Once a week, Procrastinate Better features a peek into the Netflix queue of a staffer or critic. No tampering with the results to make ourselves seem more or less erudite, we swear! Just the brief opportunity to explain (or defend, as the case may be) the choices. This installment comes from SlateV video producer Emily Calderone. More Candid Queues here.
1) The Heartbreak Kid : When I told devout cinephile (and sometime Slate contributor ) Mark Jordan Legan that I had never heard of the 60s comedy duo Nichols and May, he just about dropped dead. Elaine May, one half of the pair, directed the Heartbreak Kid , and since Mark knows I love dysfunctional comedies about marriage, movies from the 70s, and Charles Grodin, he highly recommended I watch this film. The movie follows a freshly wed couple on their honeymoon in Miami. When Grodin’s wife (played by May’s daughter Jeannie Berlin) gets badly sunburned and is forced to spend the rest of the trip in their room, Grodin finds himself chasing a gorgeous, emotionally unavailable, shiksa-goddess played by Cybil Shepherd. Wait, isn’t my generation the one that refuses to grow up ?
2) King of the Hill, Season 8 : I used to take this show for granted and regarded it as The Simpsons ’ less refined younger sister. But, after a month long stint watching late night reruns on Adult Swim, I soon caught on to the fact that this show about an impossibly polite propane salesman and his family is the unsung gem of adult animated comedies. It is so beloved in our household that my boyfriend and I once synced the pop-top of our beers with the show’s opening song. Try it. It’s fun!
3) Vicky Cristina Barcelona : When I was 14, I vowed to watch every Woody Allen movie ever made. With the exception of a brief period between 2001 and 2004, watching this movie about two American women (one played by Scarlett Johansson) who travel to Spain and fall for a swarthy artist (Javier Bardem) with a crazy jealous ex-wife (Penélope Cruz) will complete the series. Even if it is a train wreck, I’ll still get to watch Bardem seduce ScarJo and hopefully see Cruz channel some Almodóvar .
4) The Tenant : I just finished watching the fantastic documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired and realized that Rosemary’s Baby was really the only Polanski movie I had ever seen. The Tenant , which is about a man (played by Polanski) so haunted by his Parisian apartment’s dark past that he slowly begins to go insane , seems like a natural next step. I just have to wait for a night when I’m mentally prepared to visit the dark side.
5) Wendy and Lucy : I haven’t watched this movie which follows a woman (played by Michelle Williams) and her dog on a road trip to Alaska, until events take a turn for the worst, and yet I already feel disappointed by it. I placed it in my queue after reading A.O. Scott’s outstanding review nearly one year ago. I really like sparse and succinct movies especially when they’re made by women, about women, but there’s something keeping me from sitting down to watch this. Oh I remember! Michelle Williams is the lead.