Tag Archives: romcom

Top 10 Underrated Gems on Netflix

Got decision fatigue? Here’s a list of underrated movies and TVshows from your fellow Longhorns to alleviate that fatigue and introduce you to some new favorites.

Kim’s Convenience

In need of a heartwarming show that will make you laugh until your sides hurt? This show portrays a Korean-Canadian family’s struggle to assimilate with the world around them without compromising their culture. The show captures a wide range of emotions from estrangement, generational guilt, and toxic masculinity while conveying peak comedy.

Courtesy of Polina Kovaleva 

A Simple Favor

Five words: Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. A Simple Favor is a psychological thriller that will keep you on your toes and have you hooked with its sarcastic humor and effortless storytelling. Lively and Kendrick perfectly fit the roles of Emily and Stephanie. While Henry Golding’s Sean Townsend somehow seems like the manipulator and the victim simultaneously. This movie will have you question every single detail about the case and all I can say is Gone Girl, who?

Young Royals

Looking for a more dramatic teen show? Young Royals may be the show for you. The show portrays the complexities of a young LGBTQIA person’s life with picturesque scenes and dark undertones. Through all the royal scandal, the show makes an important point about the last vestiges of royalty desperately clinging onto heterosexual views rather than the reality of the society they rule over.

Courtesy of Steve Johnson 

Sex Education

Moordale Secondary School seems like a fever dream with its rambunctious students, questionable teachers, and on-campus sex therapist. But Sex Education is truly one of the best Netflix original shows you will come across. Characters like Otis and Maeve are flawed yet fully fleshed out and seem real. Eric’s coming-out story is genuine and not forced or cheesy. Mr. Groff finding happiness after a lifetime of upholding societal expectations is truly inspiring. Most importantly the show de-stigmatizes sex and its activities without hyper-sexualizing its characters.

Fractured

Our worst nightmares are the product of our own imagination. This psychological thriller makes you question who is telling the truth, and you find yourself sympathizing with the protagonist, Ray, or is he the villain? The movie makes you go back and forth between the two versions of reality until the horrifying truth is made evident. A thriller truly worth watching that will keep you at the edge of your seat the whole time.

Courtesy of Michael Burrows 

Atelier

Get ready to step into the world of fashion with this beautiful and Get ready to step into the world of fashion with this beautiful and entertaining show. Atelier is the story of Mayuko Tokita finding her way into the fashion scene of Tokyo’s infamous Ginza district. If you loved The Devil Wears Prada and enjoyed watching glamour and style, this is the show for you.

Derry Girls

The Northern Ireland conflict of the 1990s is the last place you think of when looking for the setting of a feel-good coming of age story. Derry Girls captures the trials and tribulations of school dances, no-good tattletales, and boy troubles. The show is able to avoid cliches and captures its audience’s heart with its authenticity and humor.

She’s Gotta Have It 

This comedy is a fresh take on the struggling artist by replacing the whining pseudo-intellect with a young woman full of life. Furthermore, the show depicts sexuality without bias and portrays a pansexual without judgment or value-calls.

Courtesy of Tamanna Rumee 

AlRawabi School for Girls

Standing up to your high-school bully can be a pinnacle moment and the shifting point in your journey to find your confidence, but what happens when it goes wrong? This show examines the fine line between a victim and a bully. In the words of the director Tima Shomali, the female-led cast gives a “female perception on their issues.” The show carefully avoids the usual tropes of mean high school girls but rather goes deeper and questions the motivations behind being a bully and how your circumstances can turn you into a monster without realizing it.

To the Bone

Eating disorders are often mocked and used for cheap laughs in entertainment. To the Bone is raw in its depiction of how pervasive an eating disorder can be and how the disorder is not superficial or for attention. While To the Bone is not perfect in its depiction of mental illness it is a step in the right direction.

Featured Image Courtesy of cottonbro

Always Be My Maybe Movie Review

After a long day, the lyrics from Harry Styles’ song Woman, “Should we just search romantic comedies on Netflix and then see what we find?” often come to mind. It’s a thought many of us have on nights when we feel like watching a comforting movie. 

The rom-com combines the best parts of a love story and all the laughs of a comedy, which makes for the perfect thing to watch to put you in a good mood. Rom-coms have captured our hearts for decades, but the shift in media content in the digital streaming era can make us wonder what can we expect from rom-coms in the coming years? 

Rom-coms in the 2020’s should take notes from the 2019 Netflix original film Always be my Maybe. The film wouldn’t have been possible without a few notable alumni from the hit ABC sit-com Fresh Off The Boat.  The creator of the show, Nanatchka Khan, directed the 2019 film. The film was also written by and starred Ali Wong, a writer for Fresh Off the Boat and Randall Park, a star on Fresh Off The Boat. Wong andPark have been close friends since their days at UCLA and the magic behind their duo is what made the movie such a special treat to watch— complete with a great story, well-executed comedy and a film with positive representation.

The story of Always Be My Maybe follows Sasha Tran and Marcus Kim, and their classic tale of childhood best friends who fell in love. The two grew up together in the Bay area in the 90s and Sasha grew close to Marcus’s mom since her parents worked a lot and his mom taught Sasha how to cook. The summer after they graduate high school, Marcus’s mom dies and it takes a toll on Marcus and the relationship he has with Sasha. The two reach a breaking point and don’t talk to each other for years. Fast forward to 2019 and the two reunite when Sasha, now a celebrity chef, spends time in San Francisco opening a new restaurant. Marcus and Sasha reunite after all those years and after some initial awkwardness ease into their friendship again. While the two are dating other people, have different career goals and live vastly different lifestyles, they realize that they want to be with each other no matter what it takes. By the end of the movie, they commit to one another and build a life together. 

The movie has excellent world building especially given its setting in San Francisco. The location is influential on the characters and situations in the movie and builds a world that depicts life and Asian-American culture in the context of the Bay Area. Both characters are from there so they are attached to the location,family and overall community it represents. 

The movie also has really good character building in that throughout the entire movie you get a sense of the characteristics of both love interests and how that dynamic changes over time. The movie also acknowledges the trauma each love interest has and how it’s affected their worldview, relationships, sense of family and lifestyle. But by acknowledging these flaws, they show the conflict the characters have and how the conflict gets resolved when the characters learn to overcome their flaws and heal from their traumas.  

Something about the storytelling in this film is so natural. The progression of events seems so smooth and effortless that you never have to question why something happens because each scene informs the next and builds off the one before. The plot of this film also seems natural in a way that accurately depicts real life situations and conflicts. Even though the story follows Sasha and Marcus, this could have been the love story of anyone. 

An aspect of the film that highlights its appeal is it’s comedy. For a rom-com this movie is equal parts romantic and comedic which is a ratio that’s often hard to come by. You have the comedic stylings of Wong and Park who also have amazing onscreen comedic chemistry. The movie has situational humor, jokes about the embarrassment of adolescence and humorous commentary on the current state of California and Asian-American cultures. 

Beyond a well-crafted film, the movie serves as a positive depiction of Asian-Americans and women. As a story written by Asian-Americans, the film has a natural perspective on what life is like for Asian-Americans. The movie depicts the identity struggles that can exist among Asian-Americans in addition to the ways in which they celebrate their culture and community. The movie also depicts women in a positive way by having the lead female love interest be a woman who is successful in her career and consciously does not shrink herself or her ambitions for love. 

Always Be My Maybe could easily be the blueprint for rom-coms in the streaming era because it has everything you could want in a rom-com and more. The film combines the elements of great storytelling and casting, humorous writing, cultural commentary and representation that make for an impactful movie that stays with you long after the movie’s over.