It’s so cheesy it’s practically fondue! I love that.
Warning: There are spoilers.
When I first heard about the premise of Last Vegas a few years back I thought, that’s an immediate pass. I will not be watching that. Old guys in a rip off of The Hangover? No thank you.
Then the trailer came out and I saw that basically everyone is in this movie. You get Kevin Kline (yum), Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro and Morgan Freeman. That’s an awesome cast.
Did it look silly, over the top and predictable? Yes. Did I want to see it? Yes. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to renting it, I have to say WATCH IT. It’s super fun.
It’s a simple plot, four OLD friends reunite for the first time in a LONG time in Las Vegas. Michael Douglas is a high powered lothario (I know, I feel like I’m in the wrong decade too) who has decided to finally tie the knot. Where does he propose? At a friend’s funeral, cuz he’s just that romantic.
He calls up all of his old buddies to get them to attend his quickie wedding to his 30something girlfriend and it quickly turns into a crazy bachelor party. There are, predictably, but hilariously none the less, a ton of jokes about her age BTW.
Wait, before we actually get to Vegas we are treated to a bit of each fellow’s life: Kline is referred to as the Bionic man as he wears a hearing aid, has a replacement hip and a full medicine cabinet, Morgan Freeman is being babied by his adult son because he had a minor stroke at some point and Robert De Niro is a grouchy shut in (surely they jest, De Niro angry? Nah).
On to Vegas, these guys are not quite up to speed on today’s scene. Luckily due to some magic on Freeman’s part the guys luck into getting their own personal assistant, the always fab Romany Malco. He helps guide them around the Vegas lifestyle and eventually gets very into it as well.
There’s so much partying, Vegas baby! It’s off the chain. Yes, that is a cameo by LMFAO!
The standout for me is definitely Morgan Freeman. He gets the best lines, “I feel like a princess” and “these Red Bull and vodkas, I feel like I’m getting drunk and electrocuted at the same time”. Plus his character facilitates much of the plot.
There is also a competitive horn dog/grudge thing going on between Douglas and De Niro. Enter the always beautiful, Mary Steenburgen as a lounge singer.
Without giving absolutely everything away, watch out for the shopping montage, woot and another unexpected, yet totally in sync with the storyline, cameo.
Sit back, have fun with it, don’t pick it apart and you will probably enjoy this flick.
You can rent or buy Last Vegas on Amazon here(affiliate link)
I just rewatched The Ice Storm for two reasons, it’s been a while and I never could get a handle on what I enjoyed so much about it. I mean I remember thinking that it was fantastic back during the original release and watching it at least a couple of other times since then. I even have The Ice Storm: The Shooting Script.
Upon this viewing I think that I finally got it. It’s not just the talented cast, the attention to period detail and the inclusion of swingers. It’s the awkwardness. Every character in the film seems incredibly, realistically awkward in these situations (aside from Sigourney Weaver, who is wonderfully strong).
The Ice Storm is set during a Thanksgiving holiday in the 1970’s. Joan Allen and Kevin Kilne have two children, 16 year old Tobey Maguire (returning home from a fancy schmancy boarding school) and the impulsive 14 year old Christina Ricci. While Allen seems to be going through a type of midlife dissatisfaction owing to different issues that include (but probably aren’t limited to), a need to find some type of spirituality and the niggling suspicion that her hubby is cheating on her.
She’s correct. Kline is banging Sigourney Weaver. Weaver and Kline are sooo hot in this. He spends much of the film walking around all clueless and shirtless. She’s outgrowing their arrangement though. It seems that their affair which was once sizzling is now losing the thrill and he’s acting more like a second husband, which she says that she doesn’t need. When she just up and leaves, without telling him, when they are about to fuck it’s fantastic.
Kline and his wife and Weaver and her hubby attend somewhat staid dinner parties. However they eventually end up at a key party, which is all the rave now, awesome! An interminably young and hot Glenn Fitzgerald even makes an appearance at the party as some chick’s son that she brought to swap, whoa! The party seems to cause many of the main characters turmoil instead of fun though.
The children are also exploring their love and lust lives. Ricci has an on again off again fondling type relationship with a super spacey Elijah Wood. At the same type his younger bro is in love with her but not really ready to experiment yet when she makes a move.
Maguire is more shy and reserved. He has the hots for assumed poor little rich girl Katie Holmes. He worries that his roomie David Krumholtz might snare her instead as he apparently always does with Tobey’s crushes. The face that Krumholtz is portrayed as some kind of player in this tickles me. The three of them end up awkwardly boozing it up before he returns home one night to escape a scary situation.
Without totally giving away the ending, some things are resolved and something soul crushing happens. The ending is, afterall, set during an ice storm.
