How To (And Not To) Pick A DVD With Your Girlfriend

Picking-DVDs.jpgWe’ve all been in this situation, and we’ve all seen thousands of others in the same predicament. It’s a Thursday night, you and your girlfriend decide to run to Blockbuster or something like that to grab a DVD you don’t currently have at home already because you’re in the mood for something else. Not sure what else… just something else. You get to the video store, naively thinking it’ll just take you a couple of minutes to grab something, and before you know it you’ve been there over a half hour and you’re no closer to picking out something you both want to see than you were when you first walked in.

Just last night I went to a video store to grab a copy of Ben Hur (just after hearing about the passing of Charlton Heston). When I walked in, I saw a couple looking on the new releases wall and making their way down (I noticed them because she was HOT). Anyway, I picked up my movie, then just looked a round a little bit and left. I was there for about 15 minutes. When I left, the couple was still there. When I left, I hit a KFC across the street on Sunset Blvd because I was a little hungry and have been wanting to try those new toasted snackers they have. I was in there for about 20 minutes. When I was ready to leave I remembered another DVD I wanted to check out, so I walked back across the street to Blockbuster again… and guess what…. the couple was STILL in there, now walking in front of the same wall again (probably for about the 3rd time). It took me about 10 minutes to find the DVD I was looking for, stood in line for about another 5, and by the time I got out of there, the couple was STILL LOOKING. By the time I left I figure that couple must have already been in there for about an hour.

We’ve all been there. Men and women have different tastes in movies, and so picking one up can been a bit of an exercise when you go together. There are a few bad methods couples try to use thinking it will make things easier. Some of these bad methods are:


1) Take Turns Picking
This is a HORRIBLE idea. The reason it’s a horrible idea is you almost guarantee you’ll never get a movie you’ll both enjoy watching. If it’s his turn, he’ll pick Transformers (if he’s any sort of a real man that is), and chances are, she won’t be that into it (unless you’re one of The Movie Blog Uncut girls that is). When it’s her turn, she picks up Sense and Sensibility which you probably won’t get much out of (unless you imagine Kate Winslet transforming into giant robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex and kicking the crap out of Hugh Grant). Yes it can work sometimes, but chances are she’ll hate the one you pick on your own, you’ll hate the one she picks on her own, and eventually a good DVD night doesn’t sound like much fun for either of you.

2) Pick One Together
Another horrible idea unless you think spending your whole evening at the DVD store doing repeated laps around the place trying to pick one out sounds like a great night to you. Then again, if you’re in one of those relationships where you’ve never had a fight yet and you wonder how the two of you will handle it once it comes along…. then this method just might be for you!

Yes friends, these methods have lead to a lot of wasted hours and unhappy couples. HOWEVER, a few years ago I started using a method that has almost always worked and left both people happy. I’m sure I’m not the first person to come up with it, but I thought I’d share it with you here. I call it the 5-1 Method


Ok, here’s how the 5-1 method works, it’s really quite simple. Once you get to the DVD store, 1 person (on their own) picks out 5 DVDs they’d like to see. When picking out the DVDs it’s important to pick movies that you’d like to see, but that you don’t think the other person would HATE (notice I didn’t say pick movies you think the other person will LIKE, but ones you don’t instantly think they’ll HATE). This process goes pretty fast since picking out 5 you’d like to see is ironically FASTER than trying to pick out just one. Once the 5 are picked out, the second person picks 1 movie from the five picked by the other person. It’s just that simple.

You see, this way the first person is guaranteed to end up with a movie they’re interested in seeing that night, and with 5 choices of movies that the first person doesn’t think they’ll hate, the second person has a pretty decent chance of getting a movie they’re at least modestly interested in seeing. The final decision on which movie they’ll see is up to them (the second person).

It’s important that the first person picks at LEAST 5 dvds. The more movies the first person picks, the higher the chances are that at least a couple of them will be ones the second person will have some interest in.

Here are some tips for making the 5-1 Method work even better:

a) Scan the DVD store’s website to see what’s new in advance. This will make the trip to the store itself even faster so more time can be spent at home watching the movie (and hopefully time for breast access following the movie)

b) Take turns between who picks the 5 and who makes the final choice. In the 5-1 Method, the person who picks the initial 5 has the advantage because they are guaranteed to get a movie they’re interested in. Switch it up UNLESS you try it once one way and both parties like it like that.

c) If possible, try to decide on a basic genre before hitting the store. Comedy, Horror, Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Erotic, Period Piece… whatever. This isn’t necessary, but it might make things go a bit faster and easier if you both happen to be in the mood for the same KIND of movie.

