A Mini-Film Festival of Romance at Home

I often joke with my friends that when I visit my parents’ house by the beach for the holidays, I have the habit of falling into a Hallmark Channel rabbit hole; diving headlong into a maelstrom of heartbreaking love stories. Now that I own my own home, I enjoy catching up on films lingering in my viewing queues on my streaming services. On long holiday weekends, lazy Sundays, or during uneventful weekday evenings, I like to treat myself to a home-cooked meal or splurge on takeaway, pour myself a glass of adult beverage, and escape.

IMG_7477While there is a twisted love story in Suicide Squad, it didn’t make today’s list…

Today, I’m going to talk about five romance films, each with a different angle. From happy endings and comedic moments to heartbreaking decisions and supernatural situations, the films are primarily set in rural areas, so I get to travel without ever leaving my house. The more everyday romance films I watch, the more I am reminded of how much of the world I have left to explore (or where I would eventually like to retire thirty years from now).  Watching romance films inspires me to not only read more, but to write more. Several of the following are based on exceptionally popular books, and now I want to read them all!


Me Before You (2016)

I’ve put off watching this film purely because everyone kept talking about the beautifully tragic story it told. The cast was packed with many familiar faces from various fandoms. It’s a story about love, loss, and life, and after several ugly cries, I now want to read the series of books by JoJo Moyes.

Nerdsplation: Daenerys Targaryen becomes the caretaker for Finnick Odair, whose father is Tywin Lannister. Our heroine’s sister is Clara Oswald and dating Neville Longbottom!

  • Starring: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Charles Dance, Matthew Lewis, Jenna Coleman
  • Location: English countryside
  • Verdict: I want this film on heavy rotation, especially when I am properly hydrated.

The Choice (2016)

A nurse trying to pass her board exams, goes to her parents’ lake house to study, and discovers she has an unnerving yet charming neighbor who is also one of the local veterinarians. In a chain of uncanny events, their lives become quickly intertwined, but also have great repercussions, ultimately leading to some complicated decisions.

Nerdsplanation: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, becomes involved with his new neighbor. She also happens to be engaged to Superman.

  • Starring: Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace, Tom Welling,
  • Locations: rural North & South Carolina
  • Verdict: I want to read the book and then give the film a rewatch. I could definitely see this as one of my go to weekend films.

Age of Adaline (2015)

A local archive librarian in San Francisco has a very unique secret, and only one other person knows of it. Every time, the subject of her age comes up, she tries to disappear. Until one New Year’s Eve, a man jumps into the elevator and into her heart. However, their lives are more linked than either of them realize.

Nerdsplanation: After a car accident, Carol Ferris stops aging and falls in love with Han Solo and Daario Naharis.

  • Starring: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford
  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Verdict: I loved it. I definitely want to add it to my permanent collection.

Beautiful Creatures (2013)

In a small Southern town of Gatlin, there is a mysterious family with a storied past. Veiled in secreted, the founding family raises many eyebrows when the youngest daughter arrived in town prior to her sixteenth birthday. Battling the countdown to her coming of age ceremony, Lena Duchannes fights her destiny and the past concurrently.

Nerdsplation: Scar teams up with Amanda Waller to defend a young couple from an evil Professor Trelawny in the deep South.

  • Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Anglert, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, Viola Davis, & Emmy Rossum
  • Location: Gatlin County, South Carolina
  • Verdict: I’d be curious to read the 9-book series by Kami Garcia because I feel like the film left out so much information. It was visually stunning, but it left me wishing they’d make a sequel for further plot depth.

Catch & Release (2007)

In the wake of Gray’s fiancee’s funeral, she leans on her late-fiancee’s friends for support as she learns of some crucial secrets he failed to disclose to her before his passing.  As each of them mourn their in own ways, some unexpected complications redefine the group dynamics while helping each of them move on.

Nerdsplanation: Elektra copes with her fiancee’s death with the help of Raylan Givens, Silent Bob, and Joel Graham, but then Audrey Griswold shows up, turning everything upside down.

  • Starring: Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith, Juliette Lewis
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado
  • Verdict: I found it quite enjoyable with several surprises! I’m going to need to find this one on DVD for my library.

There are so many films I want to watch, so now I am making a conscious effort to going through my streaming services to determine which ones I use regularly and which I could potentially discontinue. The upswing to using streaming services is that it keeps me from investing in DVDs, digital downloads, and upgrading my equipment. It isn’t that I don’t want to update my technology, but there are so many other home improvement projects that are higher priority on my Karen Do List.

