I know I’m a little late on the whole Valentine’s Day thing, but Netflix just released their new Original Series, LOVE, and I just finished binge watching it so cut me some slack. To keep things connected, I’m also recommending SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK which is maybe the most bizarre love story you can image… right next to this new ‘Love’ show, that is.
And as always, make sure to check out Episode 15 and Episode 14 if you can’t get enough.
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK – Dir. David O. Russell (2012)
I might have tricked you a little bit, because SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK isn’t really a love story. There might be some romance sprinkled around the edges, but mostly it’s a story about two people trying to get their lives back on track. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in their 17th movie together (exaggeration) as a former teacher recently released from a mental health facility and a crazy dancer, respectively. Through some strange cause of events they team up to win a dance competition while Pat (Cooper) attempts to regain the affection of his ex-wife.
As you can see, this has all the makings of a standard romantic comedy, albeit a littler weirder than usual. However, it’s actually a really incredible and human story that fails to fall into the tropes and stereotypes we’re all so used to by now. Cooper and Lawrence have amazing chemistry together as they usually do and are helped out tremendously by the wonderful supporting cast of Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, and Chris Tucker. This is the first film by David O. Russell following his triumphant return with 2010’s THE FIGHTER. He’s always proven that he can tackle these intimate stories by making them relatable and ever so quirky in the most charming way. So, if your significant other is looking for a cute movie to watch this weekend, give this a try and hopefully it doesn’t cause a tear in the relationship.
LOVE – First Season (2016)
Netflix has another hit with the new series from Paul Rust, Lesley Arfin, and Judd Apatow, writer and director of KNOCKED UP and THIS IS 40. Rust stars as a 31 year old, socially awkward tutor who falls in love with Gillian Jacobs of COMMUNITY fame. Both of the leads struggle through their own love lives and intimacies, ultimately coming together and finding that what they both wanted isn’t always what they need. It’s awkward, hilarious, and each episode leaves off on a note making you want more.
Generally, I have a difficult time empathizing with a character as awkward as “Gus” because it’s not easy to relate to someone so strange, but within a few episodes it was apparent that all of the characters in LOVE are deeply written with faults and quirks individual to themselves. A similar thing happened with Jacobs’ character, “Mickey” who starts off as a terrible person, who is fun but kind of detestable. Throughout the course of the series, they both grow and develop in a very genuine way that makes them more likeable and realistic to the situations they find themselves in. The strongest aspect of the show is the writing. The dialogue is well paced and hysterical and the individual arcs are quite satisfying. Be warned, however, that the show ends in a cliffhanger, so try not to get too attached until Netflix announces a second season (an announcement that should come any day now).