So there you have it. Follow the 5-1 Method and the steps I laid out, and I guarantee you you’ll be in and out of the DVD store much faster, almost ensure that you’ll end up with a movie that you’re both interested in seeing and greatly increase your chances for breast access (which is what it’s really all about anyway). :P

Comment with Facebook

99 thoughts on “How To (And Not To) Pick A DVD With Your Girlfriend

  1. advice from a mystical creature with tits&vagina:

    #1: do NOT be a sexist idiot asshole and choose your most despised romantic comedy for tonight’s watch cause hey, that’s what chicks dig! Me myself, I despise romantic comedies (never managed to finish watching one), but dig action, fantasy and own every Schwarzenegger movie ever made. Yes, Hercules too. AND Villain.
    Moral: TALKING might help. ASK her what movies she likes, who her favorite directors and actors are, what she’d like to see. Don’t just presume all tits&ass like the same stuff. Also, if you fucked something before, don’t project HER taste on your new piece of ass. All women are NOT the same when it comes to movie choices.

    #2: do NOT settle to watch what SHE likes and YOU hate. Even if she promises she’ll watch what SHE hates and YOU love later. It’ll make movie nights a pain in the ass and you’ll be THAT one cranky guy dragged into a shit movie his gf wants to see. Tastes differ, yes, but MOST people can find SOME common grounds and see SUCH movies together. Where tastes differ, watch separately.
    Moral: the fact you’re oinking somebody doesn’t make it mandatory to take ALL of their shit and/or force yourself to participate in every pore/second of their lives. It’s OK if your gf has to watch her boring british crime story sitcoms on her own, and if you wanna see the latest hit by her least favorite director with the guys.

    #3: some women don’t like movies. Period. So.. .skip the movie and proceed to oinkage.

    #4: some women REALLY like movies. Like… I do! Do NOT attempt oinkage, breast play or dick insertion DURING a movie. It MAY result in anything between angry retort and a knock in the crotch and abrupt departure. It’s FINE if you consider the bitch your little plaything so you wouldn’t have to jerk off yourself while having nothing to do with your hands during a movie, but if someone’s “into” a movie, touching THEIR genitalia is FUCKING ANNOYING and terribly distracting.

  2. Making a Great personal ad – Show who you really are – In the event you have a fantastic sense of humour, do not just tell individuals that you are funny prove it inside your ad. Be realistic. Most people do not look like film stars, most of whom don’t appear so excellent in genuine life either. So manage your expectations on what the individual you will meet online is going to look like.

  3. LOL, I have to say the on-line dating or electronic dating has come a hell of a way from the days of straight forward chat rooms. Far more and much more people are turning to on the web dating websites to display possible dates.

  4. I’m lucky I love thrillers and hate rom coms then! I do like the 5-1 method. However, I usually just end up caving in when I want to see some frou frou French film and my friends want to see the latest Jennifer Aniston. Sometimes social benefits > movies. There’s always Netflix, anyway.

  5. This situation literally just happened to my boyfriend and I last night and although the struggle we experienced last night was not at all humorous to either of us at the time, while reading this article I couldn’t help but laugh about how incredibly accurate it is. By the way, after about 25 minutes I finally gave up suggesting and walked, frustrated, to the counter allowing my boyfriend to choose and he picks… I hope they serve beer in hell. i’ll admit, there were parts of the movie that were funny, but there were parts that were ridiculous and almost made me mad to a point.
    tonight, i think we just might try to 5 to 1 method.

  6. I don’t ever really truly remember finishing a movie with a girl the first time through unless it was in a theatre. Sex always interrupts the movie, for years it has happened and I don’t mind – I see the movie eventually, you get used to knowing “just about” where you were at so you can go back to the chapter, or you watch it after she leaves depending on the situation. But seriously – this should never be a problem unless you’re having cookies and milk reading the fucking bible with the girl. You know she doesn’t give two shits unless its in a theatre where you actually have to watch the whole thing.

  7. Yeah I tried the 5- 1 method before, but with friends. It works cause I can really get pissed of when it comes to picking out a movie, can easily be there for half an hour. But yes…the gender thing..I don’t know that.

  8. My relationship is partially based on a common love of the same movies.

    Partially because we’re both total film nerds, but still.

    I mean, how can you be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like at least a large quantity of the same things you do? If two people don’t laugh at the same things, how in the hell are they romantically compatible?

