While spending nearly a month in a foreign country this past summer, I noticed during my trip that some of my favorite movies and shows on my Netflix list were no longer available right where I had left them. What I had found in turn is that some movies and shows I had never seen before on Netflix had taken their space in “recommended shows”. I had come to realize that not every country has the same contracts with the same companies on Netflix. For instance, I was devastated when Netflix and MTV no longer had a contract and I could no longer stream episodes of Teen Wolf. But in Ecuador, I could watch all the Dylan O’Brien I WANTED. I have to admit right off the bat that most of these gems are what would be considered “chick flicks” or “rom-coms” but I like what I like. I’m the girl totally all for action or horror films, but most of the films I discovered this trip were rom-coms. Here I name my top 10 gems that American Netflix lacks that Ecuadorian Netflix offered me.
10. Clueless (1995)
Leave out this teen girl cult classic? As if! While I am far more of a Paul Rudd fan than a Silverstone fan, I would be insane not to include this fan favorite somewhere on my list. After all, what girl doesn’t want Cher’s closet?! And I could only wish I could debate my professors from a B/C to an A the way she does. And we all can just admit right now we all wish we were Rollin’ With The Homies straight to Josh’s heart.
9. Something Borrowed (2011)
To me, there’s just something so enticing in a film about the fact that a 30 year-old goody-two shoes lawyer has to choose between a 20+ year friendship and a possible relationship with her best friend’s fiancée. These movies, which I call ‘bored housewife movies’, are 100% my guilty pleasure. When the stakes are high, the drama is just too good to pass up on. And besides, who doesn’t just love Kate Hudson?
8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
If you can honestly say you didn’t like Perks, you’re lying. The best way I can even summarize this movie is that a boy named Charlie finally meets those friends some of us wait a lifetime for. The people stories say we meet that come and forever change us. It’s not just romantic relationships that stories say give us our happy ending, sometimes that happy ending comes from friendships that change us for the better. It’s when we find those people that truly make us feel infinite that we truly find that hapiness.
7. Easy A (2010)
This one sure surprised me how much I liked it. It was no surprise that Emma Stone (Olive) is both extremely gorgeous and hilarious and that anything with Amanda Bynes I will find humorous, but seeing that the last time I saw Aly Michalka (Rhiannon) was on Disney Channel as a preppy country club girl in a riches-to-rags story in Cowbelles, I had no idea how talented and funny she also was. And I have discovered-I may hate Dan Humphrey, but I do now love Penn Badgley as an actor. Long story short, a girl in high school fakes her non-virginity at her gossip-fueled school to gain not only popularity, but money from her alleged suitors across school. When she begins to be shamed for her ‘adulterous actions’ she channels her inner Hester Prynne and sports a scarlet A across her chest.
6. Juno (2007)
Choosing a gif for this one was so hard because every line of this film, without that “trying too hard” feel, was comedy gold. Some comedies, you can just tell how hard the writers tried to make the film funny, and that takes away from the comedy. In Juno, Ellen Page and Michael Cera were effortlessly funny in a tale of teen pregnancy that didn’t glamorize it yet didn’t over dramatize it in the “my life is over” way that reality tv depicts it to be. Juno shows the very real struggles of teen pregnancy in a comedic, yet relatable, way.
5. John Tucker Must Die (2006)
John.Tucker. The way I would best describe this movie is a loosely differentiated Mean Girls. The writers essentially took the plot of MG and changed a few details and thus John Tucker Must Die was born. Enter innocent, not immediately noticeable, but still attractive, new girl (basically Cady) who notices 3 differently popular girls from different cliques were being cheated on by….John Tucker (The male Regina George) who is captain of the basketball team and the most popular guy in school. The girls devise a plan to take down John Tucker (sound familiar?) by using said new girl to make him fall in love & rip his heart to shreds. All in all, it’s a girl power,high school clique-y movie about a girl who gets too lost in the plan and has to find her way back. I may bag on it for being basically Mean Girls (and who know whether or not some of the same writers were involved) but there’s a reason I loved Mean Girls, and it’s the same reason I’m obsessed with John Tucker Must Die, so no complaints here… Plus any extra excuse to see Sophia Bush act or a long-haired Penn Badgley, I’ll take.
