An Ovolo Guide to Netflix & Chill
Look, we know you wanna Netflix and Chill. Who doesn’t?! But until Netflix creates an actual “Netflix and Chill” category–a real one, this time–you might find yourself struggling to come up with new movie suggestions to keep things fresh with Bae. Sure, you might have your tried and true, go-to make-out movies, but if you’re tired of watching Titanic or Pretty Woman to get Bae in the mood for the 100th time, you need to change it up. That’s where we come in … even though you can still watch Titanic because, let’s face it, that film on fleek-AF.
At Ovolo, we love our Netflix. In fact, every hotel room has one installed for your pleasure! We asked our awesome Team Members to put in some hard hours researching the best movies that the streaming giant had available for your next Netflix and Chill session, so you’re welcome. We tastemakers have provided you with an eclectic selection of the best films to suggest the next time a certain someone invites you over for a cuddle, snog or…you know (amirite???). From arthouse cinema to pop culture classics to Oscar-winning pictures, we’ve got you covered. So allow Ovolo to do the homework while Netflix provides the entertainment; now all you have to do is….chill.
Shakespeare in Love
Director: John Madden
Writer: Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard
Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush
Shakespeare in Love might be the most perfect movie to Netflix and chill to. It stars Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare, who embarks on a (fictional) illicit romance with a noble woman, Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow), as he writes Romeo and Juliet (formerly Ethel the Pirate’s Daughter). She is his muse, he her liberator, and it’s a merry jaunt until the tragically romantic end. The movie, co-written by the fantastic playwright Tom Stoppard, is full of quips, unexpected cameos (both of the acting variety and to people of Shakespeare’s time) as well as obscure and overt references to Shakespeare’s plays. It carries some prestige (it’s a multiple Oscar winner including Best Picture), but it’s also funny, romantic, and straightforward enough that if you miss some parts in the middle, it’ll be just fine.
Director: Amy Heckerling
Writer: Amy Heckerling
Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer, Jeremy Sisto
If it’s 90s nostalgia that gets you in the mood, along with all the fashion, hairstyles, and snarky phrasing that comes with it, look no further than 1995’s cult hit, Clueless. Despite the over-the-top 90s feel of this modern cultural classic, Clueless is actually loosely based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel, Emma. Keep that little trivia tidbit in your back pocket, gents, along with the confidence to suggest this very date-night-friendly film and you should be in good shape.
Clueless is a crowd pleaser for ladies and gentlemen alike. Not only does it star the lovely and talented Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, and Brittany Murphy (in a breakout role) but it’s a genuinely funny film about finding love while living the life of the rich and famous. Romance abounds as Cher (Silverstone) attempts to play matchmaker for a pair of nerdy teachers and the awkward new girl in school, though her own relationship pursuits veer off in some unexpected directions. Even if you’re not all that into the awkward chemistry between Cher and her step-brother Josh (Paul Rudd), this movie should give you plenty of opportunity to chill before the final scene…unless you’re totally clueless.
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: Joe Eszterhas
Cast: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Denis Arndt, Leilani Sarelle, Wayne Knight, Daniel von Bargen
Paul Verhoeven exceeds at indulgence, and with the notoriously steamy neo-noir Basic Instinct, he seemingly surpassed himself on all accounts. In detailing the investigation into the ice-pick murder of a retired rock star, led by Michael Douglas’ mildly reformed detective, Verhoeven gives the genre one of its maximalist masterpieces, one that at once exemplifies the genre and expertly undermines it. Thank the surprisingly rich chemistry between Douglas and Sharon Stone, as his lead suspect, for keeping the thin story buzzing but it’s Verhoeven’s quiet upending of social and genre norms – from feminine archetypes to homosexuality to eroticism – and ingenious handling of Joe Eszterhas’ script, that gets the blood flowing to every corner of this wild thing.
