Genre-mixing video date -- She wants romance, he wants sci-fi: Here's a guide for the perfect compromise

By Lawrence O'Toole
Updated July 23, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

It’s enough to wreck a ”video date” — you’re in the mood for a musical, but your renting companion wants a Western, or maybe you want a comedy and your partner wants a romance. How to avoid breaking up before checking out? Try EW’s movie genre-mixing guide, and leave the compromising to us.

McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)
Robert Altman’s melancholy poem tells of a gambler (Warren Beatty) and a madame (Julie Christie) in a new gold-mining town.

My Sister Eileen (1955)
The snappy tale of two sisters (Janet Leigh and Betty Garrett) who rent a Green- wich Village basement looking for fame, fortune, and fellas.

Love With the Proper Stranger (1963)
Natalie Wood plays a Macy’s salesgirl who gets pregnant by a part-time heel (Steve McQueen) in this lovely courtship.

Starman (1984)
An advanced intelligence (Jeff Bridges) takes on the human form of a woman’s (Karen Allen) dead hubby and learns about love, sex, and credit cards.

The Fly (1986)
Given a terrifying AIDS subtext, this remake emphasizes the metamorphosing scientist (Jeff Goldblum) and the woman (Geena Davis) who loves him

Near Dark (1987)
Them varmints are now vampires in this unrelenting chiller: Adrian Pasdar and his posse from hell take a van on a different kind of blood drive.

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
In this rock Phantom of the Opera, a disfigured composer is done wrong by the head of Death Records (a creepy Paul Williams).

Martin (1978)
Martin is a teen vampire living in a Transylvania of tedium who slashes women’s wrists and drinks their blood in George A. Romero’s hilariously sicko satire.

Bug (1975)
A scientist (Bradford Dillman) learns he can communicate with mutant 10-inch cockroaches that like to munch on girls and will have viewers brushing their laps.

Outland (1981)
Without much help from anyone, the marshal (Sean Connery) of Jupiter’s innermost moon meets hired guns at high noon to do what a spaceman’s gotta do.

Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)
Three furry aliens land in Valley Girl Geena Davis’ swimming pool, giving rise to song and dance in the silliest example of the genre.

Android (1982)
Max (Don Opper) is an endearingly clumsy android who just wants to have human fun in what can only be termed sweet sci-fi.

Rustler’s Rhapsody (1985)
Tom Berenger is an adorably goofy cowpoke in this gentle, funny, and affectionate parody of those old Roy Rogers horse operas.

Can’t Stop the Music (1980)
Perhaps the most riotous musical comedy — for all the wrong reasons — starring Olympian Bruce Jenner and disco divos the Village People.

Paint Your Wagon (1969)
Yes, it’s nearly three hours long and there are sappy songs like ”I Talk to the Trees,” but how many films have Lee Marvin singing in them?