    If you and your girlfriend can’t sit down together and both enjoy the same movie, your relationship is doomed. Unless you’re both really into like…Scrabble or something.

  9. I think I’m one of the lucky ones out there. My girl loves Starwars, LOTRO trillogy, The Godfarther, The Dark Knight (duh) and a whole bunch of other classics..

    she even introduced me to the little shop of horrors! how did i miss that one!

  10. I understand your 5-1 method and I think that it shoulds like a pretty good idea but if you are sitting on the computer at home, you know what is in the store but wont you still go back and forth on what video to even rent? I think that if you are with someone then hopefully you have things in common, one of those things being movies. I understand that everyone has different tastes in movies, I do believe that everyone enjoys a good comedy!

  11. Here is my DVD suggestion to pick with your girlfriend: Faded Memories (coming out soon).

    Story is about an impossible love between a new girl in town that everyone finds a little bit weird and the cool guy who actually end up falling for her.

    Girls will be statisfied because it is a romantic story about fighting for love.

    Guys will be happy becuase of the dramatic side of the film and the blow-in-your-face end.

    Both sides happy. Donne deal

  12. My boyfriend and I used to have a lot of trouble choosing a movie to rent. He came up with a great method that we now use every time. Before getting to the store we decide on a genre. Then one person picks a letter and the other picks a number. So say we pick comedy, I pick “F” and he picks 32. When we get to the store, we go to the comedy section, go to the titles that start with “F” and grab the 32nd one. The rule is if either of us have already seen it, we get the next one down the line. Not only does it remove any possibility of an argument, we’ve found some great flicks we would have never seen. We’ve also found some truly terrible ones, but sometimes making fun of a movie can be just as fun as actually watching it.

  13. I have to agree 100% with you on this, my boyfriend and I rent movies at leat once a week and all those methods that you say don’t work , really don’t! both people have to compromise, for example the girlfriend obviously not pick a chick flick and the boyfriend obviously not a total guy movie because that would suck. It is a good idea to go online and preview what movies are out and pick based on BOTH taste!

  14. It reminds me of one time when I told this guy I had watched ‘Scarface’ and he almost fell off his chair. He couldnt get over it.

    That really annoyed me.

    Being a girl and all.

  15. my wife and i do a sort of varient on this we each wander the store and pick an equal amount of movies and then we do a ‘process of elimination’ alternating to pull a movie out. when we’re done we have two movies left and it’s usually a movie she wants to see and a movie i want to see…. or….. a movie she wants to see and another movie she wants to see that i realized i want to also :)

  16. This is funny to me. Maybe it’s just me and my fiance, but we never have this problem. We both watch whatever we want to. We’re both extreme movie buffs so we find it easier. And when the latest David Fincher movies are out or sound good, we watch it ’cause that’s her favorite filmmaker. I can watch Seven a zillion times ’cause I love her. On that note, I’ve never had this “movie-picking” problem with anyone. Absolutely nobody. And I’ve never seen it happen. This is almost sexist. Girls aren’t this bad.

  17. I think this is so funny but very true because whenever my boyfriend and I go into the video store the same thing always happens. We always end up walking around the place like 15 times without a movie. I thought that the 5-1 method was really cool because if the movies are from all different categories like they suggest everyone will probably have a better chance of getting a movie they do actually enjoy.

  18. I think the only thing wrong with this is that I am a girl and I picked out Transforms with my boyfriend. You should stop and think that not all girls want the “chick flick” because I for one can’t stand those movies. :)

  19. What do you mean if your any sort of real man you’d pick transformers???
    I would personally rather watch Sense and Sensibility. And not just because my gf made watch it all 2 and a half hours of it either!! Great article. I could have used it about 5 months ago though.

  20. am I the only male who actually likes some romcom (or other movies “girl genres” like dance movies) from time to time?

    (I just wouldn’t like to watch some all of the time. but then again I wouldn’t like watching no-brainer action flicks all the time, so…)

  21. Hey I’m a guy and I like “chick flicks” I get tired of all the predictable ‘shoot ’em ups’ anyway I let my wife pick the movies,which are usually foreign.
    Actually if we see a whole rack full of one movie in Hollywood video then we know its going to be crap,on the other hand if its one solitary film in the foreign section we know it’ll be good.

  22. This is actually a really good idea. I’ve been guilty of spending way too long at the video rental store before with my girlfriend, arguing over what to rent.