Sources for the above photos (in order) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
“…it’s okay you didn’t like Broken Hearts Club or Kiss Me Guido. Let me tell you a little secret that we try to keep within the community, gay movies suck, but until the law is changed we’re still obligated to go see ’em” – Will & Grace
I tend to disagree with W&G on that one but it’s gives me a chuckle.
I just discovered the fun classic film blog Garbo Laughs and their Queer Film Blogathon recently. It’s a great idea and open to all film bloggers. According to the site “The Queer Film Blogathon will be held on June 27, 2011. The focus is on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or otherwise non-heterosexual, non-gender-binary depictions or personages in film.” So even if you found it late, like me, you should go contribute. This is to celebrate that June is Gay Pride Month. P.S. Congrats New Yorkers! Same-sex marriage was legalized Friday in the state of New York.
This is one of RuPaul’s reality shows that airs on the Logo network. They have various competitions to determine who the best drag queen is. I actually haven’t gotten around to watching it yet because I always realize it’s on when the season is already halfway through. Luckily I can watch the whole second season all the way through now. I have watched Drag U though which features drag queens who give women makeovers to improve their self esteem and win, of course. I really want a drag queen fairy godmother. It would so fun. In the meantime you can use the Dragulator, I did.
Dorian Gray (2009) (Available Until February 16, 2012)
Dorian Gray was a pretty good adaptation of my all time favorite book, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. They stick to the story, the dialogue (!) and there is plenty of debauchery. My main peeve is that the lead, Ben Barnes is a little odd looking. Dorian Gray is the story of a young, handsome man who finds out that the painting that was painted of him is what will age and show his sins while he stays eternally young looking. You can imagine how much bad stuff one can get into in that situation. There is a gay kissing scene, which is why I included it. Colin Firth (yum) and Ben Chaplin co-star.
This is a romantic comedy starring Gretchen Mol (The Notorious Bettie Page), Elizabeth Reaser (Grey’s Anatomy), Justin Kirk and Julianne Nicholson. It’s about a lesbian who starts wondering if she’s really gay after a breakup. It’s a good little movie with a great cast.
When two seasonal sheepherders unexpectedly fall in love they have to deal with their own feelings, their wives and life in general is this stormy drama. The leads are played by the fantastic late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Their wives are played by Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway. Randy Quaid, Linda Cardellini and Anna Faris costar. The film was directed by the super talented Ang Lee (The Ice Storm). If you haven’t seen this yet then you must, as soon as possible.
The L Word seasons 2-5 (doesn’t include 1 or 6) (2004) (Not Currently Available)
The L Word was the lesbian answer to Queer As Folk. It’s definitely more downbeat but still a great show. I simply chose a picture of Katherine Moennig as Shane because she’s my favorite character.
Tying the Knot (2004) (Available Until October 11, 2013)
This is a documentary about same-sex marriage laws in the US. It is from 2004 so I’m sure that much of the info is out of date but it looks interesting. If you want to get riled up you may also want to check out another documentary, 8: The Mormon Proposition, which is about the LDS trying to prevent the gay marriage bill in California. Reviews by Mormons say it’s biased, but of course it would be. That’s the point, to show how ridiculous their views on this are.
Nip/Tuck Seasons 1-6 (full series) (2003-2009) (Available Until July 1, 2014)
Man, I love Nip/Tuck and it’s over the top lifestyle and problems (many caused by their own egos) of 2 handsome plastic surgeons. Over the course of the show creator Ryan Murphy (Glee) featured many LGBT plots including transgender arcs. There was also a bit of a tease plot line about Christian (Julian McMahon) worrying that he might be gay (he’s a real horn dog for the ladies).
Wet Hot American Summer has to be included for the young, giddy makeout scene between Bradley Cooper and Michael Ian Black whilst a bit of a way away their friends are talking about how to get them chicks. From the mind of David Wain this is a hilarious satire of camp counselor movies. The cast also includes David Hyde Pierce, Janeane Garafalo, Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Michael Showalter, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Marguerite Moreau and Ken Marino.
Boys Don’t Cry is based on the true story of Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank) who was a trans man (a person who is born female but gender identifies as a man) who falls in love with the pretty Lana (Chloe Sevigny) and the hate crime that follows. Peter Sarsgaard and Brendan Sexton costar. Netflix also has The Brandon Teena Story, which is the documentary about the real Brandon Teena.
Plot: “A gay teen finds out who he is and what he wants, who his friends are, and who loves him, in this autobiographical tale set in middle America in the 1980s. Growing up, learning about life, love, sex, friends, and lovers.” (from IMDB.com). I was a big fan of this adorable movie as a teen. It stars Chris Stafford, Tina Holmes, Andersen Gabrych and Lea DeLaria.
