Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and there is no doubt about the two movies that will be going head-to-head at the box office. 50 Shades of Grey may be getting much more press attention in the run-up to the biggest date night of the year, but don't go rushing to buy your tickets just yet. Kingsman: The Secret Service opens on the same day, and you may be surprised by how perfect it is for February 14th.
For The Stereotypical Couple
Let's start with the obvious, shall we? V-day is, after all, supposed to be a day for the twitterpated, and while Kingsman is far from the boring rom-com formula, it's still perfect for a romantic date night.
Believe it or not, v-day is meant to be about both people in a relationship, and dragging your husband or boyfriend to a movie he's not excited about just doesn't really fit that, does it? Instead, sell him on the action elements, and settle in to enjoy a heartwarming transformation, adorable puppies and men in suits (and occasionally, out of them!). Go for a 50s drive-in vibe during the intense action scenes, where an arm around the shoulder won't be mistaken for a request for the kind of behavior that could get you kicked out of the Cineplex (unless that's just the kind of person you are dating, in which case, I don't want to know about it!).
For the Less-Than-Stereotypical Couple
How about those people who don't, even in the most humorous way, resemble Barbie and Ken? Are you sick of hearts and flowers, candlelit dinners, and the assumption that men love helpless women and women want to be rescued by a damaged billionaire? Maybe you aren't bothered about Valentine's Day at all, but just want to go out and spend some time with the person you love on a Saturday night (because boycotting a hallmark holiday is one thing, but you still want to enjoy your weekend). Perfect. Go see Kingsman. It's not a romance, it's not cliche, and it's just a freaking good movie to go see, and enjoy dissecting afterward. Visually stunning, funny, fast-paced and guaranteed to surprise you (even if you read the comic book), it's worth a watch. No forced romance required (and depending on the film times, you'll probably run into fewer flower-sellers outside the theater trying to guilt you into a long-stemmed red rose).
For The First Date
So you've gathered your courage and asked out the object of your affection... and presumably, they said yes. Congratulations! It's hard to go wrong with dinner and a movie, and Kingsman is a fantastic choice. Even if you loved 50 Shades, it's a little... much... for a first outing. Maybe save the conversations about fetishes and money for a little way down the line, just to avoid jumping the gun.
Instead, watch a film that will spark discussion on classic Bond films, the 1%, and some amazing hypothetical situations that will help you really get to know your dinner companion better. Overshare and awkward silences are the earmarks of a bad date, so go for a film that will prevent those things, not encourage it.
For The Date-Free Zone
Has the 14th found you footloose and fancy free? It's not a bad thing! Whether you are flying solo by choice or by circumstance, it's no reason to waste a perfectly good Saturday night at the movies. You can round up a friend (or several) who is in the same boat, or laugh in the face of loneliness and head out alone - in either case, Kingsman is a perfect pick. If you are happy to be single (and frankly, quite sick of well-meaning rubbish to suggest you should feel otherwise just for this one day) you will love that there just isn't a lot of romance going on here. This isn't an old-school spy movie where the attractive man runs around with guns (and no one else) until he gets the pretty girl. This movie covers all kinds of relationships; familial and friendship, but the central pairing is between a mentor and his protegee. It's heartwarming and funny without having to rely on romantic love, and it's absolutely awesome for it. Of course, if you are debating between movie-night and sobbing into a pint of Ben & Jerrys, the same applies - high-octane action and humor is still preferable to anything sappy.
Manners Maketh Man
There is one final reason to make Kingsman your choice for date night - whether that date is on February 14th or not. The movie makes manners look good. More than that, it makes manners look cool. I don't know about you, but I'm a big fan of polite people. I'm a big fan of being polite myself, and after watching Kingsman, I found myself a whole lot more aware of my manners while my date for the screening upped his (already considerable) Southern charm to truly impressive levels. It was awesome.
So there you have it! No matter your reasons for heading to the cinema this Saturday (or really, any other day), Kingsman should be your movie pick. I've already seen it once, and I'll be there. Even after I've seen it twice, I wouldn't be surprised if I found my way in front of it again for the third time, just for fun. 50 Shades of Grey, however, is not on the to-watch list for this month, although you won't find me writing in too much depth about why I won't be seeing it. After all, as fun as it may be to have a good vent, I have to ask myself: Is that what a Kingsman would do?