Since most of our local cinemas are temporarily closed, this week’s Freeze Frame will focus on three “feel good” films currently available to stream at home, ones that can provide some uplift in trying times.
Available on Amazon Prime, “The Big Sick” might, at first blush, sound like something from the Lifetime Network, but it’s so much better. Pakistani-American standup comic Kumail Nanjiani plays himself in the true story of his romance with a white, non-Muslim girl, played by Zoe Kazan. The initial cultural conflicts take a back seat when she suffers a serious health crisis. Yes, it earns its R-rating thanks to adult themes, but “The Big Sick” is smart, hilarious, touching and has a terrific supporting cast. If it doesn’t move you, maybe YOU need to check into the hospital. “The Big Sick” was my pick as the best film of 2017.
“Fighting With My Family” is a pleasant PG-13 surprise that’s currently streaming on Hulu. This funny and heartfelt comedy tells the true story of Raya Knight, a British teenage girl who became WWE Superstar, Paige. Florence Pugh plays Paige, the young girl mentored by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and trained by Vince Vaughn.
You don’t have to know a pile-driver from a cactus clothesline to enjoy it. It’s strange that a movie about scripted matches has such genuine emotion. “Fighting With My Family” is a real crowd-pleaser.
Low-key charm is not a quality that’s valued much in an age of special effects-heavy blockbusters. But it’s the very thing that propels the comic father-daughter drama “Hearts Beat Loud” now on Hulu. Nick Offerman plays an irresponsible man who wants his daughter to be in a pop band with him. She wants to go off to medical school. “Hearts Beat Loud” is sweet-natured and has a very appealing pop score.