This comedy is uneven but it starred Brad Rowe (who Bop promised me would become a star, what happened?) at the height of his hotness. It’s no wonder that the movie is about Sean Hayes’s photographer character trying to turn him gay so he can romance him.
Kiss Me Guido is definitely one of my favorites. Back before Jersey Shore (ew) not everyone was into the macho Italian American guy from NYC. Nicki Scotti (Detroit Rock City) plays this guy who really wants to be an actor but is working in a pizza shop. He’s a few slices short of a loaf so when he sees GWM in an apartment ad he thinks that it means “Guy With Money” instead of “Gay White Male”. When he meets his new effeminate, gay roomie (in the theater scene, score) laughs and friendship ensue. My sister and I still use that abbreviation incorrectly today for giggles. The movie costars Anthony Barille, Anthony DeSando, Craig Chester and Jennifer Esposito.
Chasing Amy is a great comedy that proposes the question “Isn’t Ben Affleck so hot that a lesbian would fall for him?”. Just kidding, she falls for him as a person. The problem is that he can’t get her exes out of his head (which could happen in any relationship). Because it’s a Kevin Smith film (from his View Askew oeuvre) it has his trademark filthy humor but is also touching. Plus they are all comic writers (or tracers) so it’s like a good geek fantasy. The film stars Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee (Banksy!) and Jason Mewes. Characters from this film make a cameo in his later film, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
In & Out (1997) (Not Currently Available)
Yes, I did already mention In & Out in one of these and while I don’t usually do repeats I had to do so with this film. You have to love Kevin Kline as teacher who struggles with coming out late in life but in a quite silly manner. Tom Selleck plays his love interest. The film costars Joan Cusack, Matt Dillon, Debbie Reynolds, Wilford Brimley, Bob Newhart, Shalom Harlow, Shawn Hatosy, Lauren Ambrose, Selma Blair and Glenn Close. It was directed by Frank Oz.
The Birdcage is a lot of fun. It’s one of those movies that any time that you come across it on TV you have to watch it, yet again. It’s a remake of the 1978 French-Italian film La Cage aux Folles. The adorable Dan Futterman is about to marry a pre-Ally McBeal Calista Flockhart. The problem is that his fathers (Robin Williams and Nathan Lane) are both gay and the owners of a drag club while Flockhart’s father (Gene Hackman) is a Republican Senator. So Williams fakes a different profession, Lane dresses as and pretends to be Futterman’s mother and they pretend not to be Jewish. Of course tons of hilarious scenes ensue. Diane Wiest, Hank Azaria and Chrstine Branski costar in this Mike Nichols film.
Jeffrey handled the fear of Aids with humor, not easy to do. Wings era Steven Weber stars as Jeffrey who is worrying but falling for a guy while trying to be celibate due to his fear. Definitely a flick that I’ve watched quite a few times. The film costars Patrick Stewart, Nathan Lane, Michael T. Weiss and Sigourney Weaver. Weber even tweeted about the movie Friday night in reference to NYC’s gay marriage approval.
Yeah, you probably already know how awesome this movie is but we still have to address it now. I loved this movie so much that I used to covet this bus when I was young and imagine traveling cross country having adventures in it. It’s about a group of drag queens who travel across Australia to perform in fantastic outfits and deal with prejudice on their awesome bus, Priscilla. Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving costar. If you’re already a big fan then you may want to pick up the Blu-ray which, according to the screencaps, here, looks amazing.
Heavenly Creatures (1994) (Available Until January 1, 2012)
This drama is about the tumultuous friendship of two young ladies played by Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey that leads to horrifying revenge. I recommend checking out the Film Experience’s Best Shot thoughts on it as well as Melanie Lynskey’s on the same site.
My So Called Life The Complete Series (1994) (Available Until March 1, 2013)
Though most of us first recall ah, Jordan Catalano (i.e. Jared Leto, front man of a pretty so so band) in all of this teen angst about high school we not only got to see Angela (Claire Danes) break out of her shell with the help of her drunk bestie Rayanne (A.J. Langer) but also their other bestie Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) who was actually out, in high school, in 1994, that takes balls. It’s a fantastic show that despite it’s super quick cancellation is discovered by new crops of teens every year, who still identify with it. It can also bring back the nostalgia for those of us who are a bit older but were here for the 90s.
I watched this flick a few months ago during one of my revisiting Cary Elwes phases. It’s a story about a young gay student (Rupert Everett) attending a boarding school in 1930s England. It’s very slow moving but worth checking out to see all of these hot guys in their super young days, including Colin Firth!
