Best Summer Date Ideas: Movie Dates

Best Summer Date Ideas: Movie Dates
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Entertainment And News

The summer movie season isn't all about giant robots, superheroes, and making things go "BOOM" really loudly. There's also a little thing known as "counter-programming," where smaller, more intimate flicks vie for an audience's attention in the hopes of getting some of that blockbuster runoff. The big action tentpoles may get dudes into theaters, but it's the gentle jabs of their girlfriend's elbows that get them settling in for a nice, romantic date movie. 

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While many of these kinds of films carry the stigma of pandering solely to female viewers and their begrudging boyfriends, we've compiled an eclectic list of this summer's most promising date movies, with a little something for everyone.

#21: 'Jumping the Broom' (May 6)

STARS: Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Angela Bassett

While the urban market is becoming more and more monopolized by the looming Tyler Perry-ocracy, this romantic dramedy should be a breath of fresh air. Centering around a woman named Sabrina (Patton) who finds the perfect guy in Jason (Alonso) only to see her plans for marital bliss threatened when their two very different families converge on Martha's Vineyard for their wedding. Dealing head-on with issues of class and African American heritage, including the antiquated practice of the title, it features two bright young leads on the cusp of stardom.

#22: 'Bridesmaids' (May 13)

STARS: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne

Another big entry winning audiences over across the country as we speak is this raucous comedy for which super-producer Judd Apatow has taken the formula he used on "Knocked Up" and "Superbad" and given it a serious shot of estrogen. Wiig is an unmarried woman stuck in a casual relationship an icky dude (Jon Hamm) and depressed after her business fails, who is given a chance to redeem herself when she's given Maid of Honor duties at her best friend's wedding. One disaster follows another in brilliant fashion as the film proves that not only CAN women do outrageous comedy but they're AWESOME at it!

#23: 'Midnight In Paris' (May 20)

STARS: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates

It's always difficult to classify a Woody Allen movie, especially after cranking 'em out for four decades has essentially made the Wood-man a genre of his own, but unlike some of his more serious pieces like "Match Point" this year's model is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Owen Wilson, who fits right in with Allen's sensibilities, is vacationing in Paris with his shrewish fiancé (a "Wedding Crashers" reunion with McAdams!) and her conservative family when he stumbles upon a magical part of the city of light that ain't in Foder's Guide. Do yourself a favor and don't read about the film's fantastical twist, just go and enjoy this endearing love note to the world's most romantic city.

#24: 'Beginners' (June 3)

STARS: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent

McGregor plays a guy whose father (Plummer) announces, after 44-years of marriage, that he is not only gay but also dying of cancer. His dad's new outlook on life changes his own for the better, and helps McGregor navigate a budding relationship with an exciting new girl (Laurent, so memorable in "Inglourious Basterds"). Plummer is getting great advance buzz for his performance here, which could have the same cross-over appeal that last year's gay-themed "Kids Are All Right" did.

#25: 'Submarine' (June 3)

STARS: Craig Roberts, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine

This quirky Brit-flick was a hit at Sundance, where it earned comparisons to past-favorites like "Harold and Maude," "The Graduate," and "Rushmore." Newcomer Roberts plays Oliver, an oddball 15-year-old perpetually stuck in his own head who attempts to A) stop his mum from having an affair and B) lose his virginity to an equally strange, pyromaniac classmate named Jordana (Yasmin Paige). With a cool soundtrack by Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner and Ben Stiller shepherding the film's stateside release, this could be a cult classic in-the-making as well as a perfect date destination for adventurous teens/hipster types.

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#26: 'Bad Teacher' (June 24)

STARS: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake

Another destination for the bold of heart is this foul-mouthed anti-comedy about a seriously nasty high school teacher (Diaz) who competes with a colleague for the affections of a highly eligible ($$$) new sub (Timberlake, goin' nerdy for this role). Misanthropy and expletives abound in the movie's hilarious red-band trailer, and since it's directed by Jake Kasdan, who previously delivered school-centered laughs with "Freaks and Geeks" & "Orange County," audiences should be in good, i.e. maniacal, hands. If your sweetheart has a bit of a devious side, consider this the perfect anti-"Eat Pray Love."

#27: 'Larry Crowne' (July 1)

STARS: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts

Speaking of Julia Roberts, here she is, in what is sure to be the go-to movie for the older set this summer. Good 'ol reliable Tom Hanks is taking his second stab at directing 15-years after "That Thing You Do," playing an enthusiastic-but-uneducated man who loses his job and decides to go back to college, and of course, falls in love with his professor (Roberts). Do two of the 90's biggest stars still have what it takes to pack 'em into a solid romantic comedy? We shall see!

#28: 'Friends With Benefits' (July 22)

STARS: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake

Timberlake is back for seconds, this time sharing friendship and a bed with Kunis as two damaged goods people who just want a little nookie without all those gross emotions. We already got the f**kbuddies scenario earlier this year with that OTHER "Black Swan" beauty Natalie Portman in "No Strings Attached." Whether this iteration on the theme can top that one is unclear, but the two stars seem to have great chemistry together, as well as a stellar supporting cast including Woody Harrelson, Andy Samberg, and "Easy A" star Emma Stone.

#29: 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' (July 29)

STARS: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore

When Carell's character gets divorced, he becomes the wingman for a serious ladies man played by Gosling, who teaches the sad sack all the tricks of the trade. But what happens when the player falls hard for one of his conquests (Emma Stone, again!) and the newly liberated dude realizes he really wants his wife back? Gosling is stepping out of his typical intense-mode for a more conventional romantic comedy, and his new look may get the ladies' homefires burning, big time. Just be there when it happens, guys.

#30: 'One Day' (Aug. 19)

STARS: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson

Director Lone Scherfig, who made a star out of Carey Mulligan with "An Education," returns by giving Anne Hathaway a flawless British accent and a struggle with the whole male/female friendship thing. We follow two lifelong friends over the course of twenty years, focusing on one day a year on the anniversary of the day they met. It might be advisable to see this movie with that special pal of yours that you always harbored secret feelings for… Good luck!

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