    Knowing how stubborn she is, the 5-1 idea might be something she’ll laugh off, but I’ll find a way to try it the next time we go :]

  23. I would say 3-1 instead of 5-1. The principle is sound but people have (sales statistic, here) more trouble choosing if there are more than three choices.

  24. Pretty good commentary. Unfortunately, a lot of couples go about it in the way that you observed. Personally, whenever guy and me go to the video store, we’re out within 15min, always get 3 movies, and use a complicated bribe/barter/threat/but you owe me/ abstract reasoning sytems to deide which movies we get. To each their own, but the 5-1 is a great suggestion.

  25. I agree with Kristina on EVERYTHING! Go girl! *Rawr!*

    Kaiser- *applauds* You are correct in saying that if you cannot go and see a movie which your partner enjoys but you do not, if only to bond with them and learn about them. But I do have an addition to that… only do that if it goes both ways! If not then ditch the selfish bastard/bitch who obviously doesn’t appreciate you and your interests and find someone who does!

    My boyfriend and I are planning on seeing Wanted this weekend, and we are equally excited about it. And if you say I’m only excited to see James McAvoy I’ll shoot you. I like the rough-n-tough shoot ’em up big shit explosion movies…but then again, I just watched Definitley, Maybe last weekend, and I liked it, too.

    I have seen the entire Star Wars series, and I LOVE it…and on the other hand I’ve seen the Notebook and bawled my eyes out and loved that too.

    There are people out there who will never watch Transformers, Star Wars, The Matrix trilogy, Smokin’ Aces, or even awesome indi films like Pan’s Labyrinth… or anything like that, and only stick with the movies they know they’ll like. They dont’ want to take a risk on something. But then there are people like Kristina, Kaiser, and I that will go see anything and everything for the sheer joy of seeing a well done film, no matter what the genre.

    Everyone has their own opinions about all kinds of films, if we didn’t then we wouldn’t have film critics and all kinds of different movie reviews, and we definitley wouldn’t have so many different genre’s of movies!

  26. Thanks for the insight, but not unfortunately we have seen everything at Blockbuster worth seeing. There are some older movies ( like from the 80s) that haven’t made it to DVD, that I would love to see again. My husband and I enjoy all kinds of movies from Disney animated movies to the latest major blockbusters. Great idea for those that I see wondering around Blockbuster.

  27. I don’t think it should come to these kinds of tactics, if you have that much trouble watching a movie together one of you or both of you are spoilt to the bone and need to live in a third world country for a year to wake up to yourself and your expectations, that might make you appreciate something again.

    Yes its a very direct opinion however the point here is, that if you aren’t narrow minded and spoilt and unappreciative of all the things you already have in life, then taking interest in what your partner likes to see and do should be a unique and connecting experience that you can link to their personality and who they really are, which may just reinforce the thing that originally made you like them in the first place. If thats impossible to comprehend or too difficult for you then there isn’t really that much like/love there anyhow and it proves just how selfish you have become for not taking “part” in your partners interests, movies or whatever.

    Having to do everything a certain way and having a plan or method for silly little things just turns you’re relationship into a job and takes the fun out of it, and really there’s no long term hope if you’re coming home to another job.

    Sure its important to compromise on things but the more you combine interests the less you need to compromise over, and I believe if you are having to compromise over too many things little or not then over time you will be left feeling unsatisfied.

    People just need to broaden their interests and let go of their demands a little, most people fall back into themselves after a while and are mainly concerned about their own needs and what “I want” especially where someone see’s no major harm in enforcing it, of course it varies greatly to the extent and when, if ever it happens to your relationship. A classic example would be a new couple just meet and go see a movie, it would be very rare for either of them to choose a movie for themselves and the other person, they would more likely watch whatever the other person wanted because there is already enough excitement to keep them happy, once that goes away selfishness kicks in. Thats why the real issue isn’t with the movie its with yourself and your own needs and wants taking over.

    I believe instead of putting a bandaid on the problem and reducing your partners options to a handful of movies that they may not pick any from and instead knock them out of your hands and tell you to try again, you would be better off choosing your favourite movies and take interest in your partners movies too, because most movies have entertaining aspects in them that can be enjoyed by anyone, and it will broaden your interests and open your eyes to things that could improve your relationship and yourself as a person, and its a good feeling knowing your partner makes an effort to share your interests, after all thats why you spend your time together in the first place, and to grow from one another.