Plot: “Perhaps the first film to put a human face on the AIDS epidemic, Longtime Companion follows the lives of a small circle of friends from the first mention of the disease in the New York Times in 1981. First referred to as “Gay-Related-Immune-Disorder,” we watch the effect of the disease as it devastates the lives of our protagonists. Jumping between Manhattan and Fire Island, vignettes carry us from the it-couldn’t-happen-to-me mentality of the early days of the disease to the invasive effect it has had on all of our lives, today. The title of the film comes from the New York Times’ refusal to acknowledge homosexual relationships in their obituary section during this period. Instead, survivors were referred to as “Longtime Companions” of the deceased.” (from IMDB.com). This drama stars the talented cast of Campbell Scott, Stephen Caffreey, Patrick Caddiy, Brian Cousins, John Dossett, Mary-Louise Parker and Dermot Mulroney.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show was not only the first movie that introduced me to a sweet transvestite but also overpowering horniness in general as a child. It was one of my dad’s favorites. It’s an awesome musical about sci-fi, rock and roll and horny oddballs that a square couple meet on their honeymoon. Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon are fantastic. The whole cast is pretty amazing though (I still need to be Magenta for Halloween one day!). The whole cast is pretty amazing though (I still need to be Magenta for Halloween one day!). The film co-stars Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien and Meat Loaf. The movie has a huge following and tons of live shows as well as audience participation shows (that are sometimes aired on TV for Halloween) are often going on. A really neat looking Blu-ray book set was released for the film’s 35th anniversary in 2010.
Chris Kattan played the adorable male stripper who could hypnotize any man into falling for him on Saturday Night Live during the late ’90s. Kattan was a cast member from seasons 16 through 23. There isn’t a definitive list out of each episode that featured Mango but you can watch Saturday Night Live The 1990s and Saturday Night Live The 2000s to find out. My sister even got me a Mango birthday cake back in the day, super neat.
Unfortunately Kattan used to get ragged on all of the time by his cast members for this character so in later episodes his unknown (but we were assuming at least bi) sexuality is revealed to be straight and he’s married, boo. SNL has also featured The Ambiguously Gay Duo cartoon mainly through those years but also once last season as well (with Jon Hamm and Jimmy Fallon as the live action versions). You can read a little more on gay sketches on SNL here.
So for this installment of my Netflix series I thought that I would address action movies. When I was a child I really wasn’t crazy about action movies. Later they grew on me though.
Netflix has a big action movie section that includes some up to date movies. I haven’t watched most of the B action movies that they have because a B action movie usually has shitty special effects.
One thing I like about action movies is that it’s harder for me to nitpick at them. If I watch a movie or show and notice something ridiculous like the implication that Paypal is magic or putting a teenagerin a Social Distortion shirt I get annoyed and it pulls me out of the story. However I’m right brained so while I always breezed through English and similar classes in school, math and science sometimes tripped me up. This means that when the ridiculous explosion happens in an action movie I’m less likely to see something wrong with it than a mechanic or engineer. And I like that.
Plus I do like to see hot guys blow shit up on occasion.
Just click the movie title to be taken to it on Netflix.
From Paris With Love (2010) (Available Until September 08, 2012)
Plot: In Paris, a young employee in the office of the US Ambassador hooks up with an American spy looking to stop a terrorist attack in the city. (from IMDB.com). I saw this flick when it first came out and really enjoyed it. Get over John Travolta’s glistening dome and you can get into it. The always fantastic Jonathan Rhys Meyers costars.
Harry Brown (2009) (Available Until December 01, 2012)
Plot: An elderly ex-serviceman and widower looks to avenge his best friend’s murder by doling out his own form of justice. (from IMDB.com). Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer star in this flick.
Revolver (2005) (Available Until March 01, 2013)
Revolver is a great little movie so it kind of sucks that it doesn’t seem as though many people have seen it. It was written and directed by Guy Ritchie. The cast includes Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Vincent Pastore and Andre Benjamin (Outkast). Plot: It centers on a revenge-seeking confidence trickster whose weapon is a universal formula that guarantees victory to its user, when applied to any game or confidence trick. (from Wikipedia.com)
Yes, XXX is another Vin Diesel movie (I have a bit of a crush on him). Plot: Xander Cage is an extreme sports athlete recruited by the government on a special mission. (from IMDB.com). The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Asia Argento. Action, romance, night clubs, Euro-trash, what more can you ask for?
Knockaround Guys (2001) (Available March 25, 2012)
This was one of Vin Diesel’s first big roles. It centers around a bunch of young wannabe mobsters. The cast includes Barry Pepper, Andy Davoli, Seth Green, John Malkovich and Dennis Hopper.
