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Posts tagged ‘movies’

The Best Holiday Romances on Netflix

This is a joint post with G.G. Andrew, a writer of fun, flirty, and smart romantic comedy and an all-around awesome reading and movie-watching pal.

It’s December, which means that holiday romances on Netflix are cropping up as quickly as holly and mistletoe. But with so many options, and Holiday in Handcuffs no longer streaming, where’s a romance fan to start? Good news: We’ve done the festive watching for you, checking out everything from heartwarming films to fun flicks to all those fake relationship movies (so.many. fake relationships) to find the very best holiday romance movies streaming this month. Grab a hot drink and queue up one of these next time you’re in the mood for some holiday swooning!

Christmas in the SmokiesChristmas in the Smokies
Christmas in the Smokies is a sweet and charming second chance romance. Shelby (Sarah Lancaster) runs her family’s berry farm, which is in financial straits. Mason Wyatt (Alan Powell) was Shelby’s boyfriend back when they were teenagers, but is now a roguish country music playboy who’s screwed around too much and needs to figure out his life. (The video of Mason totally bombing a Dancing with the Stars-type country music show is a highlight of the movie.) Mason ends up staying at the farm to clear his head, in part thanks to Shelby’s father (Barry Corbin), the wise bumbling type full of jokes and folksy advice. Mason is 100% appealing as the prodigal boyfriend who learns to grow up, and Shelby is the competent business woman who doesn’t take nonsense from anyone. Watching Shelby warm to Mason as he helps her attempt to save the farm will melt the icicles on anyone’s heart.

Holiday Breakup
This one was a fun surprise: funny, cute, creative, and with one of the best rom-com heroines. Chloe (Manon Mathews) grew up believing that “falling in love meant you never had to grow up.” And she hasn’t. She works in a toy store, does trust falls with herself (yes, really), and when she hits Jeff’s car with her own while texting, she offers him a toy as recompense. Naturally, the two start an adorable courtship. Jeff (Shawn Roe) is Chloe’s opposite in many ways: more serious, a businessman, and the son of an uptight man who doesn’t think he should be with someone silly like Chloe (cue the conflict). So Jeff tries to make Chloe more serious, especially since they’re about to move in together. Spoiler: it doesn’t work. “My dad was right,” he tells her. “You do need a clown school.” Chloe, excited to hear this, exclaims, “There’s a clown school?” The two break up, but because of the pressure of the holidays, they decide to pretend like they’re still together for the sake of braving holiday meals with their families. What follows are a string awkward dinners, lessons learned from their own parents (good and bad), and one “perfectly appropriate kiss between two incompatible adults” that makes them realize what they’ve been missing.Holiday Breakup.jpg

A Christmas Prince
iZombie’s Rose McIver stars in A Christmas Prince as Amber, a junior editor who spends her time rewriting the crappy stories of more senior writers. When she gets an assignment, she is sent to cover Prince Richard (Ben Lamb), a ne’er-do-well newsmaker the gossips say might abdicate the throne. Amber instead finds herself mistaken for young Princess Emily’s (Honor Kneafsey) new tutor and uses the misunderstanding to move into the palace and their lives hoping to find a scoop about Richard and prove herself as a reporter. A Christmas Prince has royal balls, horseback rides, archery lessons, thrilling rescues from danger, poetry, secrets, retrograde jokes about the unwashed masses from snobby royals, and plot twists. Lessons are learned and true meanings are found. McIver, Lamb, and Kneafsey are so fun and earnest and winning as the three leads that any sappiness can be forgiven. Read more


Year of Revisiting #12 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“Next time there’s a ball, pluck up the courage and ask me before somebody else does, and not as a last resort!”

After reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I wanted to revisit Goblet of Fire, the events of which figure prominently in Cursed Child.  The wrapping was still on the DVD so I had probably not seen it since the theater showing over 10 years ago.

Goblet starts at the Quidditch World Cup, which I suppose is the magical version of the soccer World Cup, which I never much cared about but reminded me a little of the Olympics, which were currently happening but which I wasn’t really watching either.   Read more

6 of the Weirdest Romances on Netflix Instant

This post is also by G.G. Andrew and can be found on her site too!

Romance probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind when you think of the apocalypse, or telepathy, or the embodiment of death.  Yet these have been major elements in some of the most watchable romantic films available on Netflix Instant.  Love stories don’t have to be conventional to be romantic, as these six very strange movies show.  Each is off-beat and odd in its own way, while still full of the sweetness, longing, and stolen glances that make a story a romance.  So next time you’re feeling a little weird, throw on your Lisa Frank leggings and your blinking hearts headband and turn on one of these fun and bizarre romances.

In Your Eyes

In Your Eyes is a strange yet totally earnest film, and that combination works compellingly in this story.  Becky (Zoe Kazan) and Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) are from different sides of the tracks – they’ve never met in person and literally live in separate parts of the country – yet they have a strange telepathic connection.  When Becky gets into a sledding accident as a young girl, Dylan seizes and faints.  As an adult, Dylan gets into a bar fight and Becky can feel the punch.  When suddenly this connection manifests itself in more overt ways, they find they can communicate with each other in their heads and even see from the other’s perspective.  This film teeters close to the ridiculous.  The actors spend a lot of time staring into space pretending they are seeing what the other person is seeing: they’re basically skyping without technology.   Though it takes itself a little too seriously for being so wacky, In Your Eyes never quite topples into ludicrousness.  As Becky and Dylan’s relationship blooms and develops, we root for them, and the ending is wonderful and satisfying. Read more

Year of Revisiting #10 – Obvious Child

“Did you just warm this butter up for me?”

“That’s just what you do.”

After a break of not watching much of anything, I queued up Obvious Child the other night. I hadn’t seen it since the theater showing two years ago, when a friend and I went on a Wednesday, I think. (Going to the movies on a school night makes me feel transgressive and cool.) I remember her knitting throughout, which was pretty impressive considering the darkness, and the two of us laughing at the jokes, often ribald and crude. Read more

Year of Revisiting #9 – The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

“You can be much more alone with other people than you are by yourself. Even if it’s people you love.”

It had been years since I had seen The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, though as a love story and a ghost story it had stood out in my memory among the many movies I watched as a child.

Rex Harrison plays Daniel, a deceased sailor, who haunts Gene Tierney’s widow Lucy Muir when she moves into his home. What surprised me most about the movie, after maybe two decades since my last viewing, was not Daniel, whose blatant sexism I tried not to judge too harshly by today’s standards, but Lucy, who is a spinster in the most modern, positive sense. After her husband dies, she breaks free of her overbearing in-laws to live with her daughter in a haunted cottage by the water. “I never had a life of my own,” she says early on and throughout the film makes similar statements. When I was young, the chaste love story was the draw and I doubt Lucy’s independence and satisfyingly solitary life even registered. As an adult, I see the movie as a story about a woman making a life on her own. Read more