Tag Archives: love actually

Good Movies on Netflix Right Now

Sometimes I get on Netflix and find nothing, nothing at all among the 8-million titles.  This could be because too many choices causes me mucho brain fog.  Am I alone in this?  I don’t think so…But then some days I am pleasantly surprised at how many great options I see on Netflix.  Even though we actually already own all of them.  :)

Here is a list of 10 great viewing opportunities (streaming) on Netflix right now.  How many have you seen?  How many do you own?

In no particular order.  Watch them all!

You’re welcomed.


Love Actually (2003)

love actually theater poster

It’s  a British Christmas-themed story with dozens of plot twists and at least 27 feel-good endings.  The music is wonderful, the cast is top-notch.  It’s energetic and colorful and even has some sniffly parts.  Sure, I fast-forward through a couple of scenes, but I still hold my breath wondering if her answer will be “Yes would be my answer,” and I annually smile like crazy as the girl in the red coat and flies into the Prime Minister’s arms at the airport {cuteness overload}…more than once!  I like this movie!  “Love actually is ~ all around.”


National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Christmas Vacation

Classic family movie and all of my relatives are represented, including Clark Griswold, aka Dave Rhoades!  Another great soundtrack, lots of wry humor and you have to watch it to see  and shake your head over cousin Eddie if nothing else!


Return to Me (2000)

return to me movie poster

Well, first you must know I think Bonnie Hunt, who co-wrote this movie, directed it and plays a great role in it, is pretty much very cool and sort of a genius or something.  I love the Chicago backdrop and Carroll O’Connor’s performance in his final film (he died in 2001).  It is a smallish romantic comedy, a clever storyline, hilarious neighborhood characters played by an extraordinary cast and just a really lovely love story.  Plus?  Such great music – Dean Martin, people!


An Officer and a Gentlemen (1982)

an officer and a gentleman

Well, I mean it is one of the best endings ever.  And I am not talking about all the Richard Gere be-hind shots, either.  Hehe.   Soundtrack!


As Good as it Gets (1997)

as good as it gets poster

Romantic comedy that is just thick with Jack Nicholson’s talent.  He plays a writer with obsessive-compulsive disorder and the tagline, “Brace Yourself for Melvin” is sage advice.  He is simply abrasive and horrible and yet somehow redeemable.  The film is filled with quotables – almost always said by Jack Nicholson.  Of course.


Big Night (1996)

big night movie poster

Set in the 1950s, Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci play immigrant Italian brothers who own and operate a failing restaurant.  It is beautiful to look at and the food, oh the food…get yourself a plate of spaghetti while you watch.  And plan to join them for the magnificent timpano feast on a sparkly dress-up night.  Stormie has made it for our family {see it here}.


The Breakfast Club (1985)

The breakfast club movie

One of the best of the 1980s coming-of-age movies.  It’s one day in the life of 5 kids in high school detention finding out that they are more alike than different.  “Don’t you forget about me, don’t don’t don’t don’t…”


A Room with a View (1986)

a room with a view 1986

Some days you just need a cup of hot tea and a Merchant-Ivory film.  It’s an adaptation of an early 1900s novel.  It is loveliness.  “Feign to deny it.”


Far and Away (1992)

far and away movie

The fabulous Ron Howard directed this awesome historical-drama-adventureous-romance starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.  It’s a story of Irish immigrants seeking great fortunes in America culminating in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893.  I haven’t watched this in years, but I love stories of the immigration-era (when dreams and hopes were high) and the formerly-marrieds have great chemistry in it.


Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (1954)

irving berlins white christmas poster

Seriously?  You’ve seen this, right?  Because it has everything, every-thing: music, romance, incredible sets, choreography, snow, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, counting your blessings, a black dress to die for, the hilarious Danny Kaye and Christmas by the truckloads.  Watch it with the volume up and God bless America! “Snow, snow, snow, snow ~ Snowwwwww”

This is like – 20 hours of great movie time for free!   Well, free if you already have Netflix, anyway.  :)

P.S.  As I look back over the list, I’d give most of these 4 out of 5 stars, but two of them would get the coveted 5 stars from moi…do you know which ones???

Love Actually is All Around

Opening scene at a London airport as people are reunited, voice-over by the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant):  Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is ~ all around.

Spoiler Alert:  I am going to talk about this 2003 movie, which I love!