Reindeer Games (2000) (Available Until January 01, 2013)
Reindeer Games seems to have a bad rap but it’s a very enjoyable movie. Ben Affleck’s character is fresh out of prison and has decided to pass himself off as his cellmate, who was having a relationship through the mail with Charlize Theron’s character, which seems like the thing to do. However he doesn’t know what is in store for him. Gary Sinise costars.
The Edge (1997) (Available Until June 30, 2012)
Plot: A billionaire and two other men are stranded, unequipped, by a plane crash in a dangerous wilderness. How many will survive to be rescued? (from IMDB.com). The film stars Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin and Elle Macpherson.
Cliffhanger is impressive because Stallone could do anything. He could even kick a mountain’s ass, sorta. Even the posters utilize the movie’s most special effect, Stallone’s strength. And no, I’m not attracted to him, well except in Demolition Man (warning: semi-nude Sly, apparently this impressed me at age 10). Plot: A botched mid-air heist results in suitcases full of cash being searched for by various groups throughout the Rocky Mountains. (from IMDB.com). Costars John Lithgow and Michael Rooker. Directed by Renny Harlin.
“I wanted to tell you that you have the biggest dick I’ve ever seen on a man.”
Yes, this is the action movie in which Dolph Lundgren teaches Brandon Lee to be Asian. I picked it up at the flea market when I was going through that week that I had a crush on Brandon Lee. (All teen girls go through that crushing on a hot, dead teen idol phase, I assume). Who cares about the “plot”. All you need to know is that Dolph Lundgren wears stuff like that and Brandon Lee checks out and mentions his package. Plus it costars Tia Carrere.
Plot: In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant max. security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue. (from IMDB.com). I’m partial to Kurt Russell being all hot and one eyed in the sequel, Escape From L.A. because I like cheese and the 90’s but this one’s good too. The film costars Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton and Adrienne Barbeau. It was written and directed by John Carpenter. A remake is currently being considered.
Yes, I did choose this movie as one of My Top Movies of 09. This film is a million times more over the top than the first. The 1st was about a guy who has been poisoned running around trying to keep his heart rate up. Now he’s running around with an artificial heart trying to get his heart back. Everything is completely over the top, the violence, the sex and a weird fantasy sequence. This film stars the always action packed Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam, Efren Ramirez, Bai Ling, David Carradine and Corey Haim.
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
Plot: A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family’s killers free. He targets not only the killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal. (from IMDB.com). The film stars Gerard Butler, Jamie Fox and Regina Hall. Butler is great in this, as per usual.
When The first The Fast and the Furious movie was released it was quickly deemed awesome by a lot of people, me included. It had a big, excellent ensemble cast (Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster) and a decent plot (An undercover cop infiltrates an underworld subculture of Los Angeles street racers looking to bust a hijacking ring, and soon begins to question his loyalties when his new street racing friends become the prime suspects.-from IMDB.com) but then they wanted to keep making sequels. The second film is generally considered to be okay (losing the original cast aside from Walker but adding Eva Mendes, Ludacris, James Remar & Tyrese), the third is completely different (set in Tokyo) but the fourth was pretty awesome because it brought back all of the original characters and had some pretty cool special effects scenes. The 5th was also pretty suspenseful.
I am a fan of the Jason Bourne series. Sometimes you are watching them and you feel like an idiot because you don’t know what’s going on and at other times you’re thinking “stop with the exposition” already but I do enjoy them. Basically all you need to know if you’ve never seen it is that Matt Damon stars in this film in his buffed out mode and has to escape bad guys while trying to figure out who he is and hook up with the chick from Run Lola Run. It costars Clive Owen, Brian Cox and Julia Stiles.
Yes, this is the requisite Will Smith tie in music video. Those were the rules in my day and we didn’t question them.
This flick was inspired by the original 1960’s TV series The Wild Wild West which I did used to watch on occasion do to it be played behind reruns of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. It was good for it’s time but was a comedy which people seemed to forget when the movie version was released and everyone was hamming it up. It was supposed to be exaggerated. That was the fun of it. Gadgets and puns and Kevin Kline, c’mon? That’s awesome. Plot: The two best hired guns in the West must save President Grant from the clutches of a 19th century inventor-villain. (from IMDB.com). The movie was directed by Men In Black’s Barry Sonnenfeld and starred Kevin Kline, Will Smith, Kenneth Branagh and Salma Hayek. It features the odd steampunk culture. While looking for photos for this post I was surprised to find out that people have actually made huge metal spiders like in this film.
