Nothing beats a night in and a good movie. You know those evenings: no reading due the next day and no plans to go out. Just you and your friends (or maybe just you) piled on pillows, junk food snacks, and a movie that sucks you into its world for a couple hours. But then it hits you like power outage – what to watch? If you’re like me, you scroll through Netflix’s movies, reading descriptions, debating what you’re in the mood for. RomCom? Scary movie? Action? By the time you finally select one, your hot chocolate is cold and the pizza’s all gone. Don’t end up like me. Maximize your movie time with a few of these go-to movies that’ll keep you entertained this fall term.
Stuck in Love
This movie follows three different relationships over the course of a year, beginning and ending in November (relevant, right?). An author and his two children deal with their emotions and feelings of love in conjunction with their writing. Not only does this movie appeal to the writer-side of me, the cast is also amazing. Greg Kinnear plays the dad, Bill, who’s struggling to move on after his divorce. He lives with his son, Rusty (Nat Wolff), whom he encourages to be adventurous with his writing and his life. Lilly Collins plays Sam, Bill’s daughter and Rusty’s older sister, a sizzling cynic with a book deal in the works. Only one person can break her prickly exterior, and it’s the ever-sensitive Logan Lerman, or Louis from Sam’s Intro to Fiction Writing course. It’s a movie about love, writing, taking chances, and growing. It’ll make you laugh and cry and show it to all of your friends.
The Decoy Bride
This is one of my favorite movies. The first time I watched it, I hit the “Replay” button as soon as the credits started rolling. The story: A movie star (Alice Eve) decides that the only way she and her fiancé (David Tennant) can have a paparazzi-free wedding is by escaping to an island in the Outer Hebrides. Among the seventy-five islanders is Katie (Kelly Macdonald), a writer who fled home after a nasty break-up. When the paparazzi appear, the bride vanishes, leaving her handlers with an actress to find and the press to fool. How do they buy time? By staging the wedding with a stand–in bride, a decoy bride, if you will. When the decoy, a reluctant Katie, and the groom both accidentally sign the wedding register, the bickering pair finds themselves husband and wife. “The Decoy Bride” is, by no means, a phenomenal work of art. It is, though, a movie that’ll make you laugh at its witty jokes and comedy of errors as the plot’s progression fills you with warm and fuzzy feelings.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The holidays are right around the corner, and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to watch a Christmas movie or two . . . or five. One of my favorites that I watch every year, without fail, is “Christmas Vacation.” We’re all familiar with the popular Christmas movie theme where bringing the family together is never the storybook image originally planned. “Christmas Vacation” takes this theme to the extreme, making every possible aspect of the holiday go wrong in a purely slapstick way. Family man Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants a “fun, old-fashioned, big family Christmas,” but as relatives continue arriving, chaos is never far behind. From elusive Christmas bonuses to squirrel-infested Christmas trees, Clark wrangles his family and the growing delusion that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. This 1980s classic is part of the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” series. It’s gauche and obnoxious–American in the best possible way (I’m American, so I’m allowed to say that), and it’s a heck of a lot of fun to watch.
The Talented Mr. Ripley
And I know that we don’t always want Romcoms and comedies. Sometimes we’re in the mood for a darker film, a gripping film. In such instances, let “The Talented Mr. Ripley” take you on a sociopath’s twisted journey from bathroom attendant to a wealthy imposter living “la dolce vita.” When a wealthy shipping tycoon sends Tom Ripley (a young Matt Damon) to bring his son (Jude Law) home, he has no idea that he’s giving an ambitious master of impersonation and forgery a taste of the life he’s always longed for. A fast friendship forms between Tom and the son, Dickie. Yet after a fatal altercation, Tom assumes Dickie’s life and person while still juggling his own relationships. Brilliant performances from Damon, Law, and Philip Seymour Hoffman create tension in this movie that absorbs you. I find myself holding my breath or gripping my mug of tea whenever I watch it.