Top 10 Romantic Comedies for
Date Night
(Dude Approved)

I moved to Chicago from Ukraine when I was 17. As someone who didn’t grow up in the United States, I was fascinated with the variety of films that one had access to all the time. In fact, just recently I told Candace that there were 3 government channels that we could choose from on Television during the Soviet era. And since my family were not moviegoers, I didn’t get introduced to the variety of cinema until we purchased a VCR, which was in the late 1990’s. So to say that I was a FOB when I met Candace would be an understatement.

When Candace and I first started dating, romantic comedies were the obvious choice for a movie night. This is how I got introduced to Legally Blonde, Dirty Dancing and Grease. I mean, why not? She really enjoyed them and I could care less what we were going to watch, as long as we got to spend time together. It wasn’t until we got married that Candace uncovered a scary truth – Vitaliy was not a big fan of romantic comedies. Now to the dudes who are reading this, it does not come as a surprise. For most guys, romantic comedies probably would not be their first choice. That is unless they are in love! Which is what happened to me. Once I came clean, there was a crisis we needed to address. What films would make the cut for our movie nights?

For a while I would just say no to Candace whenever she proposed to watch another rom-com. We would meet each other half way on a particular movie choice but in the end one of us ended up being dissatisfied. After a while it just didn’t seem like this approach worked. So we decided that perhaps a balanced “movie genre diet” would be a healthier option. And it proved to be the right approach for us. What I have learned is that there are amazing romantic comedies out there and Candace started to appreciate and enjoy movies of different genres. In the end we both benefited from being flexible and open minded.

Over the last 10+ years I’ve watched my share of really bad and truly great romantic comedies. I believe the movies I compiled here are going to be enjoyed not only by ladies but also dudes. Here is the list of my Top 10 Romantic Comedies for Date Night (Dude Approved), starting with my all time favorites:

1. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
By far my all time favorite romantic comedy. The writing is superb, the characters are refreshing and the music (by Harry Connick, Jr.) is the perfect accompaniment. It is full of wit and iconic moments. My first viewing was in college and I have watched it at least once a year with Candace for the past 10 years. Extremely quotable and never gets old.

2. It Happened One Night (1934)
One of the first romantic comedies. Hilarious, warm and original, this film does what most modern films fail to do – keeps you engaged and entertained throughout its entirety. I love it’s wit, pace and writing. Don’t be fooled by the release date. This movie does not feel dated one bit.

3. Amélie (2001)
This is perhaps my favorite French comedy. It combines great storytelling with charming characters and an unlikely love story. I love its cinematic style, vulnerability of characters and a sense of wonder about little things in life. If you tend to skip movies because of subtitles, please give this one a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

4. Love Actually (2003)
Candace and I watch this one every Christmas. Yes, it’s light and fluffy on the content, but the music and the magic of the Holiday Season make it work. The soundtrack and a wonderful cast make this one a guilty pleasure every year.

Top 10 Romantic Comedies for Date Night (Dude Approved)

5. High Fidelity (2000)
This film offers a glimpse into the mind of men. It combines good writing with great music and jacked up romance. Not a stereotypical rom-com, this one is at the top of my list for its cleverness, humor and insight into the lives of music nerds (of which I am one).

6. Pretty Woman (1990)
Yes, I love this movie! A modern take on Cinderella story, it offers great chemistry between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere which makes this one a favorite of mine.

7. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Not your run of the mill romantic comedy. I enjoy this one because it focuses on real people who find themselves in real situations that are not always pretty. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence make this one a no-brainer choice for me.

8. The Princess Bride (1987)
A classic enchanting fantasy that is full of memorable one-liners, sword fighting scenes, laughs and romance. Director Rob Reiner (When Harry Met Sally) combines all of the above in a film that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

9. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
This movie perfectly captures the 1990’s – America Online, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. What really makes this move for me is the writing (Nora Ephron of When Harry Met Sally). Highly recommended, specially if you have a soft spot for books.

10. Serendipity (2001)
Another pick that happens to take place around Christmas time. Just like When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail, this movie is set against the backdrop of New York City. And how can you argue with the fact that New York is perhaps the most romantic city in the world? Yes, this one is a bit on the cheesy side, but I love the soundtrack and the cozy feeling that this film offers.

