What I'm Watching

This is a thread to share all the good things you're watching at the moment, or have recently watched. Serialized shows on broadcast or streaming; films; digital shorts; stand-up; documentaries; performances — whatever! Tell us what you're watching and enjoying these days.

I saw three movies over the weekend, all of which I will recommend heartily! First, a friend and I went to see Rocketman on Friday afternoon.

image of Taron Egerton as Elton John in 'Rocketman,' playing and singing with his foot on the piano keyboard at the Troubadour

I expected to like Rocketman a lot — and I loved it even more than I had anticipated! It is really amazing. I came out of the film liking Elton John even more than when I went in, and I already liked him a lot to begin with, lol. It's just a spectacular film, in every sense of the word.

I don't want to give anything away, so I'll save the details about how it's structured, and just say that I liked the frame wrapped around the story a lot, which totally shouldn't have worked but totally did.

I was extremely pleased by how gay the film is, and also by how seamlessly it demonstrated the diversity of Elton John's influences, especially at a moment where he is talking about right-wing racists trying to undermine a cosmopolitan, multicultural Britain.

I also really loved getting an insight into Elton John's and Bernie Taupin's five-decade (!) friendship and professional partnership. That part of the film was so moving to me, especially seeing how many of the songs we know and adore were written by Taupin for John. It was great to know that Taupin is so positive on the film, too.

Also: I want to acknowledge that there is some controversy about the casting of Taron Egerton as Elton John, because Egerton is not gay. Normally, that would bother me a lot more than it does in this case, but Elton John had worked with Egerton previously (on Kingsman: The Golden Circle) and was personally involved with casting Egerton to play himself — and I feel that his agency is so important. Still, I want to make space for all feelings about that casting.

* * *

On Saturday, Iain and I went to see Booksmart, the directorial debut of Olivia Wilde about two high school besties on the cusp of graduating.

Beanie Feldstein as Molly and Kaitlyn Dever as Amy, in matching outfits, in 'Booksmart'

OMG I liked this film a lot. I am a sucker for female coming-of-age stories, and this is a very good one, which manages to capture the intense, profound, and unique experience of a high school best friendship between girls.

Some things I loved: That one of the besties is queer; that it explores really well the Breakfast Club dynamic of learning about classmates you see every day but don't truly know; that there is no question many boys would find Molly attractive; the way the girls compliment each other; the beautiful shots of Amy in the swimming pool and the two of them arriving at graduation in Jared's car.

It's not a perfect film; I think it loses its way a bit during the big party scene. But overall I enjoyed it immensely. And I have loved watching all the promotional talk show appearances and reading the interviews with Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, who talk so admiringly about Olivia Wilde.

Also: I want an entire film just about the friendship of Gigi and Jared.

* * *

On Sunday, I watched Always Be My Maybe on Netflix, which is the new film by Ali Wong and Randall Park.

image of Ali Wong as Sasha and Randall Park as Marcus in 'Always Be My Maybe'

Listen, I love Ali Wong, I love Randall Park, and I love Daniel Dae Kim, and I love romantic comedies, so there was no way I was not going to like this film. AND I DID!

It is a terrific film with a terrific supporting cast, including and especially a magnificent cameo by Keanu Reeves, playing an asshole alternate-reality version of himself. I laughed a lot.

And what perfect timing for a reminder about how great he is at comedy, in between John Wick 3 and the new Bill & Ted, which comes out next year.

Ali Wong is one of my absolute favorites at the moment, and I can't wait to see what she does next!

Anyway! What are you watching these days?

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