There’s no denying the importance of “couple time.” Date night gives you the chance to reconnect with the person you knew before they became the person with whom you co-parent. Time alone together lets you strengthen your commitment, rekindle a romantic spark, and relieve stress.

But what if planning the date is causing the stress? Where to go, what to do, what to wear – there are only so many trips to the restaurant where you had your first date before it becomes a little stale. Recent surveys show that many couples are choosing to stay home on date night and watch movies or their favorite series. For those times when you’d just rather Netflix (or Redbox) and chill, here are some movie ideas – classics, romances, and comedies – along with specialty cocktails inspired by or featured in the film, to enjoy while you snuggle.

Casablanca (1942) For lovers of classic romance, this film stars Humphrey Bogart as American expatriate and bar-owner Rick, and Ingrid Bergman as his old flame, Ilsa. Set in Morocco during World War II, Ilsa and her French-resistance leader husband need Rick’s help to flee the country and they must decide if they can set aside old feelings. Always found on top-ten lists, Casablanca is about lost love, honor and sacrifice. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

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Crazy, Stupid Love (2011) For more contemporary film lovers, this romance/comedy stars Steve Carell as hapless, middle-aged Cal Weaver, navigating post-divorce romance with the help of notorious womanizer Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). When Jacob finally meets the woman who is a “game-changer” for him, the result is sweet chaos, and one of the funniest fight scenes ever. Jacob also shows off his mixologist skill in a swoonable scene where he expertly crafts an Old Fashioned to impress a woman. Hey Girl, here’s the recipe:

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An Affair to Remember (1957) This film stars Cary Grant and Debra Kerr as a playboy and a nightclub singer who meet and fall in love on a cruise ship on their way to meet up with the people they are already committed to. They agree to meet in six months at the Empire State Building, but life complicates their plan. A remake of Love Affair (1939), this film was the inspiration for parts of Sleepless in Seattle, and it inspired a second remake in 1994 starring Warren Beatty and Annette Benning.

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50 First Dates (2004) Sometimes a ridiculous comedy is exactly what you need, and this one never gets old. Adam Sandler, as veterinarian and lothario Henry Roth, falls for Drew Barrymore as Lucy, a woman with short-term memory loss, and they try to navigate a relationship in spite of the complication that Lucy wakes up every morning and doesn’t know who Henry is. Set in Hawaii, this film features a tropical drink that contains no alcohol, so that tourists can loosen up without impairing their ability to stay awake all night. Our version, however, is loaded:

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50 Shades of Grey (2015) If you are a fan, you know why you like it. If you aren’t, you know why you don’t. Starring Jamie Dornan as mogul Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a college student who contracts a sadomasochistic relationship with Mr. Grey but finds more than she was prepared for. There are other films that more deeply and effectively explore the complex relationship that this film attempts to portray. 50 Shades is a little off the mainstream path, but tame by most standards and as such, is a good introduction for the couple who is looking for something a little stronger than a snuggle. In that spirit, I give you the Red Room Cocktail. Laters, baby.

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Renee Robbins

Renee Robbins

Writer. Kamikaze Mom. Participation Trophywife. Trying to achieve a balance of principal and practice without shouting obscenities at too many people.

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