There are so many great reasons why fall is a great time to step back from the constantly hustling from one social event or errand to another, and to spend some more time at home. The weather is cooler, the days feel shorter, you can make your own pumpkin spice lattes at home, so why not kick your feet up and use your precious weeknight and weekend hours doing something for yourself (and even the whole family) : watching movies streaming on Netflix when you just want to chill.
Although the pre-holiday season often brings new movies to the theaters, with streaming services it's easier than ever to revisit old (and current) favorites, watch original programming or find lesser known movies while relaxing in your pajamas from the couch in your living room. When I'm poking around and looking for something to watch, I tend to drift toward the actors that I like. It's kind of like spending the afternoon with old friends. Sometimes I'll just watch half a movie while I clean the house, pay my bills or get on the exercise bike. For that I need movies that are old-blanket comfortable and will try to find ones that I know have a great soundtrack. Other times I'll find an entertaining film to watch to retreat from reality. I spend a lot of my time these days reading and watching the news, which can be very stressful.
Whether you're watching solo or with your whole family, grab the popcorn, throw some slices in your sparkling water, pour yourself a glass of wine and get ready to chill.
1. 13 Going on 30
30, flirty and thriving — that's what Jenna wants to be. Sometimes you need to see what 30 is like to be able to survive being 13. It's a fun film to watch, with great music from the '80s to the aughts.
Filmed in the '70s but set in the '50s, this film is a treat, even in 2017. It's a full-on movie musical with a flying car, not to mention Olivia Newton-John in skin tight spandex and an oh-so-hot John Travolta.
I love this movie for the small life moments that it shows. Filmed over 12 years we watch the actors age and grow. It's a little long (2 hours and 45 minutes) but it's calm and sweet and great for a fall afternoon.
4. White Chicks
This one is silly fun as Marlon and Shawn Wayans go way undercover (think: white girls) to prove they are FBI-worthy.
5. The Switch
Every best friend just might accidentally slip his sperm into his best friend's donor cup, right? I always love rooting for Jason Bateman and watching Jennifer Aniston always makes me feel like I'm watching a spinoff of Friends.
6. Rumor Has It
Since you've already seen Mark Ruffalo in 13 Going on 30 and Jennifer Aniston in The Switch, why not watch the two of them together in Rumor Has it?
7. Drinking Buddies
When the line between "friends" and "more than friends" becomes blurred by beer, there's Drinking Buddies. This movie was 100% improvised, so you not only get to hang with these characters, but you actually feel like you are watching them just spending time talking to each other (because you are).
8. Liberal Arts
If you're done streaming How I Met Your Mother and want to hang with Ted Mosby (okay, Josh Radnor) a little longer, take a look at this movie that Josh wrote and directed. It even stars an Olsen sister and while it's not Mary Kate or Ashley, Elizabeth has made a name for herself in her own right.
Watch the movie version of the classic book from your teens and decide for once and for all if you are Team Edward or Team Jacob.
10. Amy Schumer: The Leather Special
This isn't a movie, but watching an Amy Schumer's standup special is like spending the night with your sassiest, bitchiest girlfriend at a bar.
Even if you have a pretty good idea how this movie ends, the story of a little boy in India who accidentally gets on a train that takes him 1500 miles from his family, survives life on the streets of Calcutta and then winds up adopted by an Australian family is totally engaging. The little boy who plays young Saroo is adorable, but so is Dev Patel who plays him when he's older.
12. The Fundamentals of Caring
As Paul Rudd's character's life scrapes the bottom, he starts caregiving for a disabled teen and winds up on a road trip that teaches them both about friendship. Sounds trite (another road trip self-reflection movie) but is actually quite sweet and funny.
It's Kate and Leo in one of the greatest love story movies of all time. Rewatch this classic, but try not to yell at the screen that (spoiler alert) there was room on the door for both of them.
14. Dead Poet's Society
O captain, my captain. I miss Robin Williams. This was one of his best roles as he inspired a classroom of cute rich kids (and probably many moviegoers) to think beyond themselves. Catch Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles before they went on to bigger things.
This movie shows off the dark side of high school friendships. It's worth watching just to marvel over the shoulder pads and '80s styles.
16. Begin Again
I love this movie but I think I love the soundtrack even more. Mark Ruffalo is back on my list again and Keira Knightly is so sweet here. I can't listen to Adam Goldberg's music anymore without hating him after this movie, but I think I have to get over that.
17. Love Actually
I could watch this one again and again and again. There's a reason it makes so many "favorite movie" lists. The music is great, the characters are so darn likable and I could listen to the English accents all day. I still tear up watching the airport scene because in the words of Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister, "If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
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