Y Tu Mamá También
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writer: Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón
Cast: Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Daniel Giménez Cacho
Written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Y Tu Mamá También is a stunning Mexican drama that stars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna as two teenage friends who embark on a road trip, and are unexpectedly joined by a young married woman (Maribel Verdú), which makes all the difference. The trips means different things for each of them (escape, coming-of-age, an exploration of sexuality), but on a macro level, it showcases (visually and through narration) the realities of late-90s, rural Mexico, as well as historical footnotes and commentary. Y Tu Mamá También is occasionally difficult and bittersweet, and filmed in a documentary-realist style that only deepens the truths about love, friendship, sexuality, politics, and more that it betrays. But mostly the film is emotional, gorgeously filmed, and very sexy. (In fact, because of its portrayal of sex and drug use, the film was released as unrated in the U.S. to avoid a NC-17 marker).
Director: Errol Morris
Cast: Joyce McKinney
So, you meet this guy named Kirk Anderson and almost immediately form a connection with him, even though he’s a Mormon. The problem is that you don’t know exactly how to show him you’re the one. Well, if you’re Joyce McKinney, you kidnap the guy and allegedly rape him in a hideaway cabin in England for several days.
This crime was at the center of one of the biggest tabloid wars of the 1970s, and director Errol Morris finds the haltingly strange heart of the matter by talking directly with McKinney in his customary fashion in Tabloid. Morris asks questions that might seem obvious, but the way he words them and builds up a rapport with McKinney teases out an unhinged yet startlingly sincere persona in a woman that fueled some of the most eye-grabbing tabloid headlines in history. McKinney would go on to pose nude, attempt to write a novel, become a courtroom starlet, and, in her elder years, adopt a cloned dog of her late, beloved pet. The result of all of this is a bewildering case of romantic obsession and an oddly endearing ode to having a lust for life even when you can’t quite control it.
Director: Greg Mottola
Writer: Greg Mottola
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Martin Starr, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig
Writer/director Greg Mottola’s coming-of-age drama Adventureland is a perfect fit for all those misanthropic couples out there (you know who you are). With a hefty dose of malaise, uncertainty, and yearning, Adventureland is the heartfelt 80s-set story of a college graduate (Jesse Eisenberg) who ends up having to take a summer job at the local amusement park rather than traveling abroad as he initially intended. Faced with the reality of impending adulthood, something of a quarter-life crisis ensues while Kristen Stewart—in a subdued and intriguing performance making for a swell co-star–enters the picture. Mottola adeptly avoids drowning in the cynicism of the film’s main character and instead focuses on the happiness that can result from the curveballs life tends to throw oh-so-often, all wrapped up in a sweet yet realistic romantic relationship. For the dreamers with a healthy pragmatism, I recommend Adventureland.
Director: Randal Kleiser
Writer: Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey (original musical), Bronte Woodard (screenplay), Allan Carr (adaptation)
Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Barry Pearl, Michael Tucci, Kelly Ward, Didi Conn
A crowd-pleaser if there ever was one, Grease is the word for a reason. Forgive me for going all Stefon here, but Grease has everything: a sweeping romantic duo at its core, catchy musical numbers, and plenty of sensuality to make this a swell “Netflix and Chill” choice if you so desire. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John are dynamite together, but the entire ensemble is terrific under the direction of Randal Kleiser, who nails the 1950s vibe throughout. And what better time to watch Grease than now? Summer lovin’ indeed.
The Princess Bride
Director: Rob Reiner
Writer: William Goldman (book and screenplay)
Cast: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Carol Kane, Billy Crystal, Mel Smith
If ever there was the perfect cinematic litmus test for your relationship, the 1987 Oscar-nominated genre-bender The Princess Bride is it. Rob Reiner’s balanced direction of an accomplished cast that feels right at home playing in any and all genres perfectly complements William Goldman’s equally ambitious story and script. In short, there’s something here for everyone. So if you find yourself dating someone who doesn’t laugh at the antics of Valerie and Miracle Max, who doesn’t scoot to the edge of their seat during the climactic final action sequence, or isn’t moved by the classic love story that permeates the fantasy-fueled adventure, then you should probably find someone who does. Your relationship might not be dead–only mostly dead.
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Cast: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Matt Damon
The third of writer/director Kevin Smith’s four 1990s films that were so 90s might just be the most earnest of the bunch. Rather than center on the slacker culture seen in Clerks and Mallrats, or the religiously existential nature of Dogma, Chasing Amy has an honest if atypical romance at its core. This one might rub some new viewers the wrong way since the politically-incorrect movie wears that badge proudly on its oversized sleeve, but the true and straightforward nature of the characters’ discussions on sex, love, relationships, and life in general are absolutely timeless. As long as people of different backgrounds and upbringings continue to interact, there will be tension and conflict along the way to finding kindred spirits and true romance. At the very least, you can enjoy Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Matt Damon, and even Jason Mewes and Smith in their prime! – Dave Trumbore
Blue Is the Warmest Color
This entry originally appeared in our Best Movies on Netflix article.
