At this point in the year, winter break seems just around the corner: our hands are aching for some pen-less free time, and our brains are shutting down in anticipation of some concentration-free relaxation. Now is the time to give yourself an extra boost for those pesky last-minute assignments, and reward yourself with a break or two with this week’s Netflix picks.
Drive Me Crazy – Genre: Rom/Com
Based on Todd Strasser’s How I Created My Perfect Prom Date, John Schultz’s Drive Me Crazy is an understated yet authentic take on the trials and tribulations of high-school popularity – and the fight against it. Melissa Joan Hart, known more so for her role in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, attempts to sprinkle some figurative magic on her social status by transforming her once-bestie-turned-outcast neighbour Chase into the stereotypical popular teen. What happens next is something both Nicole (Hart), and Chase (Adrian Grenier) would have never expected. Equal to the likes of Gil Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About You in terms of legendary and loveable status, this 90-minuter is a must for anyone looking for a relatable yet warm-hearted teenage rom-com.
Rear Window – Genre: Psychological Thriller
In this 1954 classic, the iconic James Stewart (Jeff) and Grace Kelly (Lisa) star as the typical boy-meets-girl duo, who are stalked closely by violence and danger. While housebound following a recent leg injury, L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies passes the time by becoming a PG peeping Tom: watching his neighbours through their curtain-less windows and profiling each one through their quirky characteristics. After witnessing a possible murder, however, Jeff desperately convinces Lisa of the crime in a fashion echoed within Caruso’s less famous copycat Disturbia, starring Shia Labeouf. The usual cat-and-mouse chase of the typical thriller is upended, however, as Hitchcock intentionally keeps all characters behind their allocated windows: inviting a sense of urgency and desperation for the watching audience. Hailed as one of Hitchcock’s finest, this pick will keep you restless until the final credits.
The Riot Club – Genre: Drama
While this movie is unlike others in terms of acting quality or the plot-line intensity, Lone Scherfig’s The Riot Club is still an important watch. The film begins with two university students as they become indoctrinated into a secret skull-and-bones-type club. The behaviour of the film’s characters (played by the likes of Max Irons and Sam Claflin) is not a far cry from the non-fictional Bullingdon Club’s antics: reportedly burning money in front of the homeless, vandalisation of restaurants, and intense misogyny. While Scherfig has been criticised for a lack of proof, the chilling glimpse it offers into the lives of the intensely privileged is one which cannot go unnoticed: it is because of this that this film is an important watch. This film is a must-see for those wanting to open their eyes to the unpleasant underbelly of the nation’s elite.
(Image courtesy of Film 4/HanWay Films)