Tig Notaro, as you may have heard, had a majorly shitty year back in 2012. She fell ill, lost her mother, and a few weeks after that was diagnosed with breast cancer. The same day she got that diagnosis, she famously processed the information and her feelings about it onstage at Largo, in what I don’t feel hyperbolic calling one of the greatest stand-up sets of all time. Tig shows us bits of that Largo set, expanded to follow her incredible journey battling cancer, falling in love, and trying to get pregnant. Do not miss this documentary. (P.S. After you watch Tig, head over to HBO to watch her new stand-up special, Boyish Girl Interrupted.)
Hurricane of Fun
Whether or not you’re a Wet Hot American Summer fan (a divisive subject around these parts), I’m pretty confident in saying you will love Hurricane of Fun. A behind the scenes documentary following the production of the original movie (which was supposed to take place on one sunny day of camp, but ended up shooting during a month-long rainstorm), it’s 60 minutes of some of your favorite people in what, for many of them, was their first movie ever, hanging out, being hilarious, and trying to learn the rules to Snaps, the most frustrating game ever invented.
The Rashida Jones-produced documentary about the ever-expanding world of amateur porn earned a less than stellar reputation within the sex industry for pornsplaining and borderline shaming. But for those of us outside the industry, it’s a fascinating and surprisingly nuanced look at what attracts these teenage girls to the profession, and the assembly line speed at which they get churned back out.
An irreverent and over-the-top, yet somehow still sincere and loving, look at mental illness in a movie that may meander a bit, but is firmly held together by the aggressive charisma of Kristen Wiig.
On HBO Go
7 Days In Hell
Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought this was worth including, but apparently there are some people who actually like this tennis bro mockumentary, and find it humorous rather than a tiresome black hole of unfunny nonsense. Go figure.
Other VOD Platforms (Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, etc.)
We haven’t talked about Dark Places since it was released on VOD, and the reason for that is that it’s not worth talking about. It’s a lazy adaptation of a fantastic, thrilling Gillian Flynn mystery that thinks so little of its audience (and has no idea how to even set up a story, let alone an intriguing mystery), watching this actually feels like a personal insult. If you’re thinking about spending money on this movie, those dollars would be infinitely better spent on a copy of the book. Or any book. Or any other movie.
This animated visual poetry, adapted from the Kahlil Gibran novel, has been getting mixed reviews. While it hay have a heavier, more sickly earnest hand than you’d hope for, you can’t deny that that trailer there is more beautiful than almost any movie of recent history.
Like Dark Places, I’m including this movie as a warning. If you need a hate-watch more powerful than all of True Detective season 2, something that’ll really stir up your rage, this is it. It’s like someone was a huge fan of Girls, but thought that the show’s characters were just too likable and relatable.
Digging For Fire
If you’ve been waiting for a Joe Swanberg follow-up that you enjoy as much as Drinking Buddies, you may be left waiting for a while. Still, nobody puts together a cast like Swanberg, and the combined charisma of Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sam Elliott, Brie Larson, Mike Birbiglia, Sam Rockwell, and a full-frontal Chris Messina is more than enough for a satisfying VOD night at home.
Far From the Maddening Crowd
Gender politics, romance, Carey Mulligan is fancy hats… I have no idea what more you could be looking for in a home movie night.
Love & Mercy
I still haven’t seen this Brian Wilson biopic, which has gotten much better reviews than I expected. But it seems like the type of movie you’d want to watch at home because of ALL THE FEELINGS.
This absolutely mesmorizing documentary tells the story of seven siblings whose parents kept them locked away from the world, raised in near-isolation in a Manhattan apartment, and how they turned to movies (and recreating those movies) to stay sane, creative, and human.