The pandemic and colder weather inspires me to hunker down in full hygge mode and stream an insane amount of feel-good movies. And what better way to lift yourself out the pandemic doldrums than to stream some Rom-coms or Romantic Dramedies available through San Jose Public Library?
I wanted to share my top Romantic movie picks currently available to stream on Hoopla with San Jose Public Library. Most of these films you’d have to pay to stream online and some are not even offered on Netflix, or Amazon Prime. Why not stream them for free with a San Jose Public Library card? (Disclaimer, the movies are available to stream at this writing, however, they can be removed at any time so catch them while you can!)
Top Binge-Worthy Movies to Stream on Hoopla
Promised Directors: Nick Conidi, Tony Ferrieri
Arranged marriages? In the age of finding your soulmate based on swipes and algorithms, the idea seems archaic and absurd. However, after watching the film Promised, I’m not so sure. Promised, is a recent streaming release (August 2020), and the storyline features a deal brokered between two Italian-American male friends, who one evening in 1953 over dinner, casually pledge their two young offspring to one another in marriage. Like most arranged marriages, there is a bit of drama, tension, and plenty of rebellion on the youngsters’ end, who eventually grow up and have minds and ideas of their own on whom to marry. Despite my initial aversion to the whole arranged marriage thing, the two main characters shared such an amazing chemistry that I found myself rooting for them to wind up together in the end.
Sliding Doors Director: Peter Howitt
Sliding Doors is a movie that plays out two different scenarios. In one version Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow), a successful ad executive gets fired from her job and runs to catch a train. When she arrives home, she finds her lover in bed with another woman, and she promptly dumps him. In the other version, Helen misses the train and although she narrowly misses catching her boyfriend in the act with another woman, she eventually realizes something is amiss with the relationship and moves on. Paltrow’s English accent is impeccable and her love interest, played by Scottish actor John Hannah, is charming. There is also a plot-twist at the end that I didn’t see coming.
Broken English Director: Zoe R. Cassavetes
Broken English tells the story of a New Yorker, Nora Wilder, a thirty-something stuck in a dead-end job who endures a string of disaster first-time dates. She also has an overbearing mother who constantly pressures her to settle down with a “nice guy”. Nora finally stumbles upon Julien, an eccentric Frenchman. Sparks fly and Julien is clearly unlike any of the other commitment-phobes she had previously dated. Although the film received mixed reviews and the cinematography is a bit lackluster, I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet and quirky love story. For those who have ever dated someone who speaks a different first language than their own, they may appreciate the small (and sometimes comical) misunderstandings that arise based on language.The Frenchman character isn't riddled with the typical French clichés, which is also refreshing.
Moonstruck Director: Norman Jewison
Moonstuck is another movie that features likeable Italian-American characters and easily qualifies as a romantic classic; it not only holds an impressive 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the film earned three Oscars including one for Best Actress awarded to Cher. The story features a widow Loretta (played by Cher), who is engaged to one man, Johnny, but finds herself unable to resist the tenacious love-struck advances by his younger brother Ronny, played brilliantly by a young Nicholas Cage. The chemistry between Cher and Cage is charged with so much emotional angst to the point of ridiculousness that I found myself unable to tear away. And there is something about the simplistic themes of family--however much wrought with drama and dysfunction--and love, that I found endearing.