date Night: Say Anything…
Before John Cusack made a career starring in mid-grade disaster movies, he boomboxed his way into the hearts of moviegoers in the late 80s.
Say Anything is the classic story of “opposites attract,” exploring the kind of obstacles those opposites have to overcome to be together. Writer/director Cameron Crowe manages to weave together the fun of romance with the stress of relationships (even friendships) in a remarkably honest tone.
The 80s produced a great crop of romantic comedies, but few of them reach the heights that Say Anything achieves.
Netflix Movies for Date Night: Much Ado About Nothing
If you’re looking for the best Netflix movies for date night, there are plenty of classics to choose from, but nothing quite like Shakespeare.
After directing The Avengers, the pinnacle of superhero films and the Everest of blockbusters, Joss Whedon took some well-deserved time off … to direct another movie. This time, he swapped out superpowers and heroism for clever quips and a few tons of dramatic irony. Much Ado About Nothing stars Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof as two former lovers who are forced into each other’s company at a rather spectacular wedding.
The movie is shot in black and white, the dialogue is unchanged from Shakespeare’s play and you will be hard-pressed to find a funnier film. If you can keep up with the pace of the film — Acker and Denisof exchange insults like Olympic fencers — it’s one of the best Shakespeare adaptations out there, and easily one of the best Netflix movies to watch on date night.
Netflix Movies for Date Night: Terminator
“But wait,” you say, “that’s a sci-fi movie, not a romance movie.”
Bullshit. It’s both.
The Terminator is better known as being one of the best time travel films out there (alongside its sequel and Back to the Future — which is also a great date night movie, but tragically not on Netflix). But it’s also a stealthy romance film.
Similar to The Empire Strike Back, the first Terminator film manages to bake a romance story into a sci-fi action spectacle. After all, who wouldn’t feel just a little bit romanced if someone came all the way from the future, with no way of going back, just to try to save you from a killing machine that “absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.” That’s the kind of thing that shows real commitment, y’know?
Just because you’re looking for romantic movies on Netflix doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the sci-fi and action.
If you’ve got other Netflix picks for date night, let us know in the comments. Good luck beating The Terminator, though.