    If thats all just too much effort and feels like a 747 taking off over your head then all you can do is hope it lasts and if not, find the right person for you by keeping in mind beauty gets you places or gets you interested but personality keeps you there!.

  28. My husband and I rarely go to the video store together to select movies. I’m usually the one grabbing a handful before heading on home, but am I sensitive and won’t make him watch stuff I know he has no interest in.
    He and I have very different tastes. I’m an utter geek and he likes comedy, unfortunately he likes a lot of brainless stupid shit comedy that I can only stomach once in a while. Thankfully he’s not adverse to British comedy, so it broadens the selection.
    I am definitely the dominating opinion in our moving watching relationship as I love action flicks, sci-fi, fantasy and horror. He’ll give the action flicks a go and usually enjoy them.
    I will say that he’s more apt to enjoy the dramas & indie films I take him to see or bring home.
    When it comes to a romantic flick I leave those to solo viewing or have a few girlfriends over.
    RomComs are not on the list and rarely do I give one a chance though once in a grand while one will surprise me. I dislike most “chick flicks” and like Kristina I absolutely hate that term. Though I do have a girlfriends and co-workers who watch all that crap and eat it up.

  29. My method has worked for the past 10 years. I pick one and she picks one. That’s it. No crying – no nothing. She watches mine and I watch hers.
    If either of you are undecided then don’t go to the video store.

  30. THANK YOU!

    I had many battles in Blockbuster with my ex-gilfriend… in fact, going to BlockB was really disturbing…

    I will use that method from now on,

    I am always reading you, great blog!


  31. @hisdivineshadow

    Thanks for your adoration. I guess I am the exception to the rule, but my tastes in film are so diverse that I’ll give just about anything in any genre a shot. I’m not insanely picky, and if I was going to get a movie to watch with a guy, it would probably be a nice shoot ’em up or a broad comedy like Superbad for both of us to flip over. I personally don’t rent stuff, but I have been to Blockbuster and Best Buy with guy friends, and they are constantly stunned that I gravitate toward more “guy” flicks than insipid chick flick trash. I was in Best Buy this past weekend with my very good friend Alex. I had a gift card from Christmas that I wanted to get rid of, and I spotted Apocalypse Now and Natural Born Killers on sale. I rushed over and snatched the DVDs up like they were the Holy Grail, and Alex busted out laughing. He’s known me since second grade, and he’s still amazed that my taste in film stretches beyond Julia Roberts movies. Truth is, movies that are marketed toward men are generally better movies than the shit that gets shovelled at women. I mean, Pretty Woman? Come on! I watched that once with my mother, and I could barely stomach it. I cannot stand the “chick flick” label because it automatically groups all women into this category of swooning idiots who sit in front of their TVs with a pint of ice cream and sob over Bridget Jones or some shit like that. I don’t appreciate that label. Now, there are some romantic movies that I like because they are actually pretty well made. I really enjoyed Love Actually. I even liked The Notebook. Like I said before, I get the point of this post, but females tend to get a bad rap when it comes to movies. Yes, a lot of women lost their shit over stupid romcoms, but we aren’t ALL that insipid, and if you actually asked a few women, you’d be surprised that their DVD collections don’t entirely consist of Sex and the City box sets. I know plenty of women who lost their shit over 300, and not just because there were a ton of hot guys running around. We like to watch shit blow up just as much as anybody else:)

  32. Hey John,

    If I remember correctly, Netflix is developing an on demand set-top box to plug directly into the TV, which will help impulse renters.

  33. Oh, and I forgot to mention DH picks our movies (because he downloads them all), and he does an awesome job at getting a very broad and cross selection for us the watch. We mostly agree on comedies, dramas and action flicks, but there is the odd time where we can’t agree and he watches while I’m sleeping in on a lazy Sunday morning. That seems to do the trick for us.

  34. WTF is a video rental store? ;-) Seriously… John, you a pig. Chicks aren’t always about the romance and syrupy movies. I know I’m not. And I also hated Transformers, so I don’t know how you’re gonna pigeonhole me now. Hee.

    Hope Kalifornication is treating you just right. Miss you!

    Your former part time fiancee,

  35. When I was younger and I would watch movies with my cousins, we had a very complicated system of choosing them. We would all go pick two or three (albeit from the DVD cabinet) ending up with about ten, and then we would each go in a circle and take away one that we did NOT want to watch. We’d end up with one movie that at least one person REALLY wanted to watch, and one that no one DIDN’T want to watch. It always worked. Same kind of concept?

