Whether it’s a high school reunion, coming home from a long absence, caring for a loved one, or just coming home on a whim, The Movies on Return home can evoke a lot of nostalgia, angst, or both. For these characters immersed in their old world, the audience can remember their own hometown where memories linger.
“Cinema Paradiso” (1988) – When Italian filmmaker Salvatore Di Vita (Jacques Perrin) learns that his childhood mentor has passed away, he recalls his life spent at Cinema Paradiso, the cinema in his hometown, as a young boy (played by Salvatore Cascio) in love of cinema, then as a young man (played by Marco Leonardi) who dreamed of making them. A love letter to cinema and the power it can have as well as a tribute to traditional cinemas, which are once again experiencing difficult times, now is the right time to revisit the Oscar for best film in the language foreign. Stream it on HBO Max or rent it on Amazon Prime, iTunes, or Vudu.
“Grosse Pointe Blank” (1997) – A fun twist on the traditional high school reunion movie starring John Cusack starring hitman Martin Blank who takes a hiatus after killing after a failed mission and returns to his hometown for his 10 year high school reunion. While there, he meets his ex-girlfriend (Minnie Driver) whom he supported at prom. Meanwhile, another hit is scheduled but Martin begins to reexamine his life and the choices he has made. Rent it on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, and YouTube.
“Garden State” (2004) – A favorite of ‘weird’ high school kids when it came out, it’s now like a time capsule of mid-2000s angst and storytelling. Does it hold up? Not really, it’s quite cranky and has a very stereotypical “indie” plot. Does that mean you should see it again / watch it? Sure! Written, directed and played by Zach Braff as Andrew Largeman, a man who lives his life on a plethora of drugs prescribed to fight mood swings and depression, but the cocktail of pills leaves him unresponsive to the world . When his mother dies, he returns to New Jersey to attend her funeral and also ends up catching up with his high school friends and meets Sam (Natalie Portman), a compulsive liar and standard maniacal pixie dream girl, whom he falls in love with while ‘he slowly comes out of his pill-induced haze and begins to see things clearly for the first time. Stream it on Starz or rent it on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu or YouTube.
“Hook” (1991) – The classic Robin Williams-led fantasy explains what would have happened if Peter Pan had grown up. Well, it turns out he’s becoming a career-obsessed and somewhat absent dad. But when his own children are taken away one night and it turns out the infamous Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) is the culprit, he’s brought back to Neverland to save them and remind us all that you don’t have to. grow completely when you grow up. Stream it on Showtime or rent it on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, or YouTube.
“Peggy Sue Got Married” (1986) – More than just a homecoming, the very ’80s style romance takes it to the next level and sends its protagonist Peggy Sue Bodell (Kathleen Turner) back 25 years to relive her high school years in 1960. She jumps on the opportunity to try and change things that she ended up regretting, like marrying her high school hunk (Nicolas Cage) after getting pregnant, but finds changing the past much more complicated than she thinks. Rent it on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, or YouTube.
“The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001) – While director Wes Anderson had done original independent comedies before, “The Royal Tenenbaums” really put him on the radar of more mainstream moviegoers. When Patriarch Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) tells his family he has cancer, his genius children (Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson and Gwyneth Paltrow), who are all in a post-success crisis, and his ex-wife (Anjelica Huston), who is soon to remarry, flock to him again. More dramatic than Anderson’s recent endeavors, the plot hinges on important topics while retaining those Andersonian eccentricities for which he is now known. Stream it on Amazon Prime or rent it on Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, or YouTube.
“Young adult” (2011) – The black comedy drama generated a lot of buzz when it was released for its star Charlize Theron and its brutal portrayal of the prolonged adolescence that many young adults find themselves in. Theron stars as Mavis Gary, a 37-year-old YA novelist who lives it. days in a half-drunk (or at least hangover) model where she just goes through the motions of a normal adult life. When she learns that her high school boyfriend has had a baby, she travels to her medium-sized hometown to try and win him back. Her plan is devious and her personality is toxic and when paired with an austere Patton Oswalt as Matt, she slowly begins to unveil her truth and her inner demons. Both performances are heartbreaking and the script is surprisingly good from Diablo Cody. Stream it on Amazon Prime or rent it on Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, or YouTube.