What films does one watch in the crisp month of November? We’ve moved out of October and are waiting on Christmas to arrive, but it seems a bit early to be watching holiday films. This month, I was thinking along the lines of “autumnal movies” — but what would qualify? Unfortunately, the ones that came to mind (“When Harry Met Sally,” “Dead Poets Society” and “You’ve Got Mail“) were nowhere to be found on Netflix. Hopefully, the following suggestions will suffice for your cozy night in.
“Mona Lisa Smile“ – This gem is like the female version of “Dead Poets Society.” Set in the 1950s at an all-girls’ college, Wellesley, in the east, an inspiring and unconventional art teacher (Julia Roberts) encourages the young women to pursue other passions and skills instead of settling down as housewives and mothers. This one always manages to make me well up at the end, and it’s spotted with young stars, like Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kirsten Dunst.
“Bridget Jones’s Diary“ – Ah, Bridget. Here’s a movie character that I can identify with. The movie is a play on “Pride and Prejudice,” and it features Bridget, who’s a lovable (and slightly psychotic and lovesick) journalist who has to decide between two men — the charming but mysterious Mark Darcy, played by Colin Firth, or her slinky and womanizing boss, Daniel Cleaver, played by Hugh Grant. The stellar cast should be reason enough to watch this. It’s extremely funny and full of British humor. According to my own rule, I’ll watch anything with the incredible Colin Firth in it. Good thing the sequel to this film, “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” is on Netflix, too.
“Philomena“ – I’ll always remember a scene in this movie when an angry British journalist threatens to dump an elderly (and mean) nun out of her wheelchair. On Netflix, Philomena has almost five stars. And for good reason. It’s about a woman who, while living as a nun in a convent in Ireland decades ago, became pregnant as a teen, and had her baby son taken away from her. Now, in present day, she goes to find her now adult son with the help of a cranky journalist. Extremely highly recommended.
“The Graduate” – There is something very compelling about “The Graduate.” It’s a bit of an odd movie, too. And not just because a middle-aged woman tries to seduce a young college-grad boy, all while he’s in love with her daughter. Watch this cult classic for yourself. This is one of those movies that’ll have you trying to grasp at what it all means long after the credits roll.
“Good Will Hunting“ – I just finished this for the first time a few weeks ago. And wow, what a powerful film. Personally, I think this movie features one of Robin Williams’s best performances, and reminds me of what an amazing person and actor he was. This movie is raw, real and touching. It’s about a very troubled boy, Will Hunting, who starts seeing a psychologist (Williams) to set him straight. I should mention that Will Hunting is a math genius, and I’m not using “genius” lightly. Bonuses include a young Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and memorable quotes. “My boy’s wicked smart.” This is one of those movies that make you take a good look at yourself.
Collegian A&E Reporter Clarissa Davies can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DaviesClarissa.