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The best films to watch when you want to kick back and relax

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The deadlines are approaching but so is Christmas.

 

What does this mean? Soon it will be time for your well-deserved break. In preparation for that sweet downtime, I’ve come up with a list of films that I believe will get you in a positive and relaxed mood.

Some are pretty obvious, like the odd fairytale and a rom-com. Some less so, with a little Wes Anderson here and a little Richard Linklater there.

But more importantly, to make it just that tiny bit easier for you, I’ve offered a little heads-up on the pricing of the films on Amazon Video and whether they’re available on Netflix.

So here we go, deep breath in:

The Princess Bride (1987)

  • A beautiful fairytale, set within the classic frameworks of a grandfather telling a story to his grandson.
  • A beautiful girl, Buttercup, falls in love with a farm boy, Westley. They become childhood friends and eventually as they get older, they fall in love with each other. Every time Buttercup would ask Westley for a favour, he would answer ‘as you wish’, and Buttercup knew that this meant ‘I love you’. Eventually, to earn some money for their wedding, Westley leaves to sea, where he gets killed by the Pirates. Buttercup is forced to get engaged to the Prince Humperdinck, but as she tries to escape she is kidnapped by a trio of bandits: Vizzini, Fezzik and Inigo Montoya. What comes next is an adventure full of magic, love, hardships and great humour.
  • The film won 7 awards with a total of 8 nominations.
  • Quote from the film: You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.
  • Available on: Amazon for £49-3.99

 

Love Actually (2003)

  • Cozy up with a loved one with some hot chocolate and marshmallows for this one. It will make you catch all kinds of feels!
  • Made in the best traditions of romantic comedy, by the creators of the Bridget Jones’s Diary and Notting Hill. A heartwarming film, set before and around Christmas.
  • It has multiple storylines that focus on eight couples. The film explores the complexities of these relationships and shows the challenges and difficulties of love, as well as reminding us of its blessings. A true classic!
  • Quote from the film: She’s going to say her final words, not through me, but inevitably, and ever so coolly… through the immortal genius of the Bay City Rollers.
    • Available on: Amazon only for buying for £ 5.49

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

  • One of the most inspirational movies I have seen; beautiful in many ways.
  • Walter Mitty, a very regular guy of an average sort, working a 9 to 5 job, having a very normal and uneventful life, works in a negative assets management department of Life Magazine. Walter is responsible for the cover of the final print edition of the magazine. But suddenly he finds that the negative he was to put in the cover is gone. The photographer who made the negatives is impossible to reach. So Walter Mitty embarks on an incredible journey to find the famous photographer.
  • The film will definitely fire up your wanderlust for the coming winter. And the visuals will keep you on the edge of your seat!
  • Quote from the film: I was saying you know who looks good in a beard? Dumbledore. Not you.
  • Available on: Amazon for £ 2.49 -5.99

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

  • Wes Anderson is a genius. This film is great proof of that.
  • India, the cast, the colours. The whole aesthetics of the film are top notch.
  • Three brothers are on a train journey. While they are way from their daily lives, they cannot help but reminisce and recall long-forgotten memories. Francis, the eldest of the brothers, is the one who organized the trip. Peter, the middle brother, has just left his pregnant wife. And Jack, the youngest, has just broken up with his girlfriend. All three are deeply depressed. And only Francis knows the destination.
  • Quote from the film: Let’s go get a drink and smoke a cigarette.
  • Available on: Amazon £2.49-4.99

 

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

  • For 80s fashion lovers, this is the film for you.
  • The film tells a story of relations between a woman and a man, who meet in the summer of 1977 by having to take an 18-hour drive from Chicago to New York. They don’t quite go along with each other at first. Harry is a witty, forthright and cynical man and Sally is a strong woman that knows what she wants, and is not afraid to speak her mind. Harry ends up telling Sally, by the end of their road-trip, that he finds her attractive and that no man can be friends with a woman he finds attractive. Sally disagrees. Soon, both of them will realise that they are constantly on the brink of being more than just friends. Will they ever get together? Was Harry right about a friendship between a man and a woman?
  • Quote from the film: ‘It is so nice when you can sit with someone and not have to talk.’
  • Available on: Netflix, Amazon for £ 2.49-7.99

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

  • One of the most critically acclaimed films of the 2000’s.
  • The story of Jamal Malik, an 18-year-old young man from Mumbai, stars on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’. To answer the questions, Jamal recalls his past. But only one question away from victory he is arrested on the counts of cheating. As the film goes on, we become witnesses to the immense hardships he has gone through, despite his young age. Will he manage to prove his innocence?
  • Won 8 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director! (Jai Ho!)
  • Quote from the film: My enemy’s enemy is a friend.
  • Available on: Netflix, Amazon for £ 2,49-5,99

The Breakfast Club (1985)

  • An iconic film and a John Hughes comedy classic.
  • Five absolutely different students in terms of character, upbringing and interests – a school beauty, a popular athlete, a geek, a hooligan and a recluse – all end up spending a 9-hour-long detention together. They have to stay in that one room and write a thousand-word essay. At first, they act in their regular ways. But we soon realize that they are not what they look like. The film is a thought-provoking piece. Did society influence these teenagers to act like they do? Are they conforming to stereotypes? Why? As the film rolls on, we uncover the true personalities of the characters.
  • A very simple yet compelling story that never ceases to entertain whilst remaining relevant.
  • Quote from the film: We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.
  • Available on: Netflix, Amazon for £ 2.49-5.99

Dead Poets Society (1989)

  • Watch it and watch it again. Robin William is genial and not in his usual way.
  • It is 1959 and there is a new teacher of English in Welton Academy, a conservative and quite dull school for boys. John Keating, the new teacher, introduces his own, completely alien approach to teaching. He is eccentric and bold; he opens up a brand new world to the boys – the world of poetry. One of the most unusual practices he applies is making his students stand on their desks to see the world from a new perspective. Inspired by Keating’s lessons, the boys bring back to life the old literary club dubbed the ‘Dead Poets Society’. But things eventually go very wrong…
  • This film is a life changer.
  • Quote from the film: ‘Carpe Diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary!’
  • Available on: Amazon for £ 2.49-11.99

Paris is Burning (1990)

  • This revolutionary documentary has won 16 prizes.
  • It tells the stories of drag queens and people of New York’s LGBT community in the 80’s. As we watch, we become witnesses to the extraordinary lives of the heroes and the heroines of that age. Some of the most prominent figures of the drag scene, like Brooke Xtravaganza, Pepper LaBeija, Willi and Sandy Ninja, all share their experiences and tell us about their famous houses, the balls, the realness and voguing.
  • But despite hardships, discrimination and even rejection by their own families, these people have found their homes and ways to be happy, as they are.
  • Quote from the film: I’m Pepper LaBeija, the legendary mother of the House of LaBeijja. Not the founder, Crystal was the founder; I just rule it, with the soft love.
  • Available on: Netflix, Amazon for £7.67-14.90

Dazed and Confused (1993)

  • If you are looking for something ‘super-chill’, this ‘stoner’ comedy classic is for you.
  • 1970’s Texas, beginning of summer vacation for high school students and everyone wants to have some fun. The whole film is centered on the first night of the vacation. It depicts the age-old adolescent problems of being a fresher at senior high school and the uncertainty of life after graduation. While some are planning ways to make the lives of the freshmen miserable, others are busy worrying about their future, as the night unfolds in unexpected ways.
  • Quote from the film: Shotgun!
  • Available on: Amazon for £ 2.49-5.99

This list is definitely not an exhaustive one but I hope you have found something you would fancy watching. I wish you a fantastic holiday!

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