It’s cold in California. Every morning, I walk outside and it’s below 60! SIXTY! And the night time isn’t much better. Now, sure, we could just brave it and throw on a jacket, but like this is SoCal, we demand our usual year-round warmth (curse you, hazardous companies that contribute to global warming and the ultimate demise of humanity as we know it). But, you saw the catchy title and stock photo about movies not a global warming lecture, so I’ll get back on track.
The point is that it’s just plain easier to make some popcorn, throw over a blanket, and watch a movie with the family. Also, let’s just skip over the fighting over “what does everyone want to watch” and go straight to a small selection, which we have conveniently prepared. Because we have here an indisputable selection of crowd pleasing films that your family is sure to enjoy. And if they don’t, well, maybe check them for COVID, because they seem to lack a sense of taste (we’re kidding, we’re kidding…mostly).
This film has become a quintessential classic of the holiday season. Young Kevin McAllister finds himself experiencing the Möbius strip childhood nightmare-yet-dream of having the whole house to himself seemingly without end in sight. Now, throw in the hijinks of two robbers attempting to break in and Kevin booby trapping the bejesus out of his house (and the occasional cutaway of the glorious Catherine O’Hara panicking at the thought of having forgotten her son as the McAllisters hurried for the airport). Oftentimes, Christmas films can get too saccharine or too cynical about family, but this family film is the rare one that strikes the perfect balance of both. Watch now on Disney+.
FANTASTIC MR. FOX
Each film Wes Anderson puts out he falls deeper and deeper into his quaint, Euro-influenced, stilted dollhouse aesthetic. So, it was only a matter of time before he finally realized the best place to utilize his approach would be in a stop motion animated film. It’s like the perfect marriage. Not to mention, this film is based on a story by Roald Dahl, the author of such classics as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. Fantastic Mr. Fox follow the titular Mr. Fox who feels he’s becoming too domesticated and yearns to tap into his more fox-like nature. He begins to a spree of thefts, that ultimately result in three gregarious farmers attempting to hunt down him, his family, and his community. It’s a charming film that comes in right under and a half–a perfect runtime especially if you have real little ones. Watch now on Disney+.
LITTLE WOMEN (2019)
Based on the treasured classic novel by Louis May Alcott, this latest interpretation of Little Women breathes new life into this tale. Traditionally, the story is remembered in watching the progress of the young March sisters grow from girls into womanhood. What this adaption uniquely does is follow the March sisters looking back at their childhood, making it a perfect fall movie as this is the time of year many of us reflect on our memories of years gone by. And jeeeeeez-uss, the amount of talent that is involved in this film–future Academy Award winner Saiorse Ronan, the internet’s boyfriend Timothée Chalamet, Queen Emeritus Meryl Streep (long may she reign), her heir apparent Florence Pugh, along with the incomparable talents of Emma Watson, Laura Dern, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, is enough reason alone to enjoy.
If the family’s all good with PG-13 films that aren’t just Marvel or Star Wars flicks, then a good, cozy fall film you might enjoy is Knives Out. There’s a simmering, sunsoaked Greecian-locale sequel, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery coming to Netflix in December, but before you do, maybe like, watch the original. The film stars Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc whose southern accent in this film is as terrible-yet-wonderfully-enjoyable as Dick van Dyke’s whatthefudge-was-that Cockney “accent” in Mary Poppins. Detective Blanc is hired by a very wealthy New England family after the family patriarch Halarn Thrombey appears to have been murdered. It’s a engaging and fun film with plenty of twists and turns that will keep your family engaged and in the game. Also…Chris Evans in a L.L. Bean-style sweater, I mean, come on. #swoon.