Watching multiple movies or episodes of a TV series shouldn’t be a guilty pleasure! I’ve decided that I want to make it pleasurable as I love celebrating my new home, even a year and a half later! Like meal planning, I enjoy researching and piecing together my own personal film festival. Whether I am having friends over for a at home spa evening or just sitting on the couch with my dog and a bottle of wine, I want my at-home cinematic experience to be a celebration. Next time, I will make sure that I have a wholesale-sized box of tissues at the ready!


Answer Me, These Questions Three

  1. When you come to your streaming queues, do you ever plan a viewing list?
  2. Do you frequently use the recommendations made based on your viewing patterns or do you rely on recommendations from family and friends?
  3. Do you ever multitask during your binge watching? How so?
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9 comments

  1. kaycreate · May 30

    I think I’d like to see Me Before You sometime! I wasn’t too interested in seeing it in theaters (I’m picky about theater movies!) but it looked interested, and of course had a ton of hype. I’ve never seen the film of Beautiful Creatures, mainly because I didn’t like the books (I’ve read the first three). I figured if I didn’t enjoy the books that much, I probably wouldn’t enjoy a film version!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen P. · May 30

      Going to the movies is so blasted expensive that for what I could pay for a night in an uncomfortable chair with complete strangers who talk and text during the movie, I could cook a nice dinner, have some drinks and my own personal restroom for the same price (especially if I get really creative)!

      When it comes to series, if I am unsure about a book, I’d rather give the film a whirl. If I dislike it, I’ve saved myself possible weeks of reading time, and money on buying the book/DVD. I’d rather rent and then decide.

      Like

  2. Bizarre Brunette · May 30

    Me Before You had a lot of controversy based on the ending and how it angered the disabled population. I was curious what your thoughts were on the ending to that movie?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen P. · June 1

      I was completely unaware of that. I think there is a struggle between trying to represent an underrepresented demographic and making light of one for the sake of comedic effect. I would like to think that this film addresses a controversial topic (death, dying, and one’s right to choose), but it’s also a scenario where it is a girl of humble means getting a nearly fairytale happy ending with the local heir. It’s muddy, but I thought it was probably done as well as it could be.

      HOWEVER* I do not have experience with individuals in this population, therefore I cannot judge its accuracy/authenticity. While I am sure there are also ways to celebrate life despite the ambulatory obstacles, I do think having the discussion with regards to “dying with dignity” is one many are afraid to address for fear of retaliation. The question becomes who is the person with the disability truly living for? Are they living for themselves (despite their misery) to purely keep those around them happy? Are the ones around the person being too selfish because they are focusing on their own happiness and not that of the person most affected by the situation? Is wishing to let go to end the suffering (if they are — in their mind– suffering) selfish? Where does the line get drawn between suicide/DNR/One’s Choice?

      There are many stigmas related to all of these items, but the problem stems from a lack of discussion, understanding, and the availability of information. I also think many people take for granted how fortunate they are or make snap judgements because the situation doesn’t necessarily affect them directly. Is it the writer’s fault for potentially misrepresenting or romanticising the situation? Did the director misinterpret the intentions the author portrayed in the novel? Are people misapplying or jumping to negative conclusions without giving it a second thought before getting all worked up about it? How could this be avoided if there is misinformation? There is also the setting of the book/film– England and Switzerland– where the health care regulations and laws are most likely different from the US.

      Like

      • Bizarre Brunette · June 2

        I am not sure who is at fault. I understand what people from the disability population are saying about it. I can respect their argument. The movie did follow the book though so should the movie modified the ending? I’m not sure.

        Like

  3. Danielle @ From Girlie to Nerdy · June 1

    I definitely have some movies I need to watch now – your nerdsplanations were so good 🙂 I do sometimes multi task while binging…usually just blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen P. · June 1

      “Me Before You” was probably the most heady mixture only because I was feverishly flicking through IMDB!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma · June 2

    Haha, I love your nerdsplations for each movie – they’re kind of the thing convincing me to watch each of these films. I’m not really a rom-com kind of girl, but I must admit that even I can be swayed sometimes.

    Like

  5. Having recently read The Choice, I really want to see the film. I can imagine typical Nicolas Sparks scenes of kissing in the rain and swimming in some kind of creek haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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