  36. I absolutely hate going to Blockbuster with my boyfriend because eventually, I get sick of looking at the same movies on the same shelves for an hour, so I tell him to pick whatever he wants and that’s the end of it.

    Then I mess with our queue on Netfilix… =)

  37. In a perfect world, I’d have five girlfriends, and I’d only have to pick one movie. I’d just watch it with whoever’s interested. Next night, each of them could pick one title, and when they get home, I’d choose which movie we all watch together. Workable?

  38. I work at a video store and i am very good at picking a movie BOTH people would enjoy so i recommend asking the store clerk for some some ideas.

    Oh and FYI, please do not make out in front of us. PLEASE! Doing this can ruin your chances of getting a good deal or exceptional customer service :)

  39. Bravo John. Much better than the old 5-1 method… (You watch 5 crappy movies that she picked out and she gives you ONE good blow job…)

    Um, wait, maybe this one isnt better… hmmm…

  40. Great suggestion John. Actually my wife and I use this same method not only with each other when it comes time for movie night (whether from our collection or the local rental shop) but we even use it with our 7 year old daughter. She gets to stay up and watch a movie on Friday nights and so we all can enjoy the film and not watch Xmen every week (she has a thing for Wolverine) We give her a set of 4 to 5 movies to pick from and we change up the selections each week so she has new choices. Some weeks we even let her pick out the 5 choices and then my wife or I get to make the final choice. Surprising how a simply thing like this makes movie night for her better for all of us.

    For just my wife and I, one of us will pick the genre, the other will the make the selections and we go from there. It works quite well. Of course after being together for several years we tend to like a lot of the same stuff. But we were lucky, when we started dating, movies were our main source of entertainment. Our first date was a double feature at the drive-in and no we ain’t that old this was only back in 1990. I worked for a video distributor for 10 years so we have an extensive collection, so movie night at home is just as good as going to the rental store. We still love to get out and see stuff at the theater, we just have to be picky since we have two daughters and don’t want to tax the grandparents too much.

  41. Interesting. I’ve actually been doing a variation on this for awhile but it goes more like this:

    Person A: *picks 5* asks: “Which of these 3 do you want to see most?”

    Person B: “These 3. Which of these 3 do you want to see least?”

    Person A: “This one. Ok, now you choose from the remaining two.”

    I think this works better for me, because it’s a bit tricky to pick 5 movies you reallllly want to see. So this helps average out the desires a bit better.

  42. Hey Sound Designer Dan,

    I like the on Demand Service (are we talking about Netflix or TV?) For Netflix, the only problem is I don’t want to watch a movie on my computer screen. For TV it’s great if there is something there we want to see… the selection in the DVD store is much better. Just my two cents worth.

  43. Having worked 5 years in Blockbuster, most people just want what everyone else wants and when they disagree they just ask the store clerk for his/her opinion and take it.

  44. John,

    Great point there about impulse movie watching and how Netflix will never satisfy that. What about movies on demand? What’s your opinion on that?

  45. I’ve got a better method, but you have to think about it before you hit up Blockbuster:

    Step 1: Don’t date people who don’t share your taste in movies. I KNOW that it’s hard! I know it means maybe you have to date people based on their personality rather than their rack and/or junk, but this revolutionary concept is a pretty good one.

    Step 2: Go to Blockbuster and wander down the aisles not because you can’t decide on something you both like, but try to narrow it down to something that you both haven’t already seen that you’re not going to hate. That’s the tough part! In theory, you’ll have been seeing all the good movies regularly in the theaters (people do still go on dates to the movies in LA right?) so by the time it’s at Blockbuster, you’ve already seen the %28 it got on Rotten Tomatoes and you’re pretty sure it’s going to suck but you’re bored and why not?

    Better yet, if it’s Thursday you should be watching Lost and The Office. It’s the best night of TV, pity that you’re going to waste half of it as a Blockbuster Zombie and the other half hoping your guy/girl gets tired of the crappy movie you shouldn’t have rented so you can quit watching it early and go do something else!

  46. Most of my friends don’t watch movies so I don’t have this problem. And I don’t have a girlfriend.

    However, when I did, we usually (since we always group dated) just chose what genre we wanted and then we fought it out amongst ourselves. Also, we would make it a double-feature night – that way everyone was happy.

    Also John – you say it avoids the problem of having to choose who gets to pick what which time: well, who gets to pick the 5 movies?

  47. I’m with Kristina! Genitals do not determine movie tastes. If some guy tried to drag me to some romcom I’d look at him as if he’s just lost his mind!

