It was a dark and stormy night…

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Thunder crackled in the distance and a faint breeze began to sigh outside my bedroom window. The crisp sound of electrical static in the air followed by a deep, hollow boom. I remembered the old tool for measuring the distance of a storm. Lightening flickered through my window and I began to count.

"One . . . two . . . three . . .," I said as the thunder shook the dishes in our cabinets.

The storm was not too far now. My plans to leave the house and catch a late-night movie were rapidly diminishing. I turned my attention to my girlfriend and waited for her to say, "Let's stay here and watch a movie tonight."

I am not a big fan of driving in the rain -- especially thick sheets of rain that smother the entire windshield. Driving in the rain does not bother me for the same reasons it bothers other people. I am not overly concerned with the dangers or the consequences. I am more annoyed by the overly cautious drivers. It is not necessary to drive 25 mph in a 55 mph zone when the roads are barely wet and a fine mist saturates the air. Is there such a thing as being too safe? Yes, I believe so. Now let's return to the story.

I stood staring at my girlfriend -- waiting for her to say something that I could disagree with. I'm just kidding. I hoped she would read my mind somehow so that I would not be the one to call off the date. Needless to say, we sat there for a few minutes before I came to realize it was indeed my call.

I sat on the bed beside her as another flash of lightning pressed against the window pane.

"I think the rain is going to get pretty nasty tonight," I said softly. "What do you think about renting a few movies tonight and staying at home."

"That's fine with me," she said as she nodded with a slight smile on her face.

We quickly put on our shoes, got in the car and drove to the movie rental store in town. It was a late Saturday night and the aisles of the rental store were packed with anxious movie-goers. Everyone combed through the rows of new releases searching for the perfect movie. Even the many sections of old movies were host to hungry

. . . My girlfriend and I stood near the entrance for a while to contemplate our course of action. Did we want to brave the crowd and peruse the new release section or go on a treasure to find some long forgotten gem in the old section. Picking the perfect movie, especially for a date night, is always a tough decision.

Here are a few movies that are guaranteed to set the perfect atmosphere for any date:

"Life as a House" -- Kevin Klein plays a draftsman who loses his job and his future in one day. He embarks on a quest to build a house and set things right with his son, played by Hayden Christianson. This movie is sure to tug on your heart strings, make you laugh and raise some serious questions about life.

"Good Will Hunting" -- Most people have probably already seen this classic, but it is always worth seeing for a second, third, fourth . . . well you get the picture. Matt Damon plays a mathematical genius who has lived most of his life in foster homes. Ben Affleck plays opposite of Damon as his best friend and confidant. Robin Williams stars as Damon's psychologist.

"High Fidelity" -- Some may not consider this romantic-comedy a prime candidate for date movies, but I feel as though it can serve as an excellent ice breaker when the night gets a bit stagnant. Jon Cusack stars as a record store owner with a history of bad relationships. The story follows Cusack as he recalls his past transgressions and fights to win back the woman he truly loves.

A night at home with a pile of movies can prove to be incredibly relaxing and satisfying. The only obstacle to overcome is picking the movies to watch. Turn to these three movie selections the next time your date night gets rained out. One of them is sure to please.

Jeremy Henderson is a regular columnist and the Lifestyles editor for the Andalusia Star-News.