By Megan Shipston
Now that we are back in the swing of things at school, one of the ways I like to relax after class is to turn my brain off and watch a movie. And did you know that as CI students we have access to our very own streaming service? It is called Dolphlix! This streaming service works on the CI Wi-Fi, so whenever you are on campus, you are able to stream a ton of movies for free! To give you an idea of what you could watch for the month of February, I am going to highlight some romantic comedies available on Dolphlix!
“The Big Sick”
Since I first watched “The Big Sick,” it has quickly become a comfort film for whenever I need a laugh. What makes this movie even more special is that it is based on the true story of how the main actor, Kumail Nanjiani met and fell in love with his wife, Emily V. Gordon. In “The Big Sick,” Nanjiani is a struggling stand-up comedian who is feeling the strain of his family’s expectations. During one of his comedy routines, Gordon lightly heckles him. After this, the movie follows their unique love stories and the trials they face from family judgment to life-threatening illnesses.
Nanjiani allows viewers a look into his life in a very personal way. Not only is this his and his wife’s love story, but it is also about the very serious health scare Gordon went through. If you do not know, she was diagnosed with Still’s disease, an inflammatory disorder that caused her to fall into a coma. This movie highlights the pain that comes with watching someone you love fall ill with something the doctors are not entirely sure how to treat. This movie does a great job of balancing the serious parts of the story with the comedic situations that arise due to stress, family and friends. I personally loved the interactions between Kumail and Emily’s parents in the hospital and thought they were actually the funniest parts of the movie. “The Big Sick” also has a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes, which I think is very well deserved. This movie is super sweet and has a lot of heart in it. The actors did a great job of bringing this story to life and had great chemistry. I also found the comedy in this movie to be extremely funny and many of my family members still quote the lines to this day.
“Bridesmaids” is a raunchy comedy that explores failure, love and the importance of female friendships. It follows Lillian who is getting married and the five women whom she chooses to be her bridesmaids. Throughout the movie, we get to see this group of women attempt to buy bridesmaid dresses, have a bachelorette party in Las Vegas and try to successfully get their friend down the aisle. However, due to the bridesmaids essentially meeting each other for the first time, tension and awkward mishaps ensue.
I thought this movie was a really funny and entertaining story that had relatable characters and an interesting plot. It focuses not only on romance but also on how friendships can get out of control during stressful points in our life. Additionally, it showed how sometimes we can be our own worst enemy and that we need to fix our problems instead of being controlled by them. There was occasionally some slapstick and gross humor that I did not find very funny, but the majority of the comedy was very good.
“La La Land”
The only word I can use to describe this movie is stunning. From the set, the use of colors, cinematography and the wardrobe, everything about this movie was absolutely stunning. In the movie, we follow two characters: Mia, who is a struggling actress, and Sebastian, who dreams of owning his own jazz club. These two characters immediately have chemistry, and through the dream-like sequences that follow their meeting, we watch as their life unfolds over the course of a year.
Everything about this movie was so well done and the original music is bound to end up on your playlist after you hear it. Even though I am not struggling to get my big acting break or start a jazz club, I still found the struggles the characters went through very relatable. This movie deals a lot with self-doubt and choosing a career path based on monetary value instead of what is going to make you happy.
I think my favorite part about this movie, however, was the way it dealt with the main romantic relationship. In romcoms, romantic love is of course always highlighted as the most important thing in a person’s life and the way the characters will find ultimate fulfillment and happiness.
However, “La La Land” touches on how that is not exactly true and that real fulfillment in your life might not come just from a person or just from a job. One thing I would like to point out is if you prefer more traditional storytelling in movies, this one might come off as a bit confusing or weird. This is due to its more artistic and almost fantastical way of telling the story. But, I think the story and everything surrounding it was so well done and would highly recommend it to anyone who has not seen it yet.
“Footloose” (2011 Remake)
The 2011 remake of the classic movie “Footloose” was a pretty good adaptation, as remakes go. The story follows Ren McCormack as he moves in with his uncle in Bomont, Georgia after the death of his mother. Due to a tragic accident that caused the death of five teenagers, the reverend of the town bans dancing for minors, among other things. Throughout the movie, Ren and his friends slowly start to realize the injustice of these laws and fight against them. I thought this was a fun movie, however, I found many of the characters hypocritical and a little annoying. Specifically, the main character, Ariel, slightly rubbed me the wrong way. I think the movie wanted to present her as a complicated character as she was dealing with the sudden death of her brother. However, I found her to be hypocritical when she judged other women and that to be the worst of her qualities.
By the end of the movie, we did not see her change her views or apologize. She would call women “hussies” and “sluts” for things like dancing and having sex, despite the fact she did those things. Characters that use dehumanizing terms to try to shame women and to put themselves apart from them will always make me dislike and be less sympathetic to those characters. Regardless, the movie was very entertaining, and I thought the dance scenes were very well done and fun to watch.
If you have not seen “Mamma Mia,” the title might still ring a bell. The title and the movie as a whole are a musical that uses music created by the Swedish band ABBA. If you need a fun movie to take your mind off your worries, then this is the perfect one for you. The premise is pretty simple. The main character, Sophie, is getting married on a Greek island and she wants to learn who her father is so he can walk her down the aisle. However, her mother was with three different men leading up to her pregnancy, so she does not actually know who the father is. This leads Sophie to invite all three of them to solve the mystery once and for all. The whole story is accompanied by the soundtrack of ABBA and some of their greatest hits such as “Dancing Queen”, “Mamma Mia” and “Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie (A Man After Midnight).”
I love this movie and find its absurdity part of its charm. I know when it first came out, I remember people really not liking it and finding it quite silly. However, I think this movie has had sort of a renaissance in recent years due to people finally appreciating the simplicity and joyfulness in the story. I do not think this movie is supposed to be super groundbreaking and have a storyline that is completely perfect or realistic. This movie is supposed to be fun and about the pitfalls one encounters with love when they are young. ABBA’s music perfectly ties into these themes as many of their songs deal with joy, sorrow and love. The characters are all wonderful, the music is great, and the setting is on a beautiful Greek island which just adds to it. If you have not seen it yet, I would highly recommend it.
If any of these movies piqued your interest, go watch them for free on our streaming service! With streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Max becoming increasingly expensive, Dolphlix is a great alternative for watching movies! To access Dolphlix you can click here while on campus Wi-Fi or head to CSUCI’s website and type in Dolphlix. Click on Residence Hall Association, which will be the first result. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click the Dolphlix link. And that is it!