The Cuffing Season “Netflix & Chill” Playlist

Chico and Rita
Words by ReBecca Theodore-Vachon

Netflix is now charging a $1 more for millions of its users to strategically plan their film-based flirtation. So it’s more imperative than ever that you have just the right movies lined up to help you close the deal. With the temperature dropping we’ve watched and reviewed ten flicks that are designed to assist whether you make it half way through or all the way to the end. They contain just the right balance of action, humor and sex without being a potential mood killer. Don’t be thrown off by some of the titles (or subtitles), because you will be making a really strong impression for the short and long term. “Chill” is for a night, but Cuffing Season is all winter long.

Chico & Rita (streaming)

After decades of whitewashed depictions of Cuba, we finally get a more authentic depiction of the Afro-Cuban culture.  Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unite them, but their journey—in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero—brings heartache and torment.

2 Days In New York, 2012 (streaming)

Chris Rock plays Mingus, a talk-radio host and journalist who’s settling in with live-in girlfriend Marion (Julie Delpy), when her eccentric parents come to visit from France.  Rock is in top comedic form as he uses his wits and humor to bring both families together.

Red Cliff , 2008(streaming)

While most American moviegoers remember director  John Woo for his stylistic gun-play in action hits like “Face Off” and “Mission Impossible 2”, the epic “Red Cliff” will go down as one of his greatest accomplishments.  Based on the Battle of Red Cliffs in 208-209 A.D. , “Red Cliff” is an intoxicating blend of romance, loyalty, friendship and brilliant military strategy.

 Like Water For Chocolate, 1992 (streaming)

Based on the New York Times bestseller by  author Laura Esquimalt, the story follows Titan, whose heart is broken when the man she loves, Pedro must follow tradition and instead marry her sister Rosaura.  Tita turns to cooking to deal with her grief and soon finds her culinary skills come with mystical side-effects.  

Beyond The Lights, 2014 (streaming)

Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a rising pop star on the cusp of fame of wealth, but feels trapped in an hyper-sexualized image not of her choosing.  When Noni meets police office officer Kaz Nichols, she soon finds the courage to create her own path in the cutthroat music business.

Don Jon, 2013 (streaming)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, plays Joe, a good ole Jersey boy who loves his family, his church…and lots and lots of porn, which leads him to have ridiculously unrealistic expectations when it comes to women and sex.  Dysfunction soon entails when Joe meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) who has her own take on romance and relationships from watching way too many Hollywood rom-coms. 

 Y Tu Mama Tambien, 2001 (streaming)

Best friends Julio and Tenoch  take a last minute road trip with a beautiful and mysterious older woman to visit the most beautiful secluded beach in Mexico, Boca del  Cielo (Heaven’s mouth).  Along the way, all three learn some important lessons on friendship, sex and life.

Middle of Nowhere, 2012 (streaming)

Director Ava DuVernay’s second feature tells the story of Ruby,  who works hard at being a loving and supportive wife while her husband serves  n eight year prison term.  Ruby soon finds herself in a love triangle when she meets Brian, a sweet and earnest city bus driver who reminds her of the life she could have had. Beautifully acted and written, “Middle of Nowhere” is a subtle feminist manifesto that reminds us the most crucial love relationship to have is the one we have with ourselves. 

In The Mood For Love, 2000 (DVD)

Haunting and beautiful, director Kar Way Wong delivers a lush and sensuous love story for the ages. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung play two next door neighbors who form a strong bond after both suspect their spouses of extramarital affairs.  Determined not to make the same mistake, the star-crossed lovers fight against their growing feelings for each other.

Top Five, 2014 (DVD)

Backed by an all-star roster of some of Hollywood’s  funniest  comics (Kevin Hart, Jay Pharoah, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan) “Top Five” is that rare comedy that goes for both the lows and high notes in comedy – and wins on both fronts.  Rock and Rosario Dawson spark on screen, and Cedric Entertainer drops in for a jaw-dropping cameo that will remake you rethink threesomes. 

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