1. Friends With Kids
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0Ic7l6cpsQ&w=480&h=270]The easiest decision I have ever made: putting this movie on my list. I discovered Friends With Kids on a whim one night while scrolling through Netflix. Every twenty-something needs to see this film starring Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rodolf, Chris O’Dowd, and Megan Fox and if the cast alone is not enough to entice you, I am going to make my case. I proceeded to watch this film four days in a row after that first viewing. I know what you are thinking. Why would anyone choose to watch the same film habitually when so many other options exist? Well, Adam Scott isn’t exactly bad to look at…but that’s not why I was so mesmerized – I promise! I am hesitant to say much for fear that I will reveal too much but let’s just say that this film will prove that love is unconventional, messy, and frustrating at times but in the end, it’s worth it because, “[It’s] much worse to be without the person you love than to have a slow and painful death.”
2. Along Came a Spider
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaVYcH7QlbA]Suspense will forever be my favorite genre and this is one of the first films that clued me into my own love for this particular archetype. Oh and Morgan Freedman is the star. Do you need me to repeat that? MORGAN FREEMAN. Freeman portrays forensic psychologist Alex Cross in this adaptation of a James Patterson novel and he does so brilliantly. The infamous Lindbergh kidnapping is illuminated in Along Came a Spider, serving as the motivation behind a character’s decision to kidnap a young girl, the central plot-line. But the film is not simply a story of a kidnapping and recovery. There are twists and turns that no one will see coming – I guarantee you will be surprised – and that alone is worth the rental fee.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POPLzI40Uiw]I couldn’t sleep one night and decided to check out this film, figuring I would stay up for thirty minutes or so and then finish it in the morning. I decided to forgo the sleep within ten minutes of watching. Basically, what you need to know is that Margaret is the main character and that she is thrust into a state of psychological distress early in the film, blaming herself for an accident that leads to the death of a stranger on the street. The film explores the impact that such an event has on the human psyche and leaves all of us to wonder about our position in the world. See it.
4. Another Earth
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlPfAYpnpuw]Almost three years later, I still find myself awake some nights contemplating this movie. The ending is what gets me most and if you want more information on that, you are just going to have to see it – or take the road most traveled and ‘Sparknote’ it. The concept is that we all have another ‘self’ on another earth and that the universe can sometimes get a bit convoluted for this reason. I realize that this sounds ridiculous and implausible but trust me, it is one of the most brilliant films that I have encountered in recent years and never has a movie made me think so critically about life as we know it.
5. Clara’s Heart
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNZDqlyKWco]If you have ever wondered where the career of our beloved Neil Patrick Harris began (Hint: It was not Doogie Howser), you should look here. That’s right folks, this is NPH’s debut role, alongside Whoopi Goldberg who plays his nanny / housekeeper. Harris plays a boy named David whose parents are dealing with a tragedy, leading him to depend upon Clara for support. There are secrets harbored by these characters however and those secrets are what make this such an intriguing and decisive story. The term beautiful has never been more aptly designated to a film.