    Maybe if a guy has a hard time finding chicks that like the kind of films he likes it’s because he’s going after the wrong chicks!

  48. I do the 5-1 thing… but differently. it’s more for GROUP movie nights and it goes like this: EVERYONE picks 2 movies. everyone gets ONE veto. now majority rules on the ones that are left over. no one is stuck with a movie they are going to HATE, and, basically… everyone wins.

  49. Man, I could’ve used this article yesterday. Whenever I go to the video store with friends (guys and girls) we take forever to pick. A couple people usually end up sore about it too. I’ll definitely try the 5-1 method next time. Good post John!

  50. The best method is race-to-the-player method. You each pick a movie you like but when you get home be the first to get your choice on screen. When its her turn to play the chick flick, go to bed/pc and leave her to it. She will get to watch her movie in peace and may join you later in a romantic mood. As a bonus, while you are enjoying and she is dismissing your selection she may be inclined to fetch beer and pizza.

  51. A guy I used to date used this same method to select a restaurant for dinner. One person would suggest at least three places and the other person would pick one. It worked quite well.

  52. Wait, you went back into Blockbuster to get another specific title and it took you 10 minutes to find it? How is that possible? What was the title?

  53. This problem is completely solved is couples just buy HIGH FIDELITY, ABOUT A BOY, REAR WINDOW, GHOSTBUSTERS, TREMORS, A FISH CALLED WANDA and ROMANCING THE STONE and if said couple is feeling a bit risky, then SHAUN OF THE DEAD or KILL BILL or CHARADE might do.

    That there is a collection of movies that is gender proof and generally timeless (admittedly most of those are relatively recent films though). They are films that practically everyone loves and have high rewatch value.

    Of course, I’m very much over simplifying. I can’t agree with my wife on many films anymore these days.

  54. Hey Sound Designer Dan,

    The problem with Netflix (and why I can never use it) is that it does nothing for something you’re in the mood to watch right now. I’m an impulse movie watcher. When I’m in the mood to see a movie now… I want to see it NOW… not in 3 days

  55. A list of movies girls and guys can Usually Agree On.


    Bond Movies ( the reason why there the best movie series ever )

    Pirates Movies ( the ones with Depp)

    Spiderman or Batman currently

    Horror films like the grudge or the Ring

    John i think that would make a good thing for you to post is movies girls and guys can make a agreement on

  56. I’m always amazed at the choices that people, particularly couples, make in video stores like Blockbuster. As the author illustrates you only have to be in there for a few minutes yourself and more often than not you can experience some really choice examples of social dysfunction.

    Josh kind of covered this above, but more often than not the male will not only dominate the selection process, but inevitably pick something terrible, usually some hideous DTV piece of crap that has been universally slated and has held fast on the IMDb bottom list ever since it was released. Reviews aren’t everything, sure – but when they’re SO bad and when a movie has so clearly bombed then it pays to be a little bit aware. The average person doesn’t care, though, which is why things like the little mini-review snippets and quotes on the front and back of the casing are so vital to the studios (even if it’s a 4-star “Wow!” from Heat! magazine). That, and how pretty the cover looks (or how similar it appears to another film they liked that targets their demograph – the amount of covers that used similar colours and fonts to ‘The Fast And The Furious’ when that was hot was unbelievable. That seems to be a constant for a lot of DTV releases nowadays) seems to be all that really matters.

    It’s also worth noting that in a chain like Blockbuster, the guy behind the desk typically knows very little about movies and one imagines is pretty specifically told by his employer *not* to slate any given film, but be open-minded about pretty much everything. That’s one advantage the ‘little guy’ video shop always had – they’ll happily tell you when it stinks the place out.

  57. It’s a standard fair distribution algorithm. With cake, it’s “you cut, I choose”. This works for all sorts of things — my wife and I decide on what movie to see by one of us writing up a list of movies (and summaries) that we wouldn’t mind seeing, and giving it to the other (if it’s a workday, by email, otherwise just having a scrap of paper works fine).

    If one’s tastes are nearly identical, you can both produce lists (stacks of DVDs), rank ’em, and then compare them. Any movie that shows up in the top three spots in both stacks is a no-brainer to watch: if your #3 pick is her #2 pick, chances are you’ll both be happy with it.

  58. Good article and the girls who read this did not pay attention John said this applies to most girls and the girls who are read his articles are not your average movie watcher. Most girls I have been or just slept with prefer horror films and comedys and 300 is just one of a kind.

