Skooby's picks: three movies to stream this weekend
There are thousands of movies available to stream all the time. This is good, but it’s also overwhelming: when you have that many options, how can you choose just one? Every Friday, I’m presenting you with just three movies available to stream that you should watch to avoid that stress. I’ll hand out different movie recommendations every week.
Available on: Netflix
Jenny Slate stars as Donna, an amateur stand-up comedian who gets dumped, loses her job, and decides to get an abortion after having unprotected sex with a stranger. Oh, and it’s a lighthearted romantic comedy.
The film presents its oft-avoided subject matter with honesty and grace, and maintains a nice balance between very tough decisions Donna must make about her own body with a genuinely charming romance between her and Max (Jake Lacy), the stranger ignorant to her pregnancy. It’s the rare rom-com that’s actually written and directed by a woman (Gillian Robespierre), and it’s laugh-out-loud funny (Slate really needs to be in more movies). Obvious Child clocks in at just 84 minutes for a breezy watch.
Minding the Gap
Available on: Hulu
Many movies try to be about What America Is Like Today and in the process come off as a clichéd mess. Minding the Gap truly captures a moment in time without ever really straining to do so. The documentary, which earned a Best Documentary Feature Oscar nomination this week, finds director Bing Liu returning to his hometown of Rockford, Illinois, to catalog the upbringing of he and two of his friends, Kiere and Zack. The boys spend their free time aimlessly skateboarding around town, and the film stars off relishing in the freedom borne by masculine ennui, featuring some gorgeously shot skateboarding takes.
The film quickly becomes so much more than that, however. Liu takes on the crumbling economic prospects of his lower-middle class town, challenges toxic masculinity in tense exchanges with Zack about his abusive behavior, and turns the camera on himself to examine his own relationship with trauma in his family. It can be heavy at times, but it’s a deeply empathetic and endearing movie. And, at a runtime of 93 minutes, it’s a low time commitment for one of the most inventive documentaries in years.
Cool Hand Luke
Available on: Netflix
If you’re in the mood for a classic, look no further than this 1967 masterpiece starring Paul Newman as Luke, a ne’er-do-well who gets sent away to a rural prison. Luke has an anti-authoritarian streak, and refuses to submit to the prison’s rules.
Luke is one of the most fascinating characters in film history, and Cool Hand Luke succeeds as a meditation on the willpower of man and the spiritual need to eschew conformity. If I had to sell it on one thing, though, it would be Newman’s iconic performance, driven by his low drawl and sparkling blue eyes. I’ve never wanted to emulate any movie character as badly as I want to be as cool as Luke. Plus: you’ll never look at eggs the same way again.