This film was also based on a 1960’s TV series of the same name. Plot: Two British agents (John Steed and Emma Peel) team up to stop Sir August De Wynter from destroying the world with a weather changing machine. (from IMDB.com). Now I’m not going to lie and say that this movie didn’t have problems but was it the abomination that critics said that it was? No. It was fun, kitschy and everyone looked fantastic. The film stars Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery and Eddie Izzard.
Well if it were up to me Breakdown would be on Netflix Instant but it’s not so you may want to check out this other Kurt Russell movie. Plot: When terrorists seize control of an airliner, an intelligence analyst accompanies a commando unit for a midair boarding operation. (from IMDB.com). The film also stars Halle Berry, John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt and Steven Seagal (is this a strike for or against it, I’m not sure).
After Christian Slater was a teen idol but before he become a direct to DVD/failed TV show actor he tried to be an action film star (see also: Hard Rain. That didn’t really work out. Plot: Terrorists steal nuclear warheads from the US military but don’t count on a pilot and park ranger spoiling their plans. (from IMDB.com). The film costars John Travolta, Samantha Mathis and Frank Whaley. All that you really need to know is that this one of those movies in which Travolta tries to be the bad guy, which always strikes me as funny (and I like that).
Speed was, of course, that huge 90s blockbuster about the bus that absolutely could not go above 50MPH or everyone would die. The madman who who was behind this and other devious plans was Dennis Hopper. This was one Keanu Reeves’ huge movies. It was also Sandra Bullock’s breakout role. Jeff Daniels costars.
I am a Jean-Claude Van Damme fan and lucky for you, you can catch a lot of his movies on Netflix Instant. This is one of my favorites though. Plot: An officer for a security agency that regulates time travel, must fend for his life against a shady politician who has a tie to his past. (from IMDB.com). Cool concept, Van Damme in his prime and killer splits. Ron Silver costars. It also spawned a spin off series starring Charmed’s Ted King.
I’m sure that you already know about and have seen at least one Mad Max movie. The good news is that Netflix currently has all 3 available for you to watch instantly. Plot: In a dystopic future Australia, a vicious biker gang murder a cop’s family and make his fight with them personal. (from IMDB.com). Ah, the days before we knew that Mel Gibson was bat shit crazy. There are 2 new Mad Max films, Mad Max: Fury Road and Mad Max: Furiosa, in the works with a projected release date of 2012. The shooting date keeps getting pushed due to weather issues. Mel Gibson is not involved. The film stars Charlize Theron. Originally it was rumored that Jeremy Renner would be in the film but now Sam Worthington’s name is being banded about for the role. Unfortunately the actual lead hasn’t been announced yet. If they get either of those guys to do it I would be very happy indeed.
First of all, let’s just say it, most romantic comedies are not that funny. They can still be fun/depressing to watch. Often they are a great guilty pleasure. So kick back with one of these and a giant tub of ice cream the next time you get dumped (kidding, romantic comedy cliche).
The big difference between a romantic comedy and a romantic drama is in the drama one of the main characters usually dies. Many times the studios even try to market a romantic drama as a romantic comedy to increase the box office. We shall try to avoid those in this case. Also, independent comedies are usually pretty heavy and not really “comedies” either. Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of a lot of independent movies but they will not be light.
Just click the titles to go directly to them on Netflix.
Beautiful Girls (1996) (Available Until June 1, 2016) “So you’re the little neighborhood Lolita.”
“So you’re the alcoholic high school buddy shit for brains.”
Beautiful Girls is a great film. I hadn’t watched in a while and couldn’t believe how well it had held up. However I’m still not sure if I should put it here because it may be considered more dramatic but there is dark humor but it’s not super dark. The film is about Timothy Hutton’s character who is conflicted and visits his family. While he is there he develops feelings for his teen neighbor Natalie Portman because she has her whole life ahead of her. He always spends a lot of time with his friends. All of them have their own problems and all of their characters are really fleshed out, which is often ignored in a film like this. The film costars Lauren Holly, Michael Rappaport, Mira Sorvino, Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman and Rosie O’Donnell.
My Date With Drew (2003) (Available Until November 1, 2012)
This is actually a pseudo-documentary by Brian Herzlinger. He wants to make a documentary about the search for love but he knows that he needs a hook to get it sold once it’s made. The hook becomes taking Drew Barrymore out on a date. Will he get through to meet her and will he meet the woman of his dreams? Well, you can probably figure those things out by the fact that it got made. It does have a little twist part way through. I recommend this if you enjoy movies about making movies.
Big (1988) (Available Until July 17, 2012)
I’m sure that you’ve seen Big before. Tom Hanks is a young boy who just wants to get childhood over with so he can be a grown up. Somehow once he magically grows up (thanks Zoltar) he is basically handed success on a plate. It’s a cute fantasy film but there is a, slightly creepy, love story in there too. The film costars Elizabeth Perkins and David Moscow.
