Skooby's picks: three movies from the rom-com bracket you can stream now

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.

This week, to mark the release of the rom-com bracket, I’m recommending three movies in the bracket that you can stream for free online.

Definitely, Maybe

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Available on: Netflix

Definitely, Maybe is essentially How I Met Your Mother fan fiction, but it works. It’s the same exact story: a father (Ryan Reynolds) recounts to his kid (Abigail Breslin) how he and her mother first met, and as we meet the different women in his life (Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz) we spend the movie trying to guess which one he will marry. There’s an interesting wrinkle, though, because the reason he’s telling his daughter this story is that he and her mother are about to get a divorce. Definitely, Maybe works because the collective talent is formidable, and because I genuinely didn’t know how it was going to end.

Two Night Stand

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Available on: Amazon Prime, Vudu

Two Night Stand is a thoroughly modern romance: a girl (Analeigh Tipton) meets a guy (Miles Teller) on a hookup app and goes over to his apartment for a one night fling. But a massive snowstorm traps them both inside the apartment, and they have to spend one more night together. Their conversation hits on many topics relevant to millennial dating; the best scene is when they lay out everything the other person did wrong during sex the night before. It’s an innovative, honest movie about modern dating, and I’m sad that more people haven’t seen Two Night Stand. Check it out this weekend.

Groundhog Day

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Available on: Crackle

Twenty-five years later, Groundhog Day’s structure is not only iconic, but standard in American popular culture. I’m not sure there’s any single reason there have been a few films that have repurposed the Groundhog Day template in recent years. Perhaps being forced to repeat our mistakes until we learn from them is just a good way to tell a story, and one that is easy to relate to our daily lives. During one moment of exasperation, Phil asks some townies what they would do in his shoes: “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” The response suggests Phil’s situation isn’t as foreign to real-life as he might believe: “That about sums it up for me.”

For this reason, Groundhog Day feels profound. Yes, it’s a comedy, but it also examines how we behave every day. The irony is that the film was never intended to be as philosophical as many understand it to be. As the movie’s writer, Danny Rubin, recently explained: “The movie was never intended, by me or by Harold, to be anything more than a good, heartfelt, entertaining story.” Yet the movie routinely draws lofty comparisons, from Buddhism to Nietzsche.

Read my full review of Groundhog Day here.

Jacob SkubishComment