Couch or Curb: Cinematically Test Your Girlfriend’s Love

Love is in the air for some reason, so we’ve developed a fool-proof way of testing whether your significant other is worth your time. Now for guys!
By  · Published on February 13th, 2009

As is the American tradition, you’re about to be bombarded by Love. Absolutely overwhelmed, punched in the face, anvil to the groin knocked over by the damned thing. You’re also about to be awash in every possible Best Romantic Movie List out there. In protest, we thought about re-running Rob Hunter’s Movies to Watch While F*cking, but instead we’re trying something a little different.

As a single man (I’m picky) who hasn’t been able to trick a girl into dating him for longer than two weeks (I’m intimidatingly handsome), I feel completely qualified in giving you relationship advice. Of course, I only feel qualified doing so cinematically.

This time of year raises questions. Maybe you’re unsure about your lady friend. Maybe you’re convinced she’s The One. Either way, this list will help you face the hard truth about your relationship and (potentially) force you to make some tough decisions. Or it’ll strengthen your love, and you’ll be visited by animated blue birds. Either way.

And it couldn’t be simpler: Pick any (or all) of the films on this list (they range from Easy to LOVE), and if your girlfriend loves it, KEEP HER ON THE COUCH. If she doesn’t, KICK HER TO THE CURB. This may seem harsh, but who doesn’t want a perfect girl you can also curl up on the couch with watching your favorite movies? If you want to ease into the process, start with #10, and if you’re ready to put your love’s feet to the fire, hit her with #1.

A quick note to any ladies reading this: if, in the process, you think, “This isn’t a good test – I love these movies,” it’s not that the list isn’t an accurate gauge, it’s that YOU’RE AN AWESOME GIRL. Immediately find a man who will appreciate you and judge him by Cinematically Testing Your Boyfriend’s Love.

10. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Beautiful cinematography, brilliant acting, and a fantastic story will draw your girlfriend in although the opening landing on the beach might scare her away. If she thinks the beach landing is awesome, you’ve got quite the girl on your hand, but you should feel lucky just for her to dig the film as a whole. If she doesn’t, why are you wasting time with her?

9. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

The consummate tale of two men of honor living through a time when their way of life has become obsolete. All because of that damned bicycle. It shouldn’t be difficult for your girlfriend to love Robert Redford and Paul Newman being handsome and saying witty things while going out in a blaze of glory. Bonus points if she suggests a romantic trip to Bolivia after viewing.

8. Caddyshack (1980)

Contrary to belief, most girls didn’t spend college quoting lines from this movie and Stripes. They also didn’t continue to quote it well into their mid-20s. That’s why if you find a woman who jokingly calls you a tremendous slouch and then wants to blow up gophers, lock that down.

7. True Grit (1969)

John Wayne is a badass. And he wears an eye patch in this film. Those two things may not necessarily appeal to most women, but Rooster Cogburn is a man’s man. And she should appreciate you being a man’s man by emulating Rooster. Drink a lot, swear a ton and be as stubborn as possible. And wear an eye patch.

6. Enter the Dragon (1973)

Right in the middle of the Medium category of difficulty here, there isn’t a whole lot here to appeal to most women. The plot is absolutely ridiculous, and most women do not fantasize about becoming a spy, infiltrating a mad man’s martial arts tournament, and kicking a ton of ass. They normally just fantasize about kicking ass in a general sense, but won’t openly admit it.

5. Fight Club (1999)

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since this film came out and gave men everywhere a beacon of hope and a litany of quotes that speak to every middle-class working warrior’s hell. Every man wants to be Tyler Durden, but it’s not clear whether many women want to be his Marla. Nihilism isn’t always sexy. Thus, if a woman turns over after sex and claims she hasn’t been fucked like that since gradeschool, get on one knee and propose immediately. Marriage proposals are always better in the nude.

4. Re-Animator (1985)

Starting off the Difficult category, this film involves vomit-inducing horror imagery and a woman being eaten out by a severed head. Women do not like either. If she stomachs through it but doesn’t fall in love with it, you might want to cut her some slack – but do you really want to have to hide your VHS copy when she comes over?

3. Evil Dead (1981)

The consensus among FSR staffers was that “Evil Dead = Love.” It includes the gruesome, campy horror imagery of Re-Animator, it’s more of a cult phenomenon, and it’s got Bruce Fucking Cambell. Groovy. It turns out that most women aren’t huge fans of watching a woman getting raped by trees, but if you find one that can go quote for quote with you, treat her like a gore princess.

2. The Godfather (1972)

For being the best movie of all time (subjective), I’m always surprised by how many women I know that haven’t seen it or don’t find it all that entertaining. Thus, it’s a no-brainer. It’s one of those movies that when you ask for a girl’s opinion on it, and she says she hasn’t seen it, the natural response is confusion and shock. Really? You haven’t seen it? Don’t like it? There is nothing wrong with a horse head in bed every once in a while, and you deserve a girlfriend that realizes this.

1. The Big Lebowski (1998)

This tops the list because out of all the women I’ve known in my life, only five women I know finished it, and of those, only three loved it. But those three absolutely loved it, of course. For some reason, the story of a slacker, his Viet Nam War vet friend, and a total spinal delving into a world of pornography, nihilists with amphibious rodents and missing Midwestern hotties doesn’t quite appeal to many women. This is our concern, dude. You can comb through a ton of movies, but if your gal doesn’t dig The Dude, you may have to have a serious discussion with her. They are few and far between, but when you find a girl who loves this flick, breathe a sigh of release knowing that you’ve finally found a soul mate.

What do you think? What movies do you use to gauge your interest in a woman?

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Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.