Intern (2000) (Available Until June 30, 2012)
I was a huge fan of the Jeremy Irons’ version of Lolita back when it was released and thought that Dominique Swain was fantastic in it. Ever since then I have tried to keep up with seeing all of her films. Intern is definitely one of my favorites. She stars as an intern at a fashion magazine who is just trying to keep everything together and maybe get together with a guy, who of course, usually dates little models. The film costars Ben Pullen, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, Paulina Porizkova, James Urbaniak and Andre Leon Talley.
Loser (2000) (Available Until June 1, 2012)
After the success of American Pie Jason Biggs was often cast as an amiable loser. This is a great example of that. He’s a nice, small town guy who comes to New York to attend college but doesn’t fit in with his hard partying, raping roommates. He also falls for the ‘I’m so different because I’m poor but wear Lip Service’ Mena Suvari who is in love with her professor Greg Kinnear (he was everywhere back then). The film was written and directed by Amy Heckerling of Clueless fame.
Two yuppie New Yorkers who are in the process of a divorce witness a murder and end up having to hide out in a country setting. I actually rented this movie expecting it to be truly terrible and that I’d be able to get a laugh out of it. It’s actually enjoyable though. It is very formulaic (fish out of water) but charming. It was fun to see Mary Steenburgen and Sam Elliott as the couple who take them in. The most distracting thing is the aging of the 2 leads, Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant, but no one gets to stay young forever unless you have a painting of yourself stashed away somewhere.
New In Town (2009)
Renee Zellweger is a know it all business woman who goes to freezing Minnesota to run a factory. Harry Connick Jr. relunctantly falls for her. This is more on the okay side but if you need a Zellweger fix it can do in a pinch.
I highly recommend this made for TV movie. Jennifer Love Hewitt stars as Katya, a wannabe socialite who actually gets by using credit and lies. Her main goal at the time is to go to a big party but the girl who is throwing it (for good reason) is excluding her. Plus she has to try to keep her new scheming assistant from showing her up at work. Joey Lawrence plays her gay bestie. She falls for a really hot guy but there are complications.
Maid in Manhattan (2002) (not currently available)
If you want to see a Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy you probably really want to watch The Wedding Planner but when that isn’t available you can watch this in its place. Lopez is a maid at a fancy hotel who, in a case of mistaken identity, starts seeing the wealthy Ralph Fiennes character. They don’t have the best chemistry and her precocious child is annoying but the fashion and supporting cast are pretty good. The film costars Chris Eigeman, Amy Sedars, Frances Conroy, Stanley Tucci, Natasha Richardson and Bob Hoskins.
The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) (not currently available) “To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.”
I’m a huge fan of Oscar Wilde so I have seen most of the film adaptations of his plays. The plot is about mistaken identity and betrothal and is set in the 1890’s. I recommend anything Wilde related for the dialogue. This version of The Importance of Being Earnest has a great cast that includes Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O’Connor, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and Reese Witherspoon. I haven’t watched this in a while but I recall thinking that Witherspoon didn’t do well at playing Cecily.
Someone Like You (2001) (not currently available) “You’re so easy to talk to, unlike my current cow”
It took me a while to actually watch this movie after it came out. The ads that included a then teeny tiny Ashley Judd running around doing cheers in her underwear while eating ice cream didn’t draw me in. However after I caught it on TV I reluctantly became a fan. Judd is a wannabe writer who works on a talk show (this was a popular career choice for female leads in romantic comedies for quite a while). After she is jilted by yet another jerk in her life, the then (everyone thought) poised for stardom Greg Kinnear, she starts obsessively studying love and sex in nature and comes up with the ‘New Cow’ theory. She starts writing about this using a pseudonym of an older female PHD. She also becomes roommates with Hugh Jackman’s man whore character. She assumes that since she now knows everything about male behavior that he won’t be tempting. All hell turns loose when people want to know more about her alter ego. The film costars Marisa Tomei as her more naive best friend. The film is based on the book Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman.
Excess Baggage (1997) (not currently available)
When Alicia Silverstone was on top of the world career wise she had her own company, First Kiss Productions. This was the big film that she decided to put out under it. Unfortunately this film and the, at first look, similar A Life Less Ordinary were both released around the same time and both were panned by critics. It’s a shame because I enjoyed both films. Silverstone plays a pampered rich girl who, just wanting her dad’s attention, tries to arrange a fake kidnapping of herself but then is accidently actually kidnapped by a, really hot at the time, Benicio Del Toro. The film costars Christopher Walken and Harry Connick Jr.
