The Arts Netflix Weekend Watchlist: Issue 1

We all have that friend – the crowdpleaser. Everyone loves them and they’re a one-size-fits-all kinda guy or gal so this week’s theme is in honour of those pals. These Netflix films are quick wins, easy peasy ones pretty much guaranteed to please even the most discerning of viewers.  

Friday – Eddie the Eagle (Genre: Sports Comedy)

Remind yourself of Taron Edgerton’s soft gooey core (he wasn’t always at the heart of misogynist controversy); he stars as Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards in this charming underdog pic. It depicts the true story of Eddie’s unlikely journey to the 1988 winter Olympics as a British ski-jumper, and is relentlessly sweet if a little predictable (can’t really complain when it’s a true story though eh?). It’s also got Hugh Jackman (huge action) as embittered former jumper turned reluctant trainer Bronson Peary, and his sandpapery gruffness provides a nice foil to Edgerton’s cutesiness. What do you want to bet he ends up a big softy in the end? Sit back, switch off and enjoy low-risk, family friendly fare that is knows what it is and doesn’t ask to be anything more.

Saturday – Chef (Genre: Comedy Cookery Buddy Drama?)

Killer soundtrack. Food porn that’ll shit all over those 3 minute Facebook videos. John Favreau. Superb.

Bring the paper towels by the roll as you’ll continually be mopping puddles of drool from the floor: Cubanos, spaghetti, grilled cheese, old-skool barbecue, watch John get his big sweaty hands on em for the two, delicious hours. He writes, directs, cooks (it’s all him!) and stars in this and proves (as ever) he’s an incredibly consistent filmmaker and a strong writer – the film’s not hilarious but almost certainly passes the 6-laugh test. Stars pop up all over (Hoffman, Johanssen and Downey Jr. all feature) as lil spicy dashes, though I suspect most were there for the catering. Who can blame ’em?

Sunday – The Fundamentals of Caring (Genre: Buddy Comedy)

Craig Roberts + Paul Rudd = colour me interested.

I just think Roberts is eternally hilarious, and he’s brilliant in this as an incredibly vulgar 18 year old suffering from muscular dystrophy. Rudd plays his caregiver and is as watchable as ever (isn’t he just great?), the two have a dynamic that fizzles and spits beautifully on the screen. Selena Gomez sort of wanders in and is ok as an obligatory love interest we could really probably care less about (give me more Craig and Paul) and the plot is probably a little formulaic, steeped in tropes of redemption and learning from each other. But who cares? This is properly funny, might make you cry if you’re feeling soft, and a guaranteed winner for this week’s easy flicks. Plus it’s a Netflix original so you’re not getting this anywhere else folks.

Alec Sims

(Image courtesy of Dundee Review of the Arts)