    How can Kristina come on you know most gils go see romatic comedys other whys they would not have the nick name chick flick.

    I agree with this article but if i just one to get some i don’t care what we watch weather its the Notebook or Mean Girls they are well made films and as long as a movie is well made I will watch it I saw Hitman that was a guys movie and i rather watch Mean Girls and Notebook everyday of the week than watch that movie again.

  59. Excellent Post!

    I did work at a Hollywood Video for almost 3 years until its death (R.I.P.) and I do see one flaw in your logic. The problem with the average renting couple is that they are too dumb to think about this kind of stuff. The 5-1 idea is perfect but unfortunately I’ve tried this kind of thing and it just usually doesn’t work. The girl will often pick the better films that the guy doesn’t think he’ll enjoy and the guy will pick craptastic shit that most people would laugh off.

    There are a lot of people that this would work for though, and I really hope this practice becomes common in our stores… hopefully not too many people are giving Blockbuster their money (a hateful, treasonous company) and instead login to Netflix. Long live HV!

  60. I am envious of people who have to worry about a problem like this.

    And Mozzerino, firstly there is no such thing as a typical female. Secondly, every woman i know and their mother would prefer T2 over Pretty Woman now they’re not teenagers anymore and they all loved Transformers. Thirdly, many women do comment on posts here but use male sudonyms to fit in and not get labelled.

    I should know; i’m actually a 300 pound German woman so don’t disagree with me cause i’ll snap you in half:p

  61. My boyfriend and I are both quite lucky, I think. Our tastes in movies are so similar. I love the more geeky movies and just like Kristina, rather have something like 300 than Pretty Woman. But there are some romantic movies that my boyfriend adores just as much as me, like Moulin Rouge, Stardust.

    There are certain categories of films that we know that the other hates (for him: old musicals, for me: the really dramatic oscar types) and those we’ll watch on our own, when the other’s away.

    The weird thing I find is that of the films that we choose to watch together (which is like 90% of them) we often have the same opinion. I can’t remember the last time we had different views on a movie (which only makes him more perfect for me :D ). Great example is 27 Dresses: both of us kind of enjoyed that movie and if it wasn’t for the stupid extras it could have been actually good.

    I know I’m an exception (I hate, hate, hate Sex in the City for instance, and get completely bored by most Jane Austen type films), but I do think there are more geeky girls out there then you think. I’m the organiser of Girl Geek Coffee and have a website called, so I see my fair share of geeky girls.

    You just have to try and look harder, cause we’re locked away watching movies :D

  62. Great article John. Very interesting read and the method really does sound useful. I will try it out and report back.


    I am sorry, but the fact that you are hanging around a website like this alone tells that you are not a typical female when it comes to watching movies. You might rather watch T2 than PRETTY WOMAN, but that is the RARE exception to the rule. Genitals do not always decide your taste in film, but in like 90% of the cases, that particular clichee is true. I wish it would not be, but trust me, it is. I think pretty much every guy here will agree with me on that (Support me fellow men!). Of course there are exceptions, but again, they are hard to find.

  63. Hey Kristina,

    That’s the whole point. The 5-1 doesn’t dictate that you need to pick RomComs. You can pick any 5 movies you’d like and hopfully the person you’re picking with will know you at least a little bit to know NOT to pick a RomCom if he’s picking the five.

    The 5-1 doesn’t DICTATE what movies or types of movies you pick… it frees you to pick whatever you want, regardless of gender or tastes.

  64. See, I like and dislike this article. People do have different tastes in films, but to boil it down strictly to gender is nuts to me. No offense John, I get what you were trying to do with the article, and it’s well-written, but as a female, I’d rather watch 300 than Pretty Woman. I’d rather watch T2 than The Notebook. I’ll see In Bruges again before I ever watch the standard shit romcom of the week. Your genitals don’t immediately decide your taste in film.

    1. Hey Kristina,
      Right on! I don’t think that when you go to the movie store with your boyfriend that he or anybody else would think, well she just wants to see some chick flick, and then talk through the whole movie. It really makes me mad that guys do that my ex-boyfriend used to do that and still does with his women. It just depends on the mood when women are happy then they will want something with less violence, just like ,men. When women are upset then they will want something violent. Just wanted to say I agree with Kristina

  65. Great article Gio/John. Yet another reason I think you’re the best writer on the websphere! It’s funny, and I think it just might work. As fate would have it my gf is coming by tonight, I think I’ll try this.

Leave a Reply