Fools Rush In (1997) (not currently available)
Growing up my sister and I were both a big fan of this Matthew Perry vehicle. He is a hapless architect who meets the hot Salma Hayek waiting outside of a bathroom in a Mexican restaurant and, of course, has sex with her that night. Later when she shows up pregnant they decide that instead of just paying her alimony, like in real life, they are going to get married and raise this kid together. So they adorably try to mesh their culture and long distance lives. His love of Gray’s Papaya actually caused my sister and I to look all over for one once while were were visiting NYC but we gave up when we could only find Papaya King.
In & Out (1997) (not currently available)
A drama teacher questions his sexuality during his engagement to a woman when a former student outwittingly outs him. In & Out has always gotten a bad rap because it came out in the late ’90s so people have always said that it was ridiculous that the lead character (played by the always amazing Kevin Kline) is only now, realizing that he is gay even though he is older. This is because people wrongly assume that everywhere is like NYC and LA but it’s not. Gay people in my small town freaking hide most of the time. That being said there is definitely some silly, ridiculous stuff in this but it’s a ’90s comedy, what do you expect? The film costars Tom Selleck, Joan Cusack, Matt Dillon, Debbie Reynolds and Lauren Ambrose.
Sprung (1996) (not currently available)
I haven’t watched this movie in a long time but I remember thinking that it is odd, cute and funny. It’s about dating and the differences between men and women. The film stars Tisha Campbell-Martin.
One Fine Day (1996) (not currently available)
Ah, the ’90s when George Clooney was trying to get into our panties with his smile, instead of trying to bore us to tears by teaching us things we don’t care about. It’s a movie about two single, professional parents who meet through their children. The film also stars Michelle Pfeiffer.
I.Q. (1994) (not currently available)
I’ve always been fond of I.Q. despite it’s PGness and it having to do with Einstein (as played by Walter Matthau). Meg Ryan plays the niece of Einstein and Tim Robbins is the dim cutie that Einstein tries to get her together with.
I Love You To Death (1990) (not currently available)
I Love You To Death works because of the huge ensemble cast, Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, River Phoenix, William Hurt, Keanu Reeves, Victoria Jackson and Heather Graham. Kevin Kline character is a cheating jerk who runs a pizza parlor. His wife is sick of his cheating and wants him dead. Luckily she doesn’t have to try to do this all on her own since River Phoenix’s character is head over heels about her.
It’s great that they have this streaming because Loverboy is my favorite young Patrick Dempsey movie. If you only have time to watch one film about a young, gigolo pizza boy this is your movie. The film costars Kate Jackson, Dylan Walsh, Kirsite Alley and Carrie Fisher.
When Harry Met Sally (1989) (not currently available) “How long do you like to be held after sex? All night, right? See, that’s your problem. Somewhere between 30 seconds and all night is your problem.
“I don’t have a problem.”
“Yes, you do.”
This is a true classic and I’m still a little surprised that you can actually find it via Netflix Streaming. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal star in Rob Reiner and Nora Ephron’s flick about a couple of people who seemingly by kismet meet repeatedly until they give in and become friends. Then they debate whether or not men and women can even be friends without sex but they think that they won’t have to worry about that with each other. As a cynic I’ve always identified with Crystal’s character over Ryan’s. I usually watch this movie at least once a year. I honestly think this would be a perfect movie if none of the real life couple interviews were interjected every once in a while. They are too cheesy and ruin the flow of the film. Carrie Fisher costars.
Something Wild (1986) (not currently available)
Something Wild is totally quirky. Melanie Griffith is this great ‘I don’t give a fuck’ type of character who gets Jeff Daniels to go with her back to her hometown for a reunion. Both of them are liars but really likable. Ray Liotta costars as her asshole ex whose character is even named Ray.
The Pick-up Artist (1987) (not currently available)
Robert Downey Jr’s career has undergone many transformations. This was back in his ‘I’m a suave leading man’ phase. He is a a real horn dogging guy who decides to change when he meets the complicated, interesting Randy (played by Molly Ringwald). When the actual plot of trying to get needed money for something kicks in I lost some of my enthusiasm but you do get a cute, young Downey Jr. The film costars Dennis Hopper, Danny Aiello, Harvey Keitel and Victoria Jackson.
The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) (not currently available)
This is one of my favorite Marilyn Monroe films. The movie is about exactly what the title says. Monroe is a showgirl that a prince (as played by Laurence Olivier) is pursuing. Olivier was also the director and producer of the film and Monroe drove him nuts.
Feel free to add the titles of your romantic comedies favorites that are on streaming as a comment and check out the current comments for suggestions from other Netflix viewers. As you can see from this post Netflix has lost the rights to many great films so we’d really love your input.
There are a lot of good romance flicks out there that I would recommend buying too.