It was a tough week. If you were paying attention to the news, the past seven days were an exercise in refusing to give up and spend your days screaming into a pillow. Emotions were already high. Then Toni Morrison passed, and my social-media timelines became spaces for collectively mourning the greatest novelist in American history. Some of my favourite writers turned their grief into art, including Doreen St. Felix, who wrote a stirring piece for the New Yorker about growing up with Morrison’s work. No one could write like Morrison, so memorializing her with words seems like it’d be an impossible task – not so for St. Felix. I’m going to recommend some movies and TV shows to keep you entertained this weekend, but your priority should be to read St. Felix's piece, then turn to Netflix for a reprieve from the heavy week.
Whether you need a cathartic cry or just some good old-fashioned escapism, here’s what to watch on Netflix this weekend.
Nobody’s Fool has a 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Vulture called it a “charming mess" and Variety dubbed it a “droopy romantic comedy." In spite of this lackluster reception, I still think it's worth your time. There’s one thing all of the critics agree on: Tiffany Haddish shines as a boisterous ex-con fresh out of prison who is taken in by her polar-opposite sister, played by Tika Sumpter. There’s some romance in there somewhere and most of the comedy is provided by Haddish who breathes life into this Tyler Perry film that would have been DOA without her. Well, at least that’s what the critics say. I need a good laugh so I’m going to cuddle up with Nobody’s Fool this weekend and give it a shot. Bonus: a cameo performance by Whoopi Goldberg.
Spanish television on Netflix is my whole shit. I LOVED Elite. I’ve recently added Money Heist to my list of addictions. Season 4 of the Spanish period drama Cable Girls dropped Friday and I think the show has to be next on my list. Set in the 1920s, it tells the story of four women working for a telecommunications company. It focuses on the hardships they face navigating a male-dominated workplace in the '20s, and their tumultuous personal lives outside of the office. Drama, feminism, and flapper-era fashion? Yes, please.
It was one of my most anticipated titles of the month. The trailer turned me into a puddle at my desk. Basketball or Nothing is streaming now, and I will take as many opportunities as I can to hype up this docuseries. It’s not just about basketball. Yes, ball is life for this small community, but the series also sheds light on the people living on this Navajo reservation in rural northwest Arizona. In Chinle, “there’s no movie theatre, no minor-league sports teams, no nightclubs." There’s just a high-school basketball team. This is the stuff Hollywood sports movies are made of. I don’t think a script would do this story justice. Check out the real thing. And bring tissues.
Chris Evans shirtless. No, I’m not referring to a new Captain America film. (He was rarely shirtless in those.) I’m talking about his wardrobe in his latest movie, based on the true story of a group of spies who rescued thousands of Ethiopian Jews from ethnic cleansing by smuggling them through a holiday retreat in Sudan to Israel. So yeah, not the horniest story. Chris Evans shirtless should not be the point, but since the reviews haven’t been great and have basically summed up the film as another white-saviour narrative, I’m focusing on the positives. And if it’s just another generic thriller as critics have suggested, at least the true story is getting more recognition.
You may have heard some quiet rumblings about Quentin Tarantino’s new film, Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood. It stars little-known actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. I think. I’ve never heard of these people. Too bad this film has gotten zero buzz and promotion. These stars could have really made something of themselves. Have you picked up on my sarcasm yet? Pitt, DiCaprio and Robbie have been EVERYWHERE promoting this film. It got a six-minute standing ovation at Cannes. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Well, I saw it this week and I’m here to tell you: do not to believe the hype. The three Academy Award-nominated leads (Leo’s the only winner) in the film bring their best, and their performances are worth watching (even though Robbie is not given enough to do) but the film still fell flat for me. In spite of Tarantino’s problematic past, and his odd affinity for the N-word, I’ve liked many of his films. My favourite is Kill Bill. Instead of wasting THREE HOURS on Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood, revisit this classic.