For a brief, exhilaratingly span of 8 months, I worked from home. What I thought would be an introvert’s dream, was actually just pretty boring. The only thing I truly loved about it, was getting to roll out of bed five minutes before clocking in and that I got to watch an incredible amount of movies and TV during the day. Now that I work in an office again, I’m starting to miss having the time to explore Netflix catalog. Not everyone has had time (or the desire) to sift through all the content Netflix has to offer to find something worth watching, especially if they are just trying to have a nice date with someone special. Maybe that’s why you’re here, trying to get some recommendations. Well, dear Reader, I’ve got your back. Here are some quality Netflix gems for you and your date to enjoy.
The Last 5 Years (2014)
This is maybe my favorite movie adaptation of a musical to date. The music, written by Jason Robert Brown, is both beautiful and accessible but always evocative. If you don’t experience every emotion under the sun while watching this, you’re a cylon. Anna Kendrick is a delight (unsurprising, I know) and her chemistry with Jeremy Jordan is electric. Jeremy Jordan brings a much needed likability to the role of Jamie with his adorable face and charming demeanor but it’s his golden pipes that seal the deal.
The way this musical plays with time really breathes some life into the sometimes tired romance genre. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll tap your toes- what more could you want?
In Your Eyes (2014)
Do you love original ideas? Do you love romance with a hint of magic? Do you love Joss Whedon? Then you will love In Your Eyes. It’s not a runaway success, but it takes what could have easily been a trite and melodramatic concept and turns it into something with depth and heart. The always lovely and captivating Zoe Kazan might only be engaging in a metaphysical affair with the hunky Michael Stahl-David but their chemistry is electric.
In Your Eyes is a romance but it’s as smart as it is fun. Whedon’s flair for dialogue is present throughout without being overbearing or hokey and proves that he’s capable of making smaller, more down-to-earth fair.
Staring Buffy‘s Emma Caulfield, TiMER is a near-future sci-fi romance in which everyone has an implanted ticker that counts down to when they meet their soulmate. Emma Caulfield is an absolutely delight. She carries this film with ease, and you really find yourself caring deeply about her situation. Though the premise could feel a little Creative Writing 101, they truly explore the consequences in a meaningful way. Think of this as a less miserable and devastating Black Mirror and enjoy the ride.
Blue Jay (2016)
If you loved Before Sunrise, you’ll love Blue Jay (and if you haven’t see Before Sunrise, I can’t recommend it enough, but it is not currently on Netflix) as the events happen in near real time. I watched it during the day by myself and was so moved by it, I made my husband sit down and watch it with me again that night. Though it was “written” by Mark Duplass, it was largely improvised. His previous hit, The One I Love followed this method and I have to say I love it. Improvise drama is such a special thing. It really brings a palpable vulnerability to the performances and creates the illusion of authenticity in a really interesting way. This filmmaking style is a perfect fit for this films tender examination of what it’s like to run into someone you used to love now that you are different people.
The shining star of this little gem is Sarah Paulson. I truly believe this woman is capable of anything. She’s done nothing but churn out incredible performances for the past several years and it was really thrilling to see her step into a leading role. Mark Duplass is great, but Sarah Paulson’s performance is the one that you’ll be thinking about while you’re trying to go to sleep two weeks later.
Sing Street (2016)
This was easily one of the top five best movies of 2016, and it is CRIMINAL that none of its songs were nominated for an Oscar. This is also hands down the most feel good movie on this list, so if you and your honey wanna snuggle up and just have a great night, I highly recommend this one. It’s cute, it’s heartfelt, the songs are total bangers and it’s got a fun 80’s Ireland setting. The actors gives great performances, not just as actors but as musicians too. I am very excited to see what these kids will do in the future and I don’t think you want to miss out on seeing how they got their start.
If you liked John Carney’s Once and Begin Again (and of course you did, because you’re not a monster), you’ll love Sing Street.