Boyfriends. They’re a funny bunch. Most of them are pretty cool, but generally speaking they’re not into movies where there isn’t a lot of action, explosions or really gnarly death scenes. Especially if they're self proclaimed geeks of one type or another. Grindhouse is fine sometimes, but what happens when it’s your turn to pick the movie and you know your sweetie claims to have a deathly allergy to anything Sandra Bullock? Here’s a list of movies with very few explosions or decapitations that can still satisfy the geek in both of you.
John Cusack owns a record store. Jack Black is his obnoxious but funny employee. There are discussions about Top 5 lists, The Jesus and Mary Chain, girls, and the musical crimes of Stevie Wonder. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make the perfect mix tape, pick out the most outrageous band name (Sonic Death Monkey, anyone?) or are a huge music geek, this is required viewing.
Part science fiction romp, part love story, this movie centers on 12th grader Donnie and his best friend, Frank, who just happens to be a giant, demon-faced rabbit. Touching relationships with a touch of sci-fi for the boyf. You’ll never think of rabbits, time travel, or Patrick Swayze the same way again. Watch out for a pre-Green Hornet Seth Rogen in a supporting role.
Amélie, a waitress who works at the Café des 2 Moulins in Paris, finds and returns a box of childhood treasures to a neighbor in her apartment complex. Seeing the happiness it brings him, she sets out on a journey to make other people in her neighborhood happy. Along the way there are awkward family dinners, matchmaking, gnome kidnapping, jerk shaming and more joie de vivre than you can shake a stick at. Not to mention the visual style of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is enough for any movie geek to stand and salute.
Boy, a struggling Dublin musician and Girl, a recent immigrant from the Czech Republic, have a chance meeting when a broken vacuum cleaner brings them together. This isn’t a conventional rom-com in the slightest, but it has earned an enthusiastic fan base. Even Steven Spielberg (yes, that Steven Spielberg) is a fan. With original songs by Glen Hansard of The Frames, this is another great music geek-out film.
Andrew Largeman, a moderately successful actor returns home to New Jersey for the first time in a decade to attend the funeral of his estranged mother. While home he meets Sam, a girl who is everything he isn’t: funny, full of life and unwilling to march to the beat of someone else’s drum. The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons fills the geek quotient here as a disgruntled, Klingon-quoting knight.
AVOID AT ALL COSTS: Dirty Dancing. I know, I know. If you’re female and reading this, it’s 87.627% possible that you love this movie. You’re also wondering what kind of cold-hearted jerk I am. What’s given me such distaste for this movie? Well, I’ll tell you. Approximately 40,000 enforced viewings of this movie by obsessed female friends left a decidedly anti-no one puts Baby in the corner taste in my mouth. It’s cheesy, poorly written and worst of all BORING. (Did I mention it was cheesy?) A word of warning: if you attempt to play this movie in front of your boyfriend he will leap up with the speed of The Flash in his haste to GTFO, leaving a boyfriend-shaped hole in your living room. You have been warned.
What geek-friendly romantic movies do you love?
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