Valentine’s Day Netflix Recommendations
Call Me by Your Name
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Although the film was released in 2017 Call Me by Your Name will continue to deserve endless re-watches, especially now that it is available on Netflix. Based on the novel by André Aciman, the film tells a story of the relationship between precocious 17 year-old Elio and 24 year-old graduate student Oliver in Northern Italy during the summer of 1983. The film’s cinematography captivates you in all of the beauty held within the Italian countryside, along with a score that becomes a character itself in the film. The chemistry between the two leads teleports you through the screen into their lives in an intimacy that will make you almost uncomfortable. For me, what defines the film is Michael Stuhlbarg’s monologue. The words are so powerfully poetic and fully summarise the film’s message about acceptance, love and how pain through heartbreak, while hard, helps us grow.
★ ★ ★ ★
The limited documentary series released by Vox and narrated by Janelle Monáe delves into questions and topics about sexuality, love and human reproduction that we as human beings have always thought about asking, but never do. It is a raw and hard hitting (no pun intended) series attempting to eliminate the taboos of human sexuality and fill in the gaps of what we were not taught in school (and at times, rightfully so!). From beginning to end the series is a thoroughly enjoyable watch with a playful narration given by Monáe. You will come away from the series with a slightly more comprehensive perception of the nature of fetishes, the reproductive system and the nature of attraction. If you are looking for something only educational but nevertheless engaging and risqué to watch, I highly suggest this series.
I Lost my Body
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A truly unique animated film that deserves to be watched by all. It is starkly macabre yet a beautifully animated piece of cinema. The film will make you feel fear and anguish for a severed hand as it navigates the streets of Paris in an attempt to find the body that will seemingly make it whole again. Themes of disillusionment and fate heavily influence the film as it narrates the story of a daunting new love between protagonists Naoufel and Gabriella while simultaneously telling the story of the physical and emotional loss of the former. Whilst watching you feel the emotion being portrayed with or without words, whether its being felt by a person or just a body part. This current Oscar nominee should be added to everyone’s Netflix list because although it seems quite obscure the story that is told is universal.
The Long Shot
★ ★ ★ ★
In a combination of romantic movie beats, Seth Rogen’s irreverent humor and Charlize Theron’s undeniable charm The Long Shot will have you laughing until the credits roll. An unlikely romance sparks between the two protagonists: one is the Secretary of State and the other is a recently unemployed journalist who becomes Theron’s character’s speech writer while she begins her campaign for presidency. The satirical humor present does well to navigate the controversial political climate in America with a storyline that is a bit eccentric at times but nonetheless feels fast paced and well crafted. In modern romantic comedies it is hard to find likable protagonists with solid chemistry and genuine humor, but trust that you will find that in abundance in this movie. While this film won’t challenge you to understand a complicated theme, it is a heartwarming and enjoyable watch that could potentially be a Valentine’s Day classic.
Danielle DerGarabedian – Film & TV Writer