Day 8 – A Movie You Watched on a Date
Movies are a staple of American dating rituals bordering on sacrosanct. From necking in drive-thrus to making out in modern theaters, movies have long provided the ultimate in opportunities for dating TLC, and will be a mainstay in romantic courtship until the end of time. A whole host of movies are released every year with the express purpose of conniving girls into dragging their respective boys to them, and the average male-targeted tentpole film often throws in one or two elements to entertain girlfriends unfortunate enough to tag along with their excitable beaus. The average movie-going couple, therefore, has more choices than ever for a quality date movie. Today’s entry is not about one of these movies.
Yes, I actually went on a date to see Munich, Steven Spielberg’s bloody, historical tale on Israel’s retaliation against the 1972 terrorist attacks on its Olympic athletes. It was my idea to see the movie, but in my defense, she was the one who agreed to see it with me.
Munich stars Eric Bana as Avner Kaufman, leader of an unofficial assassination squad meant as a reprisal against the violence dealt by Palestinian terrorist group Black September. After meeting with Prime Minister Golda Meir (Lynn Cohen), Kaufman assembles a team to carry out the hits:Steve (Daniel Craig), a South African driver, Hans (Hanns Zischler), a document forger, Robert (Mathieu Kassovitz), a bomb-maker formerly trained in defusing explosives, and Carl (Ciarán Hinds), who removes evidence after every hit. The film follows Kaufman and his team as they systematically remove each of the 11 targets deemed responsible for the attacks, running into snags and eventually questioning the morality of such a mission.
Bana and co. are uniformly excellent as men forced to wade through hell for the honor of their country.
Munich is perhaps as far from a good date movie as I can possibly think of, with the exception of Schindler’s List, also directed by Spielberg. It’s a fine movie, with taut suspense, thoughtful characters, and palpable human drama—all reasons why I chose to see the film, by the way. As a date movie, though, it’s terrible, with scenes of bloody, human violence, moral ambiguity, and somber sense of weight throughout. What was I thinking? Probably that it was a good movie, and that I wanted to see it—that it was wildly inappropriate as a shared romantic experience didn’t even cross my mind.
I’ve since learned my lesson, and certainly won’t do anything like this again, though I’m not even sure I could find a movie whose magnitude of romantic bungling could even match this film. I would even venture that self-important, high-testosterone Russell Crowe flicks like Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World or American Gangster would be better date fodder than friggin’ Munich.