Pop Culture

Killing Time with Family: Netflix Instant Saves the Day

The presents are opened, the roast beast is but an afterthought, there are only two beers left in the fridge and your grandpa gives you the side-eye when you even start towards the kitchen.  Busybody Aunt Pollyanna just brought up politics and it’s about to get ugly.  What do you do?

Whip out your laptop, find a network connection (how you do this is your own business, reader.) pull out the video cable you remembered to stick in your purse and soothe the savage family with one of the following classics from our friend and yours, Netflix Instant.  Ranging from slapstick comedy to family-bonding tearjerker, these will keep Aunt Pollyanna’s trap shut for at least 100 minutes.

5. Pride of the Yankees –  This may not initially seem like the best cinematic offering on the most joyous day of the year, but nothing brings a family together like rooting for old Lou.  By the time the end credits role, no one in your family will remember they hate each other because they’ll be too busy sobbing into each others arms.

4. Slapstick Masters – Four separate features, one each on Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Monty Banks and Laurel & Hardy.  Pretty universally appealing, and funny as all get out.

3. Slap Shot – Paul Newman, rowdy incorrigible hockey players, lots of swearing.  If your family is like mine, this will be a hit.

2. Benji – if there are kids at your family gathering, this is a classic.  It’s engaging and a rare 70’s kids’ film where the dog lives all the way to the end.

1. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane – some families call for a little gas on the fire, just to burn off the extra fuel so everyone can make it until next Christmas.  If this sounds like your family, stir up the old family trifecta of guilt, jealousy and decades old unresolved anger and let Bette Davis and Joan Crawford show you how it’s done.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

4 replies on “Killing Time with Family: Netflix Instant Saves the Day”

Bette’s daughter, B.D. plays the daughter of the nosy neighbor (Anna Lee) at the beginning of “WHtBJ”.

At the end of the film the ice cream vendor is played by Ernest Anderson. He was a waiter at the studio commissary whom Davis discovered and befriended. He had a marvelous role in one of Bette’s films, “In This Our Life”. Here is a blog entry about Ernest and his remarkable performance.
Unforunately Anderson only received small parts after “ITOL”, nothing that matched Parry. It’s a unique piece of African American Hollywood history.

I used to rent “Bringing Up Baby” until my mom obnoxiously queried, “How many times have you seen this movie?” She needs colorful fluff and the film’s dialogue is too fast for her.

Ooooo, may I recommend Pushing Daisies? I just watched the pilot last name with my MIL and a few brothers-in-law, and everyone loved it. Also, it wasn’t awkward with massive amounts of sex (True Blood or basically anything HBO for example), which is a boon when you’re watching with in-laws.

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