Netflix has become a home to a variety of original films over the last several years. There are many genres now represented in the Netflix library with new films being released nearly every week. Netflix has been able to drawn in major stars to feature in their flicks creating strong and interesting films. This past summer we found a few new favorite films that are worth a watch. Check out our list below and our reviews to see what which Netflix original you may have missed this summer.
Set It Up
Release Date: June 15, 2018
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs
REVIEW: It is not a secret that the Rom-Com was missing from the cinematic landscape for a little while, so Netflix decided that needs to change. Set It Up, is a postmodern and well-tailored romantic comedy geared for millennials. This film centers on two assistants who want to gain back some free time by trying to get their bosses to fall in love with each other. The film is as quirky and cute as any rom-com of the past, but feels self-aware through references to films like The Parent Trap as a basis to craft their own deceptive plans. The film does hit all major tropes of the genre with a New York City setting, two people who are an unlikely match, and the idea that love may solve all of their problems. Its a modern update on a missed and beloved genre that hits the spot for those who need a little dose of fantastical romanticism.
Release Date: August 3, 2018
Starring: Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer, Seth Rogen
REVIEW: You’d wouldn’t be wrong in believing this movie is part melodrama and part cruise like commercial. Yet, this film does dig a little deeper to share a father/daughter story that is more emotional than expected. The strength of this film comes from strong and sincere performances from stars, Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer, as Rachel and Harry Hamilton. After getting left at the alter, Rachel finds herself on her honeymoon with her estranged father following a night of drinking. Being stuck in close quarters, the two reluctantly work on their relationship to try to survive the trip. The biggest weakness of the film is the active incorporation of the cruise ship amenities, making the setting feel like a long infomercial rather than meaningful backdrop to the story. The film is emotional, taking a few twists and turns along the way, but it still reads as a family melodrama with pretty scenery.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Release Date: August 17, 2018
Starring: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, John Corbett
REVIEW: Based on a book of the same name by Jenny Han, this teen romantic-comedy focuses on high-schooler Lara Jean who wrote letters to five boys she had crushes on over the years. Though never intended to be mailed, the letters make their way to the boys and they all confront her to discover her true feelings. Lara Jean ends up making a deal with one recipient, Peter, to pretend to be in a relationship with her, so that another crush, Josh (her sister’s ex), believes she is unavailable. The film does explore the story well as laid out by the novel with fresh-faced leads delivering believable, engaging performances. Like Set It Up, this film is a postmodern, referential romantic comedy, echoing high school movie tropes of the past. John Hughes would be proud of this flick as a Gen Z approach to the complexity of growing up.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Release Date: August 10, 2018
Starring: Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Jessica Brown Findlay
REVIEW: Lily James brings her strong dramatic skills and dazzling charm to a dramatic tale about post World War II Europe. Based on the novel of the same name, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, this film is the story of author Juliet Ashton. While wanting to find some new material, she receives a letter from a literary society that has recently discovered her book, becoming pen pals with member Dawsey Adams. She invites herself to visit the small island of Guernsey to partake in a meeting, try the namesake pie and meet the people she has heard so much about. The films strength comes from the retelling of the life of Elizabeth McKenna, a resident of Guernsey who never returned home after the war after her arrest by the occupying Nazis. Now post-war, the island is full of secrets about Elizabeth that Juliet wants to unearth to tell her story. The cast is a reunion of many of Downton Abbey’s best actors who deliver an emotional punch as they slowly reveal their story. The film is paced well without being too expositional. Laced throughout is a love story between Juliet and Dawsey that feels sweet and light within the films darker context.
What are your favorite Netflix original films? Share in the comments!
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