4. If I Stay (2014)
Talk about a total cry-fest. I was bawling at 3am all alone in my room for the entirety of this movie. And I regret nothing. It’s a classic story of a young first love that was so strong it seemed to shake the whole world. When Chloe Grace Moretz’s character, Mia, gets in a horrible car accident with her entire family, the story is told from her flashback/’ghost’ perspective as her life and love with Adam (Jamie Blackley) ‘flashes before her eyes’ as she has to make the tough decision whether or not to let the accident take everything away from her, or to fight for her life. *cries thinking about it* If they ever made a sequel base off of Where She Went, I’d be the first in line.
3. Now You See Me (2013)
My argument for this movie comes in two words. Dave. Franco. If you think magic isn’t attractive, just wait until Dave Franco’s goofy smile flashes across your screen and he throws some cards- you will re-evaluate all previous beliefs. Trust me. In all seriousness, magic is just plain cool. The magic tricks and special effects in this film are insane. It may take a second watch to fully understand whole storyline the way they mess with your head, but it’s SO worth it. Four stranger magicians who were recruited by a secret society called The Eye must band together to form The Four Horsemen and perform the tasks required. No questions asked. It’s a crime/action movie you can’t look away from. Not only that, but 3 years later and they have brought back even more Franco with NYSM2. *prays there’s a third*
2. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Coming in at #2 is one of my FAVORITE movies. Based off of The Taming of the Shrew, I present 10 Things I Hate About You. (I was not trying to rhyme) I will have to admit I adored the 1 season stint in 2010 on ABC Family slightly more than the movie, despite the horribly unresolved ending brought on by an abrupt cancelation. However, I am OBSESSED with this film. Heath Ledger perfectly portrayed the Aussie (Although, later American in the series) motorcycle-riding bad boy of Padua High who was paid by Joey Donner to take out Katerina Stratford (the ‘Shrew’). The rule in the Stratford home is that as long as Kat is not dating, her younger popular sister Bianca may not date. As Kat is a rebel, hardcore, take-no-crap feminist, finding a boy that is not scared her and that she genuinely likes is a difficult feat. Enter mysterious attractive Aussie. In the hopes of taking out Bianca, Joey pays Patrick to take out Kat. Despite his bad intentions, we discover there is a different side to Patrick behind his bad boy exterior and we fall in love with him-and his accent- but no surprise there, Heath edger made it almost effortless to fall in love with mystery boy Patrick. Also if anyone can find me a Patrick Verona (from the series, not the movie- he actually liked Kat first, he wasn’t paid by a Joey, unlike in the film) I will gladly take donations.
1. We Are Your Friends (2015)
Despite it’s surprisingly low showing in the box office and by critics, coming in at #1 is We Are Your Friends. Besides the fact that it is the most recent movie I have yet to have discovered on Netflix, Max Joseph (HUGE fan, btw) did a fantastic job of capturing the essence of this generation and pulling great performances out of the actors. This generation is largely influenced by EDM and rave culture. Coachella and EDC are big examples of that. We are the party scene. Although the mantra “Are we ever going to be better than this?” was meant as a cry for change, I choose to also see it as “we will never be this young again. We are at our prime age. We are living the ‘dream’. Are we ever gonna be better than than this?” We are the generation of DJs, Promoters, Managers, Ravers, Festival-Goers, Dreamers. EDM (Electronic Dance Music) has taken over the scene. It’s all over the radio. Artists like Zedd and Martin Garrix are household names. During Festival Season stores are lined with ‘festival-type’ clothes, the ‘festival collection’. We’ve left an impression. There’s no better feeling than being in the middle of a field or a desert having the music pulsing through your whole body and as the bass drops the whole crowd goes wild. You can’t beat that feeling and the fact that Max Joseph could so effortlessly capture and recreate that feeling is unbelievable. This story is about so much more than the music, though. It’s about friendship, love, living, death, safety, choosing what’s comfortable vs. the unknown, career, even family. It is so much more than ‘just a DJ movie’, and once the critics look at it from the millennial’s point of view, they’re bound to see a different movie.
Although I love the shows I find here in the States on Netflix, Ecuador had movies cornered. I have now since found myself obsessed with movies and I plan on finding these gems on Amazon so I can physically own them for years and years to come. I look forward to discovering more movies I’ve fallen in love with. After all, as Squirrel said in WAYF, “The best part of anything really. It’s the moment before it starts.”