I took some time out of my very busy schedule (of WebExing into classes for two hours a week and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my time) to compile all of the quality films streaming on Amazon Prime, HBO Go, Hulu and Netflix right now.
The Student will be releasing my recommendations in weekly installments until the end of the semester. I thought we’d start with romantic comedies, classics and nostalgic movies, which are usually comforting to me, instead of action movies or true-crime documentaries, which are not.
Favorites are bolded.
Romantic comedies (and dramedies)
“The Big Sick” (Amazon Prime)
Guy falls in love with girl, girl falls into coma and guy is unsure what to do about it. Based on the real relationship between Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon.
“Heartburn” (Amazon Prime)
Nora Ephron’s film based on her not-so-subtly autobiographical novel on her marriage to (and divorce from) Carl Bernstein.
“Love, Rosie” (Amazon Prime, Netflix)
Childhood best friends grow up while loving each other at different, inopportune times.
“Working Girl” (HBO Go)
Melanie Griffith walked so your chunky Filas could run.
“Muriel’s Wedding” (HBO Go)
Toni Collette plays an Australian woman shunned by her friends and family for being generally insufferable, and ditches them to start over (and hopefully get married) in Sydney.
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (Hulu)
A woman with a very Greek family decides to marry a very American man, and worries about introducing him to said family.
“When Harry Met Sally…” (Hulu)
Can men and women be friends? Maybe so.
“Obvious Child” (Netflix)
A distinctly millennial, delightfully Jewish comedy in which Jenny Slate gets pregnant from a one-night stand and decides to get an abortion, assuming the guy will ghost her (she is wrong).
“Julie & Julia” (Netflix)
A thirtysomething New York woman cooks her way through Julia Childs’ famed book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Based on a true story.
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” (Netflix)
Charming teen rom-com. Since you have more free time, you can also read the equally charming book by Jenny Han upon which the movie is based.
Jennifer Aniston’s finest work, IMHO.
“Roman Holiday” (1953) (Amazon Prime)
An overworked, literal princess, Ann, escapes her Rome hotel room during a tour of Europe and winds up with American journalist, Joe. He promises his editor an exposé on what the princess is really like, and despite this, they may or may not fall in love.
“Some Like it Hot” (1959) (Amazon Prime)
Two guys pretend to be women after they witness a Mafia murder, to avoid being murdered as well. They befriend Marilyn Monroe.
“To Catch a Thief” (1955) (Amazon Prime)
Cary Grant boldly pairs stripes with polka dots as he and Grace Kelly attempt to catch a jewel thief in the French Riviera.
“Harold and Maude” (1971) Amazon Prime)
A very dark comedy about the romantic relationship between a 20-year-old and an 80-year-old. They meet while attending strangers’ funerals.
“Sunset Boulevard” (1950) (Amazon Prime)
This film about a struggling Hollywood screenwriter who agrees to help an actress who’s aged out of most roles opens with a murder, and does not get less interesting over the subsequent two hours.
“His Girl Friday” (1940) (Amazon Prime)
A talented reporter decides to quit her job to settle down, but her boss (from whom she’s recently been divorced), wants her to stay; a zany rom-com with journalistic undertones.
“The African Queen” (1951) (Amazon Prime)
A surly boat guy and a lady missionary ride a steamboat in what was German-colonized Africa in 1914.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) (Amazon Prime)
The quintessential Christmas movie, but since time isn’t real anymore, why not watch it in April?
“Night of the Living Dead” (1968) (Hulu)
A guy and his sister are caught up in a zombie outbreak and wind up barricaded in a house with other survivors.
“Vertigo” (1958) (Hulu)
A former police officer (with vertigo!) is hired to investigate a woman’s mysterious behavior. Vertigo ensues.
Nostalgic movies (for my fellow elder millennials)
“Aquamarine” (HBO Go)
JoJo! Halter tops! Chunky (blue) highlights! Mean girls who drive a convertible! Mermaids! It does not get more early 2000s than this.
“Anastasia” (HBO Go)
Pairs well with “The Last Czars” on Netflix.
“Bridge to Terabithia” (HBO Go)
Good if you’re already sad and really want to embrace it.
“Sky High” (HBO Go)
“Monte Carlo” (HBO Go)
A pretty low-stakes romp through the French Riviera starring Selena Gomez near the end of her Disney years.
“The Last Unicorn” (HBO Go)
I remembered being terrified of this as a child but also intrigued, and watched it a few days ago to confirm it was still terrifying (it is).
“FernGully: The Last Rainforest” (Hulu)
The “Lorax” of our time.
“The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl” (Netflix)
She’s not like other girls. Her hair is lava.
“Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” (Netflix)
The feature film!
“Spy Kids” and “Spy Kids 3: Game Over” (Netflix)
The second film in the saga is curiously absent from Netflix, but these ones might be worth a re-watch.
“A Cinderella Story” (Netflix)
Really ahead of its time in terms of representing online relationships.
“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (Netflix)
Not to be confused with the Netflix series, “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”