We kicked off the holiday-movie viewing season with one of my favorites last night:  Love Actually, from British Director, Richard Curtis (“Four Weddings and a Funeral,” and “Pirate Radio”) who has a knack for using a large array of actors and juggling multiple storylines within one pretty cohesive tale.  Love Actually focuses on more than a dozen characters, happy and sad threads being woven together during the Christmas season.  It isn’t a love story per se, but many stories about love, love that is good and happy, sad and devastating, surprising, open, closed, whatever.  But ultimately it explodes and multiplies in the giving.  Love.

In 2007, I watched this movie about 17 times between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I cried everytime.  I won’t tell  you why I cried, but I’ll tell you some things I love, songs (I have the soundtrack, naturally) and scenes.

Why I Actually Love Love Actually

  • Keira Knightly plays a gorgeous bride in a spectacular wedding scene in which almost all of the cast is present.  I have decided to surprise Tredessa with a similar ending to her wedding…when it happens.  Shh. Don’t tell her.  All you need is love…
  •  The best man, later found to have been hiding a secret crush is emotionally powerful, first in his “self-preservation” scene to the Dido song, “I won’t go, I won’t sleep,  I can’t breathe, until you’re resting Here with Me” (I love his sweater, his vulnerability, his angst), and later with a CD player and hand-written signs in his hands. {“But for now, let me say – Without hope or agenda – Just because it’s Christmas – And at Christmas you tell the truth – To me, you are perfect – And my wasted heart will love you – Until you look like this. [picture of a mummy]}
  • Kelly Clarkson’s “The Trouble with Love Is, it can tear you up inside; make your heart believe a lie;  it’s stronger than your pride…”
  • The sweet conversations between Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia even though he speaks English and she speaks Portuguese.  They don’t understand each other, yet, somehow, they do.  Jamie: [in English] It’s my favorite time of day, driving you home.   Aurelia: [in Portuguese] It’s the saddest part of my day, leaving you.
  • Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) ditching an Elton party for friendship.
  • {sigh} Sarah?  The dang phone over Karl?  Seriously?  What are you thinking…family.  I guess that is it.  But I love the happy dance on the stairwell!
  • The Nativity play is pretty modern and odd: Lobsters at the birth of Jesus?  More than one?  And an octopus!  But I don’t think a Hollywood filmmaker would even have put one in at all.
  • Natalie and the Prime Minister.  Oooohhhh.  So cute.  Her Christmas card to him.  Sweet.  And unlike everyone else, he does not see her as “chubby.”    Gotta love him!  But she does need to watch her mouth.
  • I kind of enjoy Billy Bob Thornton’s portrayal as the cocky, entitlement-mongering American President.  That is, before I wanted to slap him.  So-I guess it was a good performance.
  • Such strong emotion with the funeral scene set to the Bay City Rollers’ “Bye, Bye, Baby, baby, good-bye;  Bye Bye, baby, baby don’t cry.  You’re the one girl in town I’d marry...”  Then Liam Neeson as the grieving widower building relationship with his stepson, helping the boy express his true love to his classmate (who sings a crazy-amazing version of Mariah Carey’s, “All I Want for Christmas is You!  That little girl can sing!). 
  • The no-nonsense Karen (played by Emma Thompson).  She is the rock.  She is the hardworking woman doing everything right for everyone, while still questioning her purpose (compared to, say, her brother – the Prime Minister).  But Joni Mitchell’s music is proof of her strong, deep emotion.
  • Rowan Atkinson’s performance as a slightly “Our-Town-‘stage-manager’-esque” character, sort of an all-knowing, otherworld diviner in a couple of small, but pivotal scenes is hilarious.  I have often wondered why, maybe, there wasn’t more of him.  But that may have taken the film to a whole new level of fantasy? 


It’s a silly, sad, sweet, funny, ridiculous, strange and adorable movie.  There are too many nude scenes and you have to fast-forward the “skin-flick” scenes a little, but hopefully not enough to miss the cute story that comes from it.  The storyline I could have done without was the strange-looking boy who went to America and very successfully got lots of girls because of his “cute, British accent.”  Yes, I can believe American girls are that shallow at times, sadly.  And the little vixen in the workplace is a {bad word I can’t say here} and I could have done without her, too.  But, it is full of great music and really good actors and lighthearted scenes.  It starts sweetly and ends amazingly!  It is the longest, most enjoyable ending after ending ever, set to the Beach Boys singing, “I may not always love you, but as sure as there are stars above you, you never need to doubt it.  I’ll make you so sure about it, God Only Knows what I’d be without you…”

I LOVE the ending. 

I wish I could show it here, but everytime it shows up on Youtube, it gets taken off again.  I will be watching this movie again before Christmas.  Maybe more than once.  Probably more than once.


Love Actually is Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language.  It is NOT for children.