It’s human nature to get nervous before a date, which probably explains the plethora of pre-date pep talks that have been committed to film over the years. While the content might change, the message is broadly the same – you’re a wonderfully unique individual and have nothing to fear from a mere date.
1. Stuart Saves His Family (1995)
Stuart Smalley is a would-be self-help guru with a perfectly coiffed bleached-blond hairdo and a wardrobe composed of pastel-coloured shirts and cardigans. Of his many daily affirmations, the best (spoken into a mirror), is “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me”.
2. Better Off Dead (1985)
Being dumped with the line “I think it’d be in my best interest if I dated somebody more popular. Better looking. Drives a nicer car” is enough to damage anyone’s self-confidence.
So when depressed teen Lane Meyer (John Cusack) wants to ask a beautiful French girl, Monique, out on a date he needs to psyche himself up a little. Only in the 80s would he do that by uttering the line “here’s your one chance to go out with a real stud”.
3. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
22-year-old Canadian musician, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), plays in a band called ‘Sex Bob-omb’. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he must also defeat the seven ex-boyfriends of his new amour, Ramona. When all seems lost, or at least misplaced, his flatmate, Wallace, gives him a pep talk, which includes the useful advice: “If you want something bad you have to fight for it”.
4. Gridiron Gang (2006)
Inspiration can come from anywhere – even a film about juvenile delinquents playing American football. The pre-game adrenaline felt by the alienated youngsters is the same adrenaline jangling the nerves of those getting ready for a date, so why not take some advice from their coach?
In the Gridiron Gang, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson enthuses: “Now it’s time to see who has the heart. Now is the time to prove to yourselves and to everyone out there that you are somebody. You are worthy of something.” Sage advice indeed.
5. Cool Runnings (1993)
As the ultimate in feel-good films, watching any part of Cool Runnings is bound to ease pre-date nerves. If time is limited however, skip to the pep talk that Yul Brenner (Malik Yoba) gives to Junior Bevil (Rawle D. Lewis), where he exhorts the nervous youngster to repeat after him: “I see pride! I see power! I see a bad-ass mother who don’t take no crap off of nobody!”
6. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
When jealous, manic Julianne (Julia Roberts) fails to get the man of her dreams, her suave gay best friend steps in. The advice he provides should be kept in mind by all of those preparing for a date; namely, that: “There may not be marriage. There might not even by sex. But by god, they’ll be DANCING.”
Whether you’ve met in a bar, using online dating or at work, first dates can be a nerve racking experience. Will there be any awkward silences? Do you remember what they look like? Although some sites such as eHarmony can help subdue these worries by matching people on their beliefs and views, its human nature to get nervous before a date. Which probably explains the plethora of pre-date pep talks that have been committed to film over the years.