Our staffers have some recommendations for what you can watch at the theater or in the comfort of your home this weekend.
Miles Surrey: The Room might be the best bad movie ever made. The Disaster Artist is certainly the best good movie based on a bad movie, based on a book about the bad movie being made, ever made. Once you’ve learned about The Room, and have gone to see The Disaster Artist, I’m sure you’ll agree.
K. Austin Collins: Call Me by Your Name tells the story of two people wrapped up in a painfully brief summer romance that starts, funnily enough, with them a little at odds. You get the sense, by the end, that they wish they’d had more time, that they wish they had discovered each other’s wants a little sooner. It’s almost improbable that they wouldn’t get along. Elio is a precocious young musician whose sense of humor amounts to playing Bach tunes in the style of other composers and seeing who’ll notice the difference — he’s a nerd. And a joy. As wonderfully fleshed out by [Timothée] Chalamet, Elio’s got a vibrant restlessness in him, a boldly unsuppressed curiosity that pushes him in the bookish Oliver’s direction. You could say [Armie] Hammer, meanwhile, who’s 6-foot-5, blond, and royally handsome, is playing to type. He’s a little bit of a bro, but deceptively smart.
Shea Serrano: A summation of Coco is as such: A little boy wants to be a musician, but his family does not want him to be a musician, but it doesn’t matter because the universe wants the little boy to be a musician, and so through mysticism and majesty, the little boy becomes a musician.
Here’s the thing, though — and I almost don’t even want to use “here’s the thing, though” to begin to describe this because it’s so huge — but here’s the thing, though: The little boy — and everyone else — is Latino. And what’s more, they are (a) Latino while (b) in a movie that is being presented not as a backdoor totem, but as a very real, very legit, potentially canonizable entry into the Pixar universe.
Andrew Gruttadaro: On Monday night, MTV premiered a reality show called MTV Floribama Shore. As you can surmise, Floribama Shore is brought to you by the same geniuses who made Jersey Shore, and like that show, Floribama Shore is a gloriously trashy TV show about a group of strangers who move into a house together and spend a summer drinking, hooking up, and fighting. That all makes sense, and honestly it’s about time MTV rebooted Jersey Shore. But first, a question: What is Floribama?
Alison Herman: Throughout She’s Gotta Have It, I kept wishing [Spike] Lee and his collaborators would narrow their focus enough to definitively commit to one version of the show over the other. I can handle Lee’s famously idiosyncratic dialogue in a parallel-universe Brooklyn where community meetings explode into Black Lives Matter protests; I just can’t incorporate it into the same world where Nola gets a sober lesson in the very real challenges facing New York City public school students. Similarly, another character makes a stray observation about Nola’s allergy to commitment. Rather than explore the ordinary psychology behind that ordinary problem, however, She’s Gotta Have It is distracted by staging dramatic confrontations, like a Thanksgiving dinner between a woman and her three love interests no actual person would arrange. She’s Gotta Have It is two fascinating ideas spliced into a hopelessly muddled one, doubling its scope and also its frustration.
Herman: The first season of mystery-comedy Search Party was a pleasant, if tart, surprise. With its well-calibrated combination of genuine suspense and sharp-edged satire, the TBS show became a late-breaking addition to many year-end best-of lists and a well-deserved vehicle for Alia Shawkat, 13 years after her breakout role as Maeby Fünke on Arrested Development. Shawkat played Dory Sief, a 20-something Brooklynite who finds an outlet for her post-college ennui in a missing-persons case involving a former classmate. Over a 10-episode first season (which TBS helpfully made available in full to binge over Thanksgiving 2016), Dory recruited her reluctant boyfriend and indifferent best friends to a makeshift, amateur detective squad, heading up a hunt that took them all the way to Montreal.