Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Last year I recommended 27 movies to watch for the holiday. Please click here if you haven’t seen the list already. For 8 more recommendations please see below.
1.) Girl (1998)
We can all remember having a celebrity crush as a kid. Most of us have celeb crushes as an adult too, but it’s different when you’re young. Just like the main character, teenage Andrea Marr (Dominique Swain), we believed we had a chance with whoever was famous at the time. In this coming of age film lots of nameless girls want a musician named Todd Sparrow (Sean Patrick Flanery) to make them his one and only. Andrea is convinced she can be the one. She is sexy now afterall. Something she doesn’t like, unless Todd Sparrow is looking her way. Slight spoiler, and a warning to any teens out there. If a 30 something year old musician type does anything with a teen girl, he’s a loser, and there’s a reason women his own age avoid him. This film is a coming of age film for anyone who survived their teen years as a young woman, and it also really captures the alternative 90’s scene.
Set in Washington D.C. this is a girl meets guy story, filmed as beautifully as one of the paintings created by the main guy character. Isaiah (Kofi Siriboe) is a broke, but talented artist from a working class family. Stevie (Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing) was raised in an upper class, well educated family, and she’s about to make her own way soon. Stevie is almost done with law school when she meets the handsome artist. Isaiah is being mentored by a more succesful artist named Yusef (Michael Ealy), who connects him with a woman named Chenai Hungwe (Uzo Aduba), so that Isaiah’s work can receive more exposure. This means Stevie is carrying the couple financially in the beginning, but then Isaiah’s dreams actually start to come true. Finances, time, work, and family dynamics tear into our leading couples strong connection. For anyone looking for an opposites attract story, this one is for you.
3. ) Mermaids (1990)
A coming of age story set in a small Massachusetts town in 1963. Charlotte Flax’s (Winona Ryder) family is always moving, but it appears one small town might finally become their home. In a time without internet or MTV Charlotte goes through her sexual awakening completely lost, while her mother Mrs. Flax (Cher) appears to know more than a thing or two. For anyone whose awkward years are still in the back of their mind, this film is for you.
An elegant capture of city life for a group of friends in Chicago. Darius (Larenz Tate) is a poet, Nina (Nia Long), is a gifted photographer, and the two fall in love, but typical life things cause tension at first. Just as things are going more smoothly Nina is offered a position in New York City. In this film that is so 90’s the characters go to a CD store, there’s themes of friendship, love, former loves, and working world pressures. While anyone can enjoy this film it’s best suited for people in their late 20’s or early 30’s. It’s the relationship you want, and the friend group you wish you were a part of.
Sara (Julia Stiles) moves from the suburbs to inner city Chicago after her Mom’s death. Her Dad isn’t much help as she grieves, but he does mean well. At school she meets Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas), and despite their teen status, the outside world openly disagrees with their interracial relationship. The two kids navigate cultural differences, grief, regret, home lives, and following your dreams in this romantic coming of age film.
Flashbacks to college, comedy, and a wedding. This classic never gets old, and it features a young Taye Diggs and Morris Chestnut for all the 20 and 30 somethings out there. The title explains it, the plot is about a wedding, but there’s also themes of friendship for anyone watching on Galentine’s Day.
Post grad life sucks, especially if study one of the fun majors our there. Poet to be Amy (Emma Roberts) graduates with no real plan so she starts working at a porn store. The young woman’s quirky story really captures the struggle of life at 22. There is some light though as she begins falling in love with her coworker Alex (Evan Peters). It’s a coming of age tale for any post grad with quirky over the top scenarios for great comedic entertainment.
Erica (Christina Milian) has just gotten out of a long term relationship with a man named Jason (Jay Pharoah), so she does what any bright woman does. She goes to a tropical resort to be their wedding singer. You can’t be too sad in the sun. At the beach she meets her new love interest Caleb (Sinqua Walls). Everything seems perfect until she finds out that he ex Jason is at the resort with his new girlfriend, and Caleb is his brother. This film is sweet and entertaining, but also Grandma friendly since everyone stays pure on screen. I recommend this for a multi-generational girls night.