As a working mom, I rarely get out to see a movie while it’s still in theatres. And, as a mom of two boys, when I do have the chance to sit in front of that big screen with a bag of popcorn, it’s usually for something like Avengers. Which, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Joss Whedon. And crazy action-packed super-hero movies.
But sometimes, a girl needs a little rom com.
And, at times, the search for something good on Netflix can be tiresome. But recently I’ve watched three films that have touched me significantly so I thought I’d take to the Interwebs to gush on their brilliance.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
If you're a regular reader, you know my love of literature-turned-into-movies which, for a while, was primarily orbiting around Keira Knightly. So, naturally, I’m drawn to anything she’s in. And then there’s Steve Carrell, who I first remember noticing in that one scene in Bruce Almighty, where Jim Carey is screwing with his character’s broadcast. I still laugh every time I see it. And to steal the show from Jim Carey, even for a short moment, in my opinion, takes great talent. So I’m also drawn to anything he blesses with his existence.
The basis of the storyline – the impending apocalypse – makes this movie into something terribly fun and romantic. To get a general feel of it, think back to that one relationship you had (in that one semester off of college), when you knew it wasn’t “meant to be” but instead was just “fun right now,” which made the whole thing sweeter. You didn’t feel the need to dwell on his aggravating habits, you didn’t worry about little things like impressing his friends or meeting his mother. You just let it all slide right off you because it was temporary. He was a surfer who was never leaving the beach, and you were driven and always planned on going back to college – which was so far from the ocean. But in that moment, that liberating, fleeting emotion was so free and tender and honeyed.
What was I talking about again?
Oh yeah, the end of the world.
So, that free feeling is exactly what happens in this film. The apocalypse is coming. Everyone is on a permanent deadline. So everyone abandons convention and does exactly what they want. The base of their personalities is exposed. Because nothing really matters anymore.
Born out of that chaos is the relationship between these two characters. It starts out as something small and convenient, then transforms into beautiful and tender.
Steve Carrell again amazed me, this time with his ability to express such deep longing in just one look.
If I Stay
As a writer of young adult literature, I try to stay up on the trends.
But I’m really bad at it.
Really bad. If I’m into it, it’s either 1.) never been cool or 2.) something that was cool at one time but is no longer cool. And that's not because I’m post-30-ish. This has always been my modus operandi. (See? No one cool in the history of the world has ever said modus operandi.)
So I knew If I Stay was a popoular film based on the popular book by Gayle Forman. But I hadn’t jumped into it yet. Until it showed up on Netflix with Cloe Moretz from Kick Ass in the lead. So how could I not?
And holy Moretz! I cried pretty much the entire movie. And now I have to go out and buy every single book Gayle Forman ever wrote. Dammit.
For a Good Time Call ...
This is a movie about two girls who start a phone sex hotline. So women in general are probably turned off by it before they give it a shot. To that I say, “LADIES – WATCH THIS MOVIE!” It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s empowering.
It’s a love story. But there are all kinds of love, people. And this is about the love between two friends. And it’s fantastic.
One funny thing to point out is the cameos in this film, mainly the guys calling in on the hotline. One being Kevin Smith of Clerks fame. The scene with him is genius. And by the way, that song you’re thinking of as he’s – ehem – finishing – is Bad Girls by Donna Summers.
Just sayin’. Hilarious.
Honorable mention: Bride and Prejudice
It’s been a while since I saw this one. (Not its first appearance on Netlfix.) But I recall it fondly. I mean Bollywood + Jane Austen + Alexis Bledel from Gilmore Girls as Georgiana Darcy. How could you go wrong?