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writers: Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix
Cast: Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos
While Blue Is the Warmest Color got plenty of press for its explicit sex scenes and the subsequent rift between its stars and director, the film remains an epically intimate portrait of love that is among the most engrossing and effective romances of all time. The movie tracks the life of a young woman named Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos), who falls in love with another girl (Léa Seydoux) while in high school and develops a complex and deeply emotional relationship. This is a deeply felt love drama that, while long, feels wholly complete and personal. Exarchopoulos turns in a brilliant lead performance that deserved much more recognition upon release, and the cinematography is hauntingly beautiful. If you’re in the mood for a love story that feels real, human, and epic, go for Blue Is the Warmest Color
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Writer: Guillaume Laurant
Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz
Still one of the most visually unique and gorgeously crafted stories on film, the 2001 French film Amelie is sweet, surreal, haunting, and joyous. Propelled by Yann Tiersen’s spellbinding score, the whimsical tale focuses on young Amelie Poulin (Tautou), who tries to counterbalance her quiet and lonely life with a keen sense of observation, and an elaborate belief in exacting justice for those around her in order to ensure their happiness. But what of her own?
Eventually, Amelie becomes caught up in a cat-and-mouse game with a love interest who might actually understand her, the quirky Nino (Kassovitz), which twirls them through Paris as they ascertain whether or not they should ever actually speak to one another. It’s an unconventional romance, but also one that is deeply felt. The dazzling movie is a visual feast and an emotional story about romance, shyness, colorful vigilantism, and connecting with the smallest pieces and pleasures of the world around us in ways that add up to something wonderful.
Director: Mike Nichols
Writer: Calder Willingham (screenplay), Buck Henry (screenplay), Charles Webb (novel)
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton
The 1967 classic The Graduate landed itself seven Oscar nominations with Nichols taking home the award for Best Director, but the film is arguably most notable for giving star Dustin Hoffman his breakthrough role. That bit of trivia might come in handy as small talk while you cozy up to watch Hoffman’s title character Ben Braddock navigate the pitfalls of sex and romance. Seduction is the name of the game here, whether it’s between Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) and Ben, or her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross) and the young graduate. Whichever branch of the love triangle you’re pulling for, there’s no escaping the seductive pull of this iconic romance.
10 Things I Hate About You
This entry originally appeared on our list of the 25 Best Back-to-School Movies.
Director: Gil Junger
Writer: Karen McCullah, Kirsten Smith
Cast: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, Andrew Keegan, Gabrielle Union, Allison Janney
If Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Sixteen Candles were responsible for introducing 80s audiences to some of the best actors of their generation, then Gil Junger’s 1999 comedy 10 Things I Hate About You did the same for a new generation, providing breakout roles for Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and, to a lesser extent, Larisa Oleynik. The late 90s high school setting for a modern take on Shakespeare’s mid-16th century play “The Taming of the Shrew” introduced audiences to the Australian heartthrob Ledger and offered up the best feature film outing to that point in Gordon-Levitt’s career; JGL was smack in the middle of his run on the hit TV comedy series Third Rock from the Sun at the time.
10 Things has a clever twist on the typical high school romantic comedy, thanks in huge part to Shakespeare, of course. When a new student (Gordon-Levitt) falls for a beautiful girl (Oleynik), he finds he can only win her father’s approval to date her by tricking the school’s bad boy (Ledger) into dating her older, shrewish sister (Stiles). It’s a great example of how timeless Shakespeare’s work really is and how modern takes on centuries-old stories can engage a new generation of audiences.
Amadou is an American-raised, Hong Kong-based writer, communicator, and all-around lover of travel & food. He speaks four foreign languages and loves recommending new and exciting things to people whenever they go somewhere new. When not managing his day job, you’ll probably find him at a happy hour or at the park with his Maltese Terrier, Maxx.