Movies lie to us. They present us with this vision of the world that we often don’t get to see. Everything is bigger in the silver screen, words are louder, feelings are more obvious. For that moment when we’re in the dark theater we believe anything can happen, that we too can become the protagonist of a great story. And then it all fades. We go home and realize that we’re still not superheroes. That our best friend is still not talking to us after that one argument. The person we pine for never remembers our name. We’re basically miles away from where we believed we’d be at this point when we were younger.
But every now and then, there are movies that feel real to us. They might still have happy endings or at least endings, since nobody ever gets ghosted on film, but the conversations between the characters actually sound like something you’d overhear at the coffeeshop or bar. My personal favorites are plots that happen over a weekend or during the course of one day. They might not be as plausible, but there’s always a sense of hopefulness. These stories remind me of a snow day or a four-day weekend.
Image by: Niccolò Natali
And then there are movies about one-night-stands. These usually end in a terrifying realization that someone has had casual sex with a psychopath, like in Fatal Attraction. However, there are funny ones where two people, who probably only wanted to have one crazy night and be done with each other, find themselves getting to know way more of each other in awkward and cringe inducing moments. Here are four films that encapsulate what happens when you can’t just say goodbye the morning after.
Night Owls, Charles Hood (2015)
Typical you’re at the bar, having one too many drinks. You see someone you like, you start talking, you go to their place, and then they end up taking a bunch of sleeping pills before telling you that you’ve broken into someone’s house. Kevin needs to keep his date awake long enough for her to actually not die in someone else’s house. As Madeline jumps in and out of consciousness, she challenges her date’s strict views and ideas on who he is.
Two Night Stand, Max Nichols (2014)
Sometimes it seems that all you need is a little help from Tinder to get you back in the game. While this movie begins with a dating website instead of an app, it’s pretty much the same idea. Megan is already feeling like her life is out of control. So in a moment of desperation she hooks up with a random dude. However, the morning after, as she’s trying to run away and never see him again, she realizes she’s in the middle of a blizzard. Alec and her end up having to spend time with each other while the roads are cleared. So two strangers, who wanted nothing to do with each other after their casual hookup, find themselves having to have a real connection.
Conversations with Other Women, Hans Canosa (2005)
Does a one-night-stand necessarily need to happen with a stranger? What if someone you once knew comes back into your life for only a few hours? Two people meet at a wedding and start a flirtatious conversation. But as their talk becomes more and more personal we realize that they’re part of each other’s past. As the night progresses we start to wonder if this could be a rekindling, even though it might just be a one-off.
The Pill, J.C. Khoury (2011)
Typical, you wake up next to a total stranger. Then your partner for the night informs you that you actually had unprotected sex. Well, not exactly. You just assumed they were on the pill, rather than ask. While my first advise would be to never assume anything in real life, this movie tells the funny story of Fred hanging out with Mindy instead of making a run for it, just to make sure she takes her second dose of the morning-after pill. It’s funny and cute but also nerve inducing.
Despite being about casual encounters, each of these movies can be seen as a case study in relationships. What are our most common mistakes? Dishonesty? Refusal to be monogamous? Miscommunication? Watch them and let me know, because they’re also funny, endearing, and tear-inducing.
10 Movies That Will Make You Believe In Love Again
4 Movies That Reveal The Zen Wisdom Of Slackerdom