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Posts tagged ‘romance’

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


Love and Gravity, Part 2

“Better be without sense, than misapply it as you do.”
― Jane Austen

Readers may recall my anxiety over being set up with a guy not named Ken, and my relief when, as he reconciled with his ex-girlfriend, it turned out that nothing at all was required of me.

So, what’s up with Ken and the ex-ex-girlfriend now?  How did they bridge the baby gulf and find love again?

“Oh, I’m so glad you asked!” Sally, my friend who was playing matchmaker, said.  “He broke up with his girlfriend and moved out!”

Uh oh.
Read more

The Ten Best Gilmore Girls Episodes

The Gilmore Girls series, much like a fantastic Thanksgiving dish, came with a delicious mixture of ingredients that combined to make a perfect show. Take a sweet, strong bond between young mom Lorelai and her teen daughter, Rory. Add in some savory conflict between Lorelai and her well-to-do parents. Smear on a backdrop of a town of seriously quirky characters who do things like hold wakes for cats and debate about town troubadours. Stir in generous amounts of romance, the forbidden and the slow-burn and everything in-between. Season with witty humor and cultural references to everything from David Bowie to classic literature to Absolutely Fabulous.

It always made for a great watch, and that’s why G.G. Andrew and I are so excited to see the new Gilmore Girls episodes coming to Netflix this week! In our enthusiasm for all things Gilmore, we’ve rewatched the best moments of the series to bring you our top ten Gilmore Girls episodes, complete with recaps of why they’re so essential to the series.

Season 1 Episode 9, “Rory’s Dance”
Rory’s first formal dance at Chilton!  This episode is full of great Rory moments and life lessons.  Rory, initially reluctant to go, decides to attend after Lorelai convinces her not to skip the dance–or anything else in life–because she’s afraid.  Tristan torments Rory one second, gazes longingly at her the next, and later gets into a fight with Dean over her.  Emily chides Rory that you don’t go running out the door when a boy honks for you.  Dean is in top form too: he doesn’t want to go, doesn’t want to wear a suit, and doesn’t want to dance, yet does all of these things for Rory.  And when she asks if he’s her boyfriend, he replies, “I am if you want me to be.”  At the end, Rory and Dean fall asleep overnight at Miss Patty’s dance studio, which causes two epic fights: first between Lorelai and Emily, and then between Lorelai and Rory.  Both are heartbreaking and real and give us great insight into the three generations of Gilmore women. Read more

Jane Austen in Stars Hollow

New Gilmore Girls episodes coming in November!  I’ve been pondering what I want to happen, romantically, with Rory, bookish and studious and therefore partly relatable.  (The rest of Rory’s existence–in particular eating 4,000 calories a day and gaining no weight–is completely foreign to me.)

When the series ended, Rory was unattached.  All of Rory’s three former boyfriends are apparently returning for the revival, but I’m about 80% sure I want *the one* to be Jess, the troubled bad boy who, with a paperback in pocket, scowls around Stars Hollow as if it’s not the most magical place on earth and is unpleasant and rude to almost everyone in his life, including Rory.

Jess is the Henry Crawford of Gilmore Girls.  Henry, as Jane Austen’s shameless bad boy, is one of the best parts of Mansfield ParkGilmore Girls can trace much of its DNA back to Jane Austen: the warmth and wit; the focus on social mores, personal relationships, and living within their constraints; the romance.  The rascals never succeed in Austen, though, which is both fitting and disappointing.  I’ve always kind of wanted Fanny and Henry of Mansfield Park to end up together.  So I’m rooting for Rory and Jess. 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