Milwaukee, Wis. – Thomas and Jennifer McDaniels’ date night took a disastrous turn when the couple selected the 2012 French film Amour as a movie to close out the evening.
The movie – which is about an elderly couple named Anne and Georges, and focuses on their struggle to adapt after Anne suffers a stroke, which in time renders her essentially a vegetable until Georges smothers her to death with a pillow – was a less than ideal choice to close out what until then had been a fairly romantic evening.
“Everything had been going so well,” Jennifer explained. “We finally had time for a real night to ourselves. We went out for a very nice dinner. We even splurged on dessert. And then I thought we would come back and settle down with a movie.”
Jennifer shuddered at the memory. “I couldn’t even cry. It was so distressing it was like I froze.”
While Amour was an Academy Award-winning film (for Best Foreign Picture) and was a critical darling at many festivals, its unflinching look at the loss of dignity in the face of age and the inevitability of our bodies decaying is, by director Michael Haneke’s own description “depressing as all hell.”
“They watched it? Really?” the director asked. “Wow. It should never in any circumstance be viewed as part of a romantic evening. I mean, Jesus Christ.”
“It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting,” Thomas McDaniels said. “I thought a nice romantic movie would help put Jen in the mood for the bedroom. The movie is called ‘Love’ for Christ’s sake.”
The couple found themselves under some strain after the movie, with Jennifer becoming withdrawn and moody. Only Michael’s promise of another date night seemed to cheer her up.
The McDaniels say they will not make the same mistake again. “We’ll choose a better movie next time,” Jennifer said. “I think next time we’ll watch Revolutionary Road. Leonardo DeCaprio and Kate Winslet are in it, and they were so good together in Titanic.”