Movies are meant to entertain us, to show us worlds unknown to us, and to make us feel all the feels. All of that is beautiful. All hail film and cinema. That being said, sometimes a film, great though it may be, might be the absolute last thing you need to see based on the current circumstances of your life. So here’s a list to help you navigate the overwhelming options in all four of your streaming services (because you just had to get Disney+) so that you don’t end up adding to your suffering.
Condition: You’re stuck in a rut
Don’t watch: Groundhog Day
Everyday feels the same lately. Even your beloved commute podcasts seem to be regurgitating stories and info. Nothing is fresh enough for you, not even your freshly made green juice, you cliché. You go to work, you come home from work, you watch an HGTV show that makes you wonder if you’d be happier if you “went tiny” and lived in a glorified trailer. Another day, another dollar, another frozen Trader Joe’s meal from a bag. This is not the time for you to watch Bill Murray play out the same day over and over and over again. You already want to tear out your hair, and this movie will actually make you do just that. Watch Eat, Pray, Love instead and allow yourself to imagine that you’re traveling the world, and that you’re Julia Roberts. She’s more fun to look at than Bill anyway.
Additional warning: Don’t watch Russian Doll either, for all of the same reasons.
Condition:You have a nasty hangover
Don’t watch: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
I know, I know. Johnny Depp was your first celebrity crush and you think his face might sooth your aching head and queasy stomach. But if that’s your deal, pick Benny and Joon, or Crybaby, or hell, even Blow would be a better choice than this movie. You know how you won’t get off the couch right now because when you do your whole body vibrates with pain and you think you’ve developed a vomit-y version of vertigo? Watching the insane, swerving camera shots of this movie will strip you of any comforts that the couch has to offer. It’s like subjecting yourself to the Tea Cup ride. You’d be better off picking a mumble core film full of talking heads in which very little movement happens. Now, go drink your coconut water!
Condition: You’re newly sober
Don’t watch: Uncut Gems
Oscar-buzz! Adam Sandler! Gritty New York! You’re a sucker for a good review, and now that you’re off the sauce (permanently or temporarily) you want to enjoy a great film with your newfound mental clarity. You feel great, you’re perceptive, and you’re ready to see something that’ll blow your mind way more than a perfect Pinot Noir ever could. And then you watch Uncut Gems. And you realize that, yes, this is a great movie, but the kind of great movie that you never want to experience again, much like Requiem for a Dream or Schindler’s List. To watch this movie is to be fully immersed in Adam Sandler’s panic attack. And you paid $15 for that panic attack. This is a movie that, great as it is, will 100% drive you to drink, so stay away for now. Watch something on Disney+ instead and get your money’s worth.
Condition: You just found out that Santa Claus isn’t real
Don’t watch: The Santa Clause
You’re a late bloomer. It’s okay, girl! Your Disney+ obsession gave you away anyway, so nobody’s surprised. But this could be a rough time for you. Any movie encouraging you to believe in the magic of Christmas might be a bad choice for you right now, but The Santa Clause might be one of the worst. You had watched it before and thought, Tim Allen isn’t just a sad dad who’s pretending to be Santa Claus to win his child’s love! He didn’t just gain a big belly and make up a world of magical elves! It was real! It was the magic of Christmas! And you really wanted Judge Reinhold’s character to wake up and figure that out already! But now that you know what you know… was he just a big fat (literally) liar? Was he just another delusional, desperate dad like Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire? Wait… Mrs. Doubtfire is a sad movie too, isn’t it? What was your childhood? You’re spiraling, and you don’t need that right now. You need to remind yourself that you are a grown ass woman and get off watching a Ryan Gosling movie. He was on the Mickey Mouse Show, so maybe that will be an easier transition for your infantile self. Adulting is hard, but you got this.
Image: Vents Magazine