at the risk of sounding like a total fuddy-duddy, i'm fairly new to the netflix world, having finally took the plunge for the gilmore girls reboot in november and sticking with it because i got hooked on stranger things. here's what i've been watching lately, for better or worse. more recommendations, please!
audrie & daisy: 8/10
be forewarned that if you decide on this documentary, your evening (or day) is about to take a pretty dark turn. audrie & daisy explores the world of teen sexual assault and cyber-bullying through two recent cases. it was fascinating and very well done, but i was utterly disgusted by the lack of remorse and self-awareness on the part of both the boys involved in the cases and the sheriff who led the investigation of daisy's case ... to the point where i was actually yelling expletives at the TV. still, very much worth watching.
tiny furniture: 7/10
i fiiiinally got around to watching this indie film, written by and starring lena dunham of girls fame before she created the show. between the plot (aimless post-grad millennial moves back in with her mom, complains a lot, and has cringe-worthy sex with a terrible dude in a large metal pipe) and the other stars (jemima kirke, who plays jessa on the show, and alex karpovsky, who plays ray), it's basically like an extended girls episode. if you're a fan of the show, this isn't a bad thing, and it was equal parts enjoyable and infuriating in the same way.
y'all know that i'm always down for a good out-of-order love story a la 500 days of summer, or my personal favorite, peter and vandy. comet drew me in by promising a similar plot ... and justin long. the only difference was that it was supposed to take place in "a parellel universe." maybe i'm dense, but i didn't even notice this element in the movie, nor did i understand why it was necessary. a couple more gripes: it was paaaainfully slow at parts, and the female protagonist, played by emmy rossum, was a total pretentious bitch. actually, the whole movie had an air of pretension that was just lame and didn't sit well with me. mehhh.
being an adoptee myself, i was intrigued by this documentary about a girl who randomly discovers the identical twin sister she never knew she had through youtube. i'll admit it was a bit plodding at points, but my personal connection to their story kept me watching. plus, it was really cool to witness these pretty amazing milestones: meeting each other for the first time, getting DNA testing, attempting to contact their birth mother. the girls' personalities shone through, and it was a heartwarming watch overall.
good kids: 6/10
i'm never above turning off a movie at any point if i get bored with it or start to dislike it, and i was fully expecting to reach a point of exasperation with this one. however, i found myself at the end, having enjoyed it much more than i thought i would. like a poor man's eurotrip -- minus the whole, um, europe thing -- meets american pie, good kids centers on a group of four sorta-nerdy recent high school grads that want to make up for lost time before they leave for college. yes, there are some extremely silly characters and plot lines, like a hippy-dippy martial arts teacher who calls himself "the lion" and the geeky ringleader prostituting himself to the cougars to whom he teaches tennis lessons, but it's all in good fun. if you don't take it too seriously, it's a perfectly fine summery romp.
the invitation: 8/10
what a delightfully freaky, slow-burning psychological thriller. the basic premise: a man and his girlfriend show up to a dinner party at the home of his ex-wife and her new husband in the hollywood hills, and things just get weirder from there. within the first half-hour, there's a coyote getting hit by a car, a wacky pants-less woman, and a group viewing of a cult video. i lost count of the times i uttered "what the fuck?"/"what is happening right now?" and "ohmygod i'm scared" aloud after that. the wary ex-husband, will, is perfectly portrayed by logan marshall-green, and his expressions were probably my favorite part of the movie. i'd post the trailer, but it would spoil the fun. if you're into creepy, suspenseful b movies, this one's a winner.