Preparing for Valentine’s Day

Preparing for Valentines Day

We are just a few weeks away from Valentine’s Day so I thought I’d start the conversation.

Valentine’s Day will never be the same for us. February 14 is now Rose’s birthday too! Thankfully, Vitaliy and I never put a lot of weight on Valentine’s Day anyway. In fact, when we were dating, we boycotted the holiday and purposely celebrated a different day. We are such rebels! But now we’ve embraced the holiday and enjoy any excuse to celebrate love. This year we’ll get to celebrate the love we share as husband and wife and the new found love we both have for Rose. A day of love paired with Rose’s birthday – it’s going to be an epic Valentine’s Day weekend!

We’re going to be doing the Whole 30 this February so we’re going to have to get creative. No chocolates or baked goods. I decided to go back through the archives for some inspiration. Here are a few ways we’ve celebrated in the past.




Valentine’s Day Dinner Party with Delighted Co.
Delivering Notes with a Kiss
A Count Down to Valentine’s Day

This year I’ve made a big effort to set realistic goals for myself. I had no idea what life would look like once Rose arrived and I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I figured motherhood would be overwhelming enough. I’m now feeling more and more comfortable in my new role, but I feel like I learned a valuable lesson – less is always more. This even applies to goals, expectations, and my daily to-do-list. In keeping with this, I hope to apply the same idea to Valentine’s Day this year.

We’re going to be celebrating Rose’s birthday on February 13th so she has her own day to herself (I’m a Christmas baby so I can relate). This way Vitaliy and I will also “hopefully” be able to have a little one on one time at some point on the 14th. But I like any reason to celebrate and I love countdowns, so I’m going to use the advent calendar idea but turn it digital and make a few changes. Join us on Instagram for a Valentine’s Day Countdown! Small and simple ways to intentionally love your spouse leading up to Valentine’s Day – #pictiliolovenotes.

20 Creative Date Night Ideas

Cooking Together

This is the third part of a three part series to get us thinking differently about date night.

I began this series because I think we need to focus not on what we’re doing for date night but why we’re doing it. It’s less about the activity and more about the connection the activity helps bring about. As I mentioned in a previous post, date night as boyfriend and girlfriend is about getting to know each other and developing your relationship. Date night in marriage is about cultivating and deepening your relationship.

You can read the first part here and the second part here. Today I want to give you 20 Date Night Ideas that you may not have thought of as “date night” material, but are all great ways to invest in your relationship. I hope these help! We’ve enjoyed some ourselves and are looking to others for the future.

  1. Go to marriage counseling and grab coffee after to discuss.
  2. Go for a day or overnight trip away from all of your daily responsibilities. A secret rendezvous!
  3. Take a financial class together.
  4. Read or listen to a marriage book together.
  5. Maybe life is just hard and you just need a good laugh together.
  6. Spend a night praying together.
  7. If you aren’t having date night, spend an evening discussing why and making a plan together.
  8. Buy two sets of power sheets and do them together each month. We do!
  9. Enjoy a dinner, each asking the question, how can I better love or serve you this week?
  10. Take a night to look at each others calendars and see what needs to be canceled so you have more time together.
  11. If childcare is a constant issue, invest an evening finding or training a new babysitter.
  12. Try new things! Do something your spouse loves one week, and then something you love the next week.
  13. If rest is what you need, take a nap together.
  14. Get together with another family and discuss the idea of a date night swap. One couple watches all the kids one week, and then swap the next week.
  15. New to a city and feeling homesick, go play tourist together and grow to love your new hometown together.
  16. Find a mentor couple and go on a double date. Feel free to ask them to share some wisdom!
  17. Redo an older tradition or maybe your first date to conjure up some of those earlier feelings and fond memories of each other.
  18. Has a messy home or bedroom been causing conflict? Spend a night tidying things up to bring some order and, consequently, peace into the home and heart.
  19. Drop the kids to a babysitter and then go back home to spend some time in the bedroom together.
  20. Plan a maintenance night.

What do you do to invest in your relationship? Ideas are always welcome! Please leave me a note in the comments. And if you know someone who might need some new ideas, please pass this post along!