Spoiler alert, guys: Dating in 2018 doesn't always play out like the rom-com we'd all like it to be. I, for one, have never once journeyed through swan-covered waters with a gentleman in a rowboat, as Rachel McAdams' character does in The Notebook. Instead, most of my date nights have consisted of dive bar meet-ups and Netflix and chilling. Ah, modern romance. If you've found yourself a sweet fling this season, though, why not take matters into your own hands and suggest a few of these summer date ideas inspired by movies?
My dream in life is to find a boy who's willing to fly to Rome and recreate every single scene from The Lizzie McGuire Movie with me — from wishes made in the Trevi Fountain to technicolor pop performances at the Colosseum. But, that may not be what your dreams are made of (plus, like, Rome is kind of far).
No matter your geographic location or cinematic fantasy, I have no doubt that at least one of these movie-inspired summery dates will resonate with you. Paintballing, jet skis, steamy pool makeout sessions — honestly, what's not to love?
Here are seven ways to bring a little bit of movie magic to your date nights this summer.
'Romeo + Juliet' — Get Frisky In A Pool
Is there anything better than a young, wet Leonardo DiCaprio? Don't worry about answering that. Instead, hop in a pool with your summer lover — maybe even fully clothed! — and have a steamy, splashy makeout sesh, just as Leo and Claire Danes did in Romeo + Juliet.
(Please don't copy any scenes from the rest of the movie, though. That would make for one very tragic summer.)
'10 Things I Hate About You' — Paintballing
If 10 Things I Hate About You taught me anything (and, well, it taught me everything), it's that few date ideas are as adorably playful as a round of paintball. I mean, just look at these two — hugging and viciously covering one other in paint! #CoupleGoals
'Notting Hill' — Break Into A Private Garden
I've been living in London for a good nine months now and have never once broken into a garden with a handsome English man, so, clearly I'm doing something wrong. (I did try to break into a famed Parisian basilica once on a date, but like, not the same.)
Let's collectively make it our mission to hop at least one private garden's fence this summer — maybe with a London bookstore owner who resembles Hugh Grant, maybe not!
PS: Bonus points if you wear your hair in braids like Julia Roberts.
'Hitch' — Rent Jet Skis
If you happen to live near a body of water, odds are you have the capacity to rent a couple Jet Skis and literally jet off on a watery, romantic adventure with your summer bae. But uh, try not to kick them in the head when you hop on (as Hitch did, whoops!).
'La La Land' — Head To A Planetarium
If you're looking for a spot to cool down in the summer heat, I can't think of any better place than a planetarium — especially if that planetarium is empty and you can, you know, fly.
Even if flying's out of the question for you and your SO, I still say you two throw on some fancy attire and head for a date under the (faux) stars, just as Seb and Mia did in La La Land. Tap dancing and flight are both optional.
'The Notebook' — Hop In A Rowboat
Before Ryan Gosling was dancing his way through the Griffith Observatory in La La Land, he was rowing his way into all of our hearts in The Notebook.
Now, admittedly, the most magical part of this date is the dozens and dozens of gorgeous swans surrounding lovebirds Noah and Allie. So, like, if you can rent a few dozens swans for a couple of hours, I'd recommend it. If that's not a possibility, though, don't stress — you and your SO can almost definitely rent a rowboat and paddle your way through a local river or lake in your very own movie magical moment.
'Grease' — Visit A Carnival
Fun fact: When I was in kindergarten, I'd often throw on all-black ensembles, pretend to puff away at cotton swabs, and insist that my family members "Tell me about it, stud," just like Sandy in Grease (the ideal idol for every young girl!).
If you're also into recreating scenes from the famed '70s musical, grab yourself some leather pants and shimmy your way through a local fair or carnival with your SO. But only if they're really "the one that [you] want" (ooh, ooh, ooh, honey!).
Here's hoping you and your summer love truly have a blast!