Somehow I managed to do almost nothing productive and just sit and watch movies.
First up was Julia Misbehaves, a movie showing on TCM. It was one of those light-hearted comedies from just after WWII. In this movie, a n'er-do-well dancehall mother who hasn't seen her daughter in years in invited to said daughter's wedding. The mother and father rekindle their romance and lots of hilarity ensues. What made this movie better than a run-of-the-mill comedy was the actors: Greer Garson plays the mother, Walter Pidgeon plays the father, and a 16-year-old Elizabeth Taylor plays the daughter.
As soon as I saw Elizabeth Taylor I was hooked on the movie. She was so gorgeous back then and so young in this movie - and yet she had that "thing" that reached through the screen and practically made you watch her. fortunately, the movie has more to offer than just Elizabeth Taylor: it's also funny and well-acted by everyone. It wasn't an award winner but it was definitely a fun way to pass the time.
After that I switched over to Cracks on Netflix. This is a movie set in an English boarding school in the 30s and is about a group of swim team girls, their instructor, and a new girl. The swim team leader has a crush on their instructor but when the new girl arrives, the instructor focuses all of her attention on that new girl, upsetting the previous dynamic and causing problems. It doesn't help that the instructor has a crush on the new girl.
That these grown-up feelings , relationships, and events are happening to pre-adolescent girls makes this a coming-of-age movie. More than that, it's also a movie about the how we portray ourselves to others and who we are. Aside from a great story, this movie is beautifully shot and each scene is lovely. I very much enjoyed watching it and when it was over I wanted to watch it again right away. I highly recommend this movie, if you can find it. It hasn't been released in the US.
Finally, I watched Wristcutters: A Love Story (also on Netflix), a road-trip movie that takes place in a crappier version of our own world populated by people who kill themselves. No one can smile; there are no stars in the sky, and everything is dirtier, greyer, and uglier than in our own world. Our protagonist finds out that his ex-girlfriend is in this world and he convinces his newfound friend (who has a car) to drive him around so that he can find her. Along the way they pick up someone else who insists that she's not supposed to be there and is seeking the person in charge. Adventures ensue.
I liked this movie. The basic story was kind of obvious although it was quirky enough to stay interesting. I was a bit worried about the movie because of the suicide aspect but fortunately none of the suicides portrayed were like my mom's. In fact, many of the suicides were portrayed in a comic sort of way. I don't think I'd watch this movie a second time but I'd recommend it.