The hazards of being an IR spouse

Valentine’s Day approaches, which means the concomitant release of really bad holiday-themed flicks — an unfortunate annual tradition.  This glut of cruddy romantic movies has prompted Jessica Grose to ask a puzzler over at Slate:  what is the worst date movie of all time?  Her vote is for the Julia Roberts/Clive Owen/Natalie Portman/Jude Law film Closer.  As an ...

Valentine's Day approaches, which means the concomitant release of really bad holiday-themed flicks -- an unfortunate annual tradition

This glut of cruddy romantic movies has prompted Jessica Grose to ask a puzzler over at Slate:  what is the worst date movie of all time?  Her vote is for the Julia Roberts/Clive Owen/Natalie Portman/Jude Law film Closer

As an admitted movie buff and IR geek, I must offer my own very different answer to this question -- one that demonstrates the extent to which my IR geekiness nearly ruined my romantic fortunes. 

Valentine’s Day approaches, which means the concomitant release of really bad holiday-themed flicks — an unfortunate annual tradition

This glut of cruddy romantic movies has prompted Jessica Grose to ask a puzzler over at Slate:  what is the worst date movie of all time?  Her vote is for the Julia Roberts/Clive Owen/Natalie Portman/Jude Law film Closer

As an admitted movie buff and IR geek, I must offer my own very different answer to this question — one that demonstrates the extent to which my IR geekiness nearly ruined my romantic fortunes. 

Back in the early days of courting the Official Blog Wife, we were spending a lovely, romantic vacation weekend together.  This was the kind of trip when I was able to forget about the rest of the world and focus on the inherent awesomeess of my bride-to-be.   Everything about those three days was perfect — until the very end of the third day.  We were walking along a boardwalk and came upon a movie theater, which was playing a matinee of a film that I had really been wanting to see in the theater. 

"Let’s go see it!" I said.  My future wife, still in the throes of vacation bliss, agreed. 

The movie was…. Crimson Tide:

I know, I know.  Unless you’re into sub movies like Run Silent, Run Deep, Das Boot, or The Hunt For Red October — and, as an IR film geek, I am so into these movies — this genre is likely the absolute worst date movie you can take a date.  A lesson I learned the hard way fifteen years ago.  To this day, when I see Crimson Tide on cable, I feel a little shiver run down my spine.  I’ll still watch it, of course — but shivering.  When the wife and I are flipping channels and we see it on cable together, she emits a noise that no English word can precisely capture.  I’m sure there’s a long German word that fits the bill — something that combines derision and dread, but still leavened with a bit of tenderness. 

My dear readers, if you are so lucky as to find a soulmate that shares an enthusiasm for a particular movie genre —  zombies, for example — then enjoy that shared interest to the hilt on a date movie.  Otherwise, do the right thing and go rent The Philadelphia Story.   

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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