Thursday, June 06, 2013


This week I decided to focus on films made by women who are known for their acting work-- instead of "Before They Were Famous" it's more like "Before, They Were Famous."  Luckily, most of them still do their fine work in front of the camera, so that statement isn't totally true, but I like punctuation jokes, so there you go. Betty Thomas is the only one from this list who seems to have hung up her acting hat for good once she started directing. In fact, most people of a certain generation or later rarely know her from her most famous stint as a sergeant on Hill Street Blues.  Thanks to the magic of the internet, however, you can remedy that deficiency- Netflix has HSB available on DVD, and Hulu has three seasons available for streaming. Sounds like we're all going to be busy, so let's get to work and QUEUE THIS!

Only You (dir Betty Thomas, 1992)  Netflix says: "Luckless dollhouse designer Cliff Godfrey (Andrew McCarthy) gets dropped by his fiancée just before their trip to Mexico, but when the dejected ex hits it off with gorgeous party girl Amanda Hughes (Kelly Preston) at a bar, he finds himself a new travel mate. In this romantic escapade, the vacation turns disastrous as Amanda plays peekaboo with her intentions, but travel agent Clare Enfield (Helen Hunt) proves a friendly face in a foreign land." There are a lot of Thomas' films on Netflix, but only two are available for streaming. How could I resist this one with Andrew McCarthy being so classic Andrew McCarthy-like-- and he plays a freaking dollhouse designer!! Also, it looks like this is Thomas' first feature. Netflix-- you are amazing! (btw, she did a bunch of tv directing before 1992.)

Agnes Brown (dir Anjelica Huston, 1999)  Netflix says:  "Salt-of-the-earth working mom Agnes Browne (Anjelica Huston) must fend for herself and her brood of seven children when her husband suddenly dies. Fortunately for Browne, her best friend, Marion Monks (Marion O'Dwyer), is on hand to add support and plenty of laughter. Wishing to escape, Agnes even dreams of finding enough money to attend an upcoming Tom Jones concert. The film captures a slice of Irish life in 1967 Dublin."  

I Hate Valentine's Day (dir Nia Vardalos, 2009)  Netflix says: "Set on Valentine's Day, a commitment-phobic florist persuades a handsome restaurateur to take a chance on a no-strings-attached relationship."  I wasn't sure if I should include this due to its bad reception when it was released and the low ratings on Netflix, but I recently heard Vardalos speak about the difficulty she ran into when making the film, so I thought, "Let's support the woman!" Also, I grew up in a flower shop and have mixed feelings about V-Day, so I'm extra curious.

In the Land of Blood and Honey (dir Angelina Jolie, 2011)  
Netflix says: "Danijel, a Bosnian Serb soldier serving under his father's command, reunites with Ajla, a Bosnian Muslim woman he was involved with before the war, when she is captured by his camp and forced to work as a sex  slave."  This woman's had a rough couple months, just queue it.

W.E. (dir Madonna, 2011)  "This glossy ensemble drama juxtaposes the lives of famous divorcée Wallis Simpson and Wally Winthrop, a young 1990s housewife. Wally yearns to have a romance as dramatic as Wallis's but soon discovers that history can be misleading."

QUEUE THIS! is a weekly post by Destri Martino that appears on the Broad Humor Blog every Thursday morning. The goal of the post is to get more women-directed films in Netflix queues in order to make a sizable impact on Netflix analytics and buying patterns; thus, getting more films by women directors distributed and seen, and generally heightening awareness about this often overlooked pool of talent. View the past two QUEUE THIS! posts here and here.

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