The best movies to watch on a virtual first date during coronavirus
Dinner and a movie is a staple of date night, but it's a bit harder now that movie theaters are closed and we can't go on dates IRL.
But EW is here for all your quaran-stream needs, and we have some ideas when it comes to the best titles to watch on a virtual date. As for how best to do this, we leave that up to you, but you could do anything from using the Netflix Party app to FaceTiming while watching or even just texting back and forth.
Whether you want to socially distance snuggle up with a rom-com or watch a movie that provokes some good conversation between you and your date, we've got no shortage of recommendations from stone-cold classics to new Netflix hits. Watch the episode of Quaran-stream above, and read on for our staff picks.
When Harry Met Sally (Showtime/Amazon Prime)
Can men and women be friends? This gold standard of rom-coms sets out to answer that question with its tale of antagonistic acquaintances turned friends turned lovers Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan). The evolution of its central relationships is pitch perfect, particularly in its incisively witty portrait of how our idiosyncrasies are what endear us to our partners (I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out). Nora Ephron proves there was no one better for finding both humor and pathos in romantic relationships. From its arguments over wagon wheel coffee tables to its late night heart-to-hearts over Casablanca to its iconic take on whether women fake it, there's no shortage of conversation starters here. And if you're just looking for an affirming, heart-warming take on the possibility of love to get lost in, well it has that too. If you need the perfect date night, we highly recommend having what she's having. —Maureen Lee Lenker
Why Hitch? Well, I have a better question for you: Why on a quarantine virtual date night wouldn’t you watch the greatest romantic comedy of all-time, according to EW (ignore the non-bias byline)? As I already laid out In video form, I have firsthand experience of watching Hitch in this exact scenario, and, like any Hitch viewing, it was a fun night that went off without a (non-Will Smith) hitch. Through EW, I have provided many, many, many pieces of proof of Hitch’s greatness, but here’s a quick recap of the biggest selling points: Will Smith at his smoothest, likable Kevin James, peak Eva Mendes, top-notch quotes, and sizzling chemistry between Smith and Mendes that will make for a steamy evening — no matter the distance. —Derek Lawrence
Someone Great (Netflix)
"It's kind of a breakup movie," digital features editor Seija Rankin warns. "But I love the humor; I love the characters; I love that it's in New York. I know there are a lot of New York movies out there. Everyone's been talking about movies to watch in New York. I like it because it's a one-night only plot that in so many ways are things I'm missing about life right now. They're at a million bars; they're out at their offices; they're with their friends. They're just interacting with a bunch of different people." On the eve of her cross-country move, Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) enjoys one last NYC adventure with her two best friends after going through a devastating break-up. With its look at the bonds of female friendship and its acknowledgment of the challenges of growth and loss, it's the perfect film for our bittersweet and anxious time.
Been So Long (Netflix)
Been So Long is a musical that follows single mom Simone (Michaela Coel) as she falls in love with Raymond (Arinze Kane), a stranger she meets on a rare night out. Set in London’s Camden district, the film tells a modern-day love story with many romance film staples but also features plot points not typically seen in a romantic stories. Raymond has to atone for past mistakes that landed him behind bars, Simone has a complicated history with her child’s father. What makes this one special is the chemistry between the leads, some eccentric supporting characters (specifically Simone’s best friend and daughter), and Coel’s performance. The Chewing Gum creator is bold, funny, and heartbreaking as Simone, who just wants to protect her daughter yet finds love along the way. Been So Long has its fun with the writing and songs, really some beautiful human stories, and, most importantly, you’ll leave with something to discuss when it’s over. —Alamin Yohannes
Moulin Rouge (HBO)
There’s Ewan McGregor as young, naïve writer Christian, and Nicole Kidman as the glamorous but ultimately doomed courtesan Satine that he falls in love with. There’s the eye-popping song-and-dance numbers set to medleys of classic pop songs, all set against the backdrop of 19th-century Paris, which is all further elevated by its sumptuous production and costume design. Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge truly has something for everyone, which makes it the perfect date movie. It’s a totally wild fever-dream of a film that will make you laugh, cry, and want to belt “Elephant Love Medley” at your significant other across the internet ether (or across the living room, depending on your situation). Just don’t blame us if you and your date get bits of all the songs stuck in your head afterwards — you can’t say we didn’t warn you! —Lauren Huff
Weekend (The Criterion Channel)
What even is a date night movie anymore? I keep thinking of the possibilities of what can happen when we’re out in the world again — what we’ll see, where we’ll go, who we’ll meet. They’re basically fantasies right now. Andrew Haigh’s Weekend is a deceptively simple movie: the story of two strangers who meet at a club, then keep circling each other over one very long, increasingly romantic three-day stretch. But in its authentic emotional language and thorny queer subtext, it encompasses so much more, a naturalistic tribute to the vagaries of connection and lust, as understated a meditation on the workings of the universe as you’ll find. In the vein of the Before trilogy, but gayer and a little grimier, it’s the kind of love story that cannot really exist right now, but hopefully will again soon. —David Canfield
My Summer of Love (Hoopla)
Working-class Mona (Natalie Press) falls under the spell of a posh girl named Tamsin (Emily Blunt, two years before her breakout role in The Devil Wears Prada) over the course of one gorgeous summer in the Yorkshire countryside. Tamsin turns out to be trickier than she seems, but Pawel Pawlikowski’s evocative drama artfully captures the universal thrills and cruelties of coming of age. — Leah Greenblatt
His Girl Friday (Amazon Prime)
If you're looking for a truly classic date night, shake yourself up a classic cocktail and turn on this screwball comedy from 1940. Howard Hawks directs this whip-smart rom-com about ambitious reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) and her ex-husband Walter Burns (Cary Grant). Hildy is on the verge of leaving town with her new beau, but Walter uses every trick in the book to embroil her in the news scoop of the year in a ploy to win her back. Known for its zippy, mile-a-minute dialogue, it's a testament to when witty banter was the cinematic cornerstone of a good romance. And perhaps it will inspire you to employ some of your own. —MLL