Ideal Outdoor Summer Movie Screenings and Who I’d Bring As My Date

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Call Me By Your Name

I want to lie on the grass in the humid New York heat, sipping a San Pellegrino (Aranciata Rossa, ideally), while I watch this gorgeous, languid, homage to new love and the splendor of Italian summers. I would bring my ex-boyfriend, so he could see what real intimacy and affection look like.

You’ve Got Mail

This Nora Ephron classic ought to be enjoyed on a big screen in the city she so loved — ideally in the Upper West Side’s Riverside Park. And to this rom-com, which documents the way people used to fall in love online, I would bring my ex-boyfriend, so he could listen to the way Tom Hanks says, “Oh how I wish you would,” when he thinks Meg Ryan will never forgive him, and feel bad that he never fought for me like that.

Spider-Man 2

Don’t let Tom Holland fool you — this is still the best Spider-Man film. That scene where Spider-Man stops the subway train belongs in the canon of great New York cinema moments. My perfect date to this screening would be my ex-boyfriend, who made fun of me when I said I wanted to try a Spider-Man kiss, so that he could see that upside down kisses are as sexy and fun as I said they were.

Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back

Empire is still the best Star Wars movie, and watching young Han Solo try to put the moves on Emilia Clarke only made me long for Carrie and Harrison in their flirty, hot-blooded prime. And I guess I would bring along my ex-boyfriend, because this was our favorite movie, because whenever I said, “I love you,” he’d just say, “I know.”

The Parent Trap

Watching this movie takes me right back to summers when I was seven, eight, and nine, watching this in the basement after a day playing outside and thinking Lindsay Lohan was two people. I want to capture that joyous  feeling again — and quote all my favorite parts with hundreds of people. My ideal viewing companion would be my ex-boyfriend, so I could say my favorite line, right to his face — when Hallie asks what the difference is between them, and Annie (the British one) says, “I have class and you don’t.” So true.

A League of Their Own

This feminist classic always makes me laugh, cry and cheer. And the way Kit abandons the Rockford Peaches really reminds me of the way my ex-boyfriend abandoned me. He could go to this screening with me, as long as he brought Cracker Jack.

Toy Story

The Pixar movie that started it all remains a complete classic. I’d love to watch it surrounded by happy families. And I watch it with my ex-boyfriend, so he could see Andy’s single mom and know that women (women like me!) can be happy and successful and not at all bitter on their own.

It’s A Wonderful Life

I love to watch Christmas movies in the summer because it reminds me that snow is on its way and that the oppressive heat is fleeting. I’d want to watch it with my ex-boyfriend, because he has a friend who always reminded me of Violet, and, like Mary Bailey, I never found out if they slept together. Maybe now I could.

When Harry Met Sally

Another New York classic that we deserve to view together in the waning days of summer, when fall is slowly creeping in. I would want to bring Meg Ryan as my date, but assuming she’s busy, I would bring ex-boyfriend instead, so he could see what a woman’s orgasm is supposed to sound like, since apparently he doesn’t know.


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