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Last night my husband and I went to see Crazy Stupid Love with Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Julieanne Moore. It’s been out for weeks and it’s been moved to the “little” theater in our multiplex, so a person could reasonably think that we’d be one of a few people watching the film.

Maybe because it was a rainy Saturday in August, but the theater was packed. As people kept coming in, I started noticing the range of those who had come out to see this “date” movie. Young women out together. Young women with older women (maybe moms and daughters). Big groups of women. Older couples. Middle-aged couples. Young couples.

It was one of those weird movies where people talked to the screen. Out loud. As if they were in their living room. People laughed. Women gasped.

Women (and maybe some men) lusted after Ryan Gosling, as we were supposed to do, particularly after the Dirty Dancing trick.

We walked out behind a young couple who were pretty dressed up for a movie. She had on a sheath dress and heels. He had on a white dress shirt and tie with dark dress pants. Cute, I thought, and wondered where they’d been before the movie or where they were going after. Must be dating, I thought. Her hair reminded me of my own fifteen years ago and I was tripping down memory lane when I noticed she was wearing a wedding ring and heard her say to a pregnant woman in line for the restroom, “You can go ahead of me. I’ve been pregnant.” I instantly felt ten years older than I am. Here I was, thinking she was young, dating, and she was married with children.

I was 16 when I saw Dirty Dancing. In the theater. My mother thought it was too racy, but had an overall positive message, so we saw it together. Which made me wonder how many of the women in the theater had seen that final scene from Dirty Dancing on VHS? DVD?

Poor Patrick Swayze. I hope that the collective sigh, no matter the age of the sigher, that went up when Ryan Gosling caught Emma Stone makes him smile. Because the thought that, no matter how we saw it or how old we are watching the reference to it now, our feminine hearts responded the same way. Melt. Thrill. Take me.

And that’s why we see date movies. And why our husbands/boyfriends/significant others go with us to see them.

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