How to Make The Perfect Movie Mixtape

By  · Published on June 28th, 2016

Dear FSR

How to Make the Perfect Movie Mixtape

For when you find someone as nerdy as you.

At some point in your life, you’ve likely been faced with a question that has no solid answer. Some people may take such a puzzle to a trusted confidant, a friendly pastor, or the esteemed annals of Yahoo! Answers. But will they have the expertise needed to solve your most pressing film predicaments?

Think of Dear FSR as an impartial arbiter for all your film concerns. Boyfriend texting while you’re trying to show him your most precious Ozu? What’s the best way to confront the guy who snuck that pungent curry into your cramped theater? This is an advice column for film fans, by a film fan.

Hi, FSR!

I was hoping if you could give us another movie playlist, but this time one to help us woo someone over. You see, I’m dating someone who is a movie lover like myself and recently I been trying to find the best way to express my feelings with movies, but hadn’t found the right one(s) yet. Thank you very much!


Let’s Make Movie Magic

Movie Magic,

This gives me the perfect opportunity to list more films, only with a more seductive element. Without knowing the particulars between you and your partner, I’ve gone ahead and assembled a basic movie equivalent of a mixtape that will be sure to start the date night right.


The Blade Runner of love stories, Spike Jonze pinpoints our human needs for affection, connection, and understanding through the lens of our evolving relationship with technology. Funny and sweet, it’ll break your hearts only to warm them back to life before finally setting them adrift into a post-film sea of introspection.


If wit and repartee does it for you, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn are the peak performers of the Kama Sutra. The fact that they’re just icing on a tight quick whodunit makes it all the more enjoyable.

Brokeback Mountain

One of the most romantic films ever made, Brokeback Mountain dives into intimacy and romantic sacrifice with more raw, rural ache than any film of the last fifty years. Slow, sweet, and often sad, it’s a debilitating reminder to what love is worth.

Beyond the Lights

An unabashedly romantic film about pop stardom and love within the context of ambition, it’s an expert cliche performed perfectly.


This may be director Judd Apatow’s most successful film at doing what he loves to do: showing us our flaws. Not our grand failings, but our pettiness and fear and stupidity. All the things that make us fail and complicate our relationships with each other. Guiding star Amy Schumer’s script like the NY Philharmonic’s conductor, each scene hangs under a sheet of melancholy or dances beneath the drunken neons of bad decisions. An essential modern relationship comedy.

Don Jon

A clever exploration of society’s expectations and how people deal with them, if someone wrote a critical essay on how Jersey Shore was a reflection of objectification culture in America and turned it into a movie, it would be this movie. However, the faint of heart (that means you, Grandmother) should be cautioned about the amount of pornography in the film.


My favorite part of Neighbors is a small moment, but it sells the whole film. Married couple Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne have a fight about responsibility and the practicality of waging a war against a bunch of next-door frat bros. Then neo-sitcom gender roles are brought up. Why does the man-child get to be immature while the wife is left to be the nagging harpy? And while the moment’s solution is “we can’t both be Kevin James,” it both embraces and refutes Apatowian comedy by establishing equality in the married pair’s life.

Force Majeure

If ever you wanted to test your strength as a couple, turn on this film about a man who flees his wife and children in the face of an avalanche and then have a nice long chat with your significant other. If you can beat it, you can beat anything.


A dream of interconnected flashbacks, the film is about honesty in relationships as much as it is our personal failures. Mélanie Laurent and Ewan McGregor fall in love so easily and amiably that their optimism is completely infectious.

Cheating: Master of None’s entire first season

Aziz Ansari’s Netflix show intersects millennial struggles with the heavy existentialism best grappled with in tag-team. His dating, relationships, and soul-searching are alternately goofy and relatable, but always funny. Few seasons so short feel like journeys, but Master of None should be shared with someone you love.

Be sure to negotiate who cooks,


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We’ll be back answering your questions every Tuesday!

Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).