Welcome to the second edition of Thelma & Alice at the Movies, with lots of picks for Valentine’s Day weekend. (No President’s Day selections, sorry, but if you’re interested, I have crowned this tearjerker the first official movie of the Biden Era.) This year, I would give anything to go out and pay too much for a prix fixe menu that ends with molten chocolate cake, but I’m making do with baking projects and my Christmas cactus, which is unexpectedly blooming with pink flowers.
If you watch any of these, let me know -- I’d love to hear from you! And if you enjoy the newsletter, please pass it on.
The Photograph (2020)
Streaming on HBO
This romantic drama came out last year around Valentine’s Day, but it didn’t stay in the theaters very long because of the pandemic, and also, I think, because it doesn’t have the typical narrative structure of a romantic comedy or drama. It tells two love stories, one set in the present and one in the past, and they dovetail in interesting ways. But the main reason to stream this is to watch Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield flirt and fall in love. IMDB * REVIEW * TRAILER
The Souvenir (2019)
Streaming on Amazon Prime
I loved this movie and walked out of the theater in a daze, feeling like I’d spent two hours in someone else’s most vivid memories. My husband tried to watch at home and couldn’t get through it, so I wouldn’t describe this one as a crowd-pleaser. It’s an autobiographical story about a young film student who falls in love with a guy who is obviously bad news -- though it takes her most of the movie to understand that. Part 2, which will explore the aftermath of the affair, comes out later this year. IMDB * REVIEW * TRAILER
An Evening with the Perennial Matchmaker
Streaming on HBO
If you loved Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen’s Gambit, you’ll delight in this remake of Jane Austen’s Emma, which stars Taylor-Joy as Emma, with Bill Nighy playing her father, and Johnny Flynn as Mr. Knightly. The color palette is gorgeous, dominated by goldenrod yellow, cerulean, and a rich variety of greens. It’s the ideal winter watch if you need some cheering up. IMDB * REVIEW * TRAILER
Netflix Hidden Treasure
Streaming on Netflix
Set in Senegal, this love story is a refreshing mix of genres: part realist drama, part detective thriller, and part ghost story — with a dash of horror thrown in. Someone has probably already told you to watch this, maybe this is the weekend to finally give it a try. IMDB * REVIEW * TRAILER
A Simple Favor (2018)
Streaming on Hulu
I can’t remember the thriller-ish plot of this movie very well, which is good, because now I can re-watch it and revel in Blake Lively’s perfect, tailored suits and Anna Kendrick doing what she does best: being nosy, uptight, and giggly. There’s also a martini-making sequence to rival James Bond. IMDB * REVIEW * TRAILER
I can’t decide if this movie is a remake of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf or a documentary about what it takes to finish a novel.