Gloria Bell, the main character played by Juliann Moore, is a middle-aged single woman. Gloria has been single since her divorce twelve years ago. She is typical in many aspects as a single woman in her age group. She has an unfulfilling job in the insurance industry, has a couple of adult children, lives in an apartment by herself, and likes dancing to songs from the disco and ‘80s era. The one thing she doesn’t have is a relationship. The men she has been meeting in the dance club have been lacking as relationship material. One evening at the dance club, she meets Arnold, a man who has been single for a year now. Her attraction to him is strong.

50 Dates at 50 Take:

Be aware that this is not a fun romance movie with comic relief. It’s a drama that shows the plight of a woman who gets intimate too quickly and is willing to settle for dating a Nice Guy. It demonstrates that Nice Guys can temporarily succeed but will eventually crash and burn. The movie further shows to 50 Dater men who your competition is and, most importantly, how not to conduct yourself in almost every situation. After you watch this, you’ll understand why most women will not want you to pick them up at home at the beginning of a dating relationship. They don’t want a real-life Arnold, and online dating websites are full of Arnolds.

Why You Need to Watch It:

  • For Women:
    • This movie does an excellent job establishing why women should never date “Nice Guys.” Arnold is a textbook example of a Nice Guy. Nice Guys accommodate and practice a negative set of traits. A detailed description of the characteristics can be found in the book No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover.
    • Gloria’s daily routine with work and family is pretty bleak. She does a pretty good job of trying to stay positive. However, she continues to go back to the dance club to meet men, where the entry bar is low.
    • Exposed to the low entry bar long enough and getting somewhat desperate, Gloria naturally lowers her standards.
    • She finds Arnold to be attractive, despite his creepy stare and glaring insecurities.
    • She makes the mistake of sleeping with him on the first night. With endorphins running wild in her brain, clouding Gloria’s judgment, she decides to settle for Arnold. (50 Daters never settle.)
    • See “General No-Nos” at the bottom regarding second chances.
    • Gloria needs a life passion. Drinking and nightclub dancing may be fun, but this is not a passion.
  • For Men:
    • 50 Dater men need to pay close attention. Men like the one in this movie are your competition. As long as you don’t do anything that Arnold did, you’re way ahead of the Nice Guy competition. Arnold shows his “Nice Guy” traits and insecurities on a multitude of levels. Here is a list of things Arnold did that you should never do:
      • Giving her the sad, unconfident look at the bar.
      • Calling her really early in the morning to ask her out.
      • Apologizing for asking her out.
      • Professing his attraction for her on their first real date.
      • Taking phone calls in the middle of their dates, which is very disrespectful, not to mention lying to the people he is talking to on the phone. This is a window into how a “Nice Guy” behaves. In the process of taking some of those calls, he completely nukes a couple of great romantic moments. Put the phone on silent!
      • Talking exes and sensitive family financial issues early in the dating relationship.
      • Doing paintball on the second date. Activity dates are what you should be doing in the beginning, but leave that one for several months down the road.
      • Showing up at Gloria’s work by surprise. This is creepy stalking behavior.
      • Sending her apology flowers. This never works.
      • Endlessly calling her.
      • Using excuses in an attempt to cover for his high level of insecurity.
      • Being jealous of the previous relationship she had with her ex, 12 years ago.
    • Okay, did Arnold do anything right? I can think of three things:
      • He had the fortitude to walk up to her and start a conversation at the bar.
      • He got her out on the dance floor.
      • He properly seated her at the restaurant on the second date.
  • General No-Nos
    • Nothing good comes from talking about politics or depressing subjects during a date. All it does throw a wet blanket on romance.
    • If you have a dysfunctional family, probably not best to put it on display at first; ease into it.
    • When you’re out on a date, the two of you leave all the BS behind. Have fun. Don’t bring the seriousness along for the ride.
    • When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
    • Before Arnold even enters the movie, Gloria is introduced to Max at the bar. The first thing Max does is give her his business card. Never do this.

Year Released:  2018

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