Wednesday, June 28, 2006


see? you really SHOULD over-analyze these things.

right--i tightened up the post so that the whole article isn't here anymore. but it's still SO GOOD!! brilliant, even. or at least proof positive that someone has the same film parts of his brain as i do. read it.

pS. i cut a part of the text where he mentioned garden state. but just fyi, he mentioned garden state. and he approves.

ppS. off the top of my head, my third-date flick short list would include yellow submarine, high fidelity, the royal tenenbaums, anything by almodovar, and arrested development 1st season. i have strict rules not to subject a male-type person to jane austen until we've been dating for at least 4 months. and while i realize that my choice of almodovar makes me suspect, i strongly endorse--with feeling--the statements regarding lynch et al.

Pajiba's Guide to Third-Date Flicks
by dustin rowles

Never underestimate the importance of third dates, folks. Third dates are where long-term determinations are made, where a relationship crystallizes, where you find out if the guy with perfectly mussed hair and a slobber-free kissing ability actually has something under the hood. While first dates test physical attraction, and second dates allow you, in varying degrees, to act upon that attraction, it is the third date where actual personalities are revealed. While first and second dates generally take place in public — restaurants, bars, movie theaters, or (for the luckier) park benches after last call — third dates tend to take shape on living-room couches, accompanied by light spirits, take-out, and DVDs.

Indeed, in many relationships, the figurative “third date” is where each partner presents his or her defining movie, the one film that epitomizes your personality — the piece of pop culture you put out there to reveal your essence, man. Back in the ’60s and ’70s, I suspect these dates took place in front of a record player, where songs were traded back and forth and couples quickly learned that Bob Dylan and Donna Summer could not co-exist. Today, in a technological world replete with rewind, pause, and DVD bonus features, it is the couch (or futon) where these defining moments are made, and where Bruckheimer can ruin a relationship or Alexander Payne can make it.

This is why, in our first “Pajiba’s Guide to What’s Good for You,” column, I offer you a handy-dandy guide to third-date movies, and what they mean to the future of your relationships.

The Rain on My Car is a Baptism, the New Me, Ice Man, Power Lloyd, My Assault on the World Begins Now: A guy can almost never go wrong with pre-2001 John Cusack — Say Anything or High Fidelity says sensitive yet masculine, culturally aware yet unpretentious, and Fidelity’s credit-rolling Stevie Wonder number, “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)” provides the ideal segue from love seat to fold-out couch. Grosse Pointe Blanke also offers a subversive twist to the Cusack canon, suggesting all of the above, but with some added baggage: He’s cool, musically inclined, but his relationships inexplicably fall apart under the weight of his past. If he offers you Shakabuku, however, politely decline and make your excuses.
I am the Muffin: If either partner sticks in Truffaut, David Lynch, Von Trier, Bertolucci, Malick or anyone else of their ilk, they’re already trying too hard to impress — if he/she is actually an intellectual heavyweight, there is no need to bother with Le Crime de Monsieur Lange unless he/she is out to prove something or he/she is an asshole movie critic (or film student) and, trust me, you don’t want to go there. Roman Polanski, Jean-Luc Goddard, foreign films, and documentaries might suggest a high level of intelligence, but they’re not good third-date choices unless you’re trying to scare away your Ashton Kutcher types or sleep with one of your grad students, who feign interest to procure an A in your class. Don’t get me wrong: There is something to be said for a cerebral mate, but anyone who discusses auteur theories on a third date probably doesn’t wash his or her hair very often and will likely end up trying to talk you into an “open relationship” at some point. If that’s your bag, more power to you.
Now that I’ve Met You, Would You Object to Never Seeing Me Again?: Anything written or directed by Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze, David O. Russell, Paul Thomas Anderson, or Charlie Kaufman are risky propositions, with equal powers to alienate or ingratiate. Indeed, I would suggest that all of the above filmmakers provide an easy means to screen out potential mates. If you pop in Magnolia and your date is still curled up next to you after frogs have fallen from the sky, you’ve found your soul mate. If, however, your date fell asleep halfway through The Royal Tenenbaums, I’d suggest gnawing off your arm and making for the door before he/she wakes up hoping to watch a Tim Allen or Brittany Murphy flick.
I’m Sorry, but I Take Little Pleasure in a Ball: If, on a third date, your girlfriend pulls out anything from Merchant Ivory Productions (Howard’s End, The Remains of the Day), anything adapted from a Jane Austen novel, or almost any movie starring Colin Firth, there is probably nothing wrong with her. She’s smart, independent, and literate. In fact, if she’s hot enough, spare her feelings and try to stay awake for God’s sake. If, on the other hand, you’re a guy who actually finds yourself enjoying any of the aforementioned films, you might consider reexamining your heterosexuality and think twice before popping in The Blue Lagoon.
I am a Golden God! Since you’ve indulged me so far, allow me to introduce my personal recommendation. First off, if you’re me, and she shows up with Harold and Maude, you’re probably going to end up happily married someday, but you’re going to have to endure a whole helluva lot of Cat Stevens before the man calls you upstairs to tend to the clouds. And while I might counter with one of the Cusack flicks above, if I see true long-term viability to the relationship, there is no better third-date film than Almost Famous. It’s got it all, y’all. It’s a slightly tipsy, 2 a.m.-phone-call kind of movie that introduces the best musical moment in cinematic history, the “Tiny Dancer” bus scene that will buckle your knees, make the hair on your arms salute the gods, and then detonate inside you. Indeed, Almost Famous is the closest you can get to swapping LPs on the tabletop, presenting “River,” “America,” “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,” “The Wind,” Alvin and the Chipmunks for novelty value, a Skynyrd song that’ll make you forget all about “Freebird,” and a Nancy Wilson score that strikes just the right chord to break your heart. Almost Famous harkens back to a time when music offered salvation instead of an insipid avenue to that faux-hipster vibe and, if you can’t find some sort of romantic symbiosis when Phillip Seymour Hoffmann pronounces that “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone when you’re uncool,” then you don’t belong together. Hell, you may as well go back to watching There’s Something About Mary with your roommate and discussing the secrets to crushing Schlitz cans into your forehead, because that’s where you’re going to be until you find a woman that not only loves Miss Congeniality but has an unironic fondness for Weekend at Bernie’s.

excellent. and yes, faux pas.

i agree with almost everything he said except:

"couples quickly learned that Bob Dylan and Donna Summer could not co-exist."

not true. ;)
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