With streaming services continuing to keep up with our demand for comfort viewing, I’ve got something new and something old to recommend this week - both feel-good films to get you (and your family) through tough times. Happy watching!
BEST NEW FILM TO STREAM
FOUR KIDS & IT
If your children are going through films even quicker than they’re going through the contents of your fridge then Sky Cinema is here to help - their brand new adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s much-loved FOUR KIDS & IT is a delight. Telling the story of a family holiday on the Cornish coast which takes an unexpected turn (thanks to a magical, wish-granting animal called Psammead who lives on the beach), Wilson’s tale mixes modern problems with nods back to E Nesbit’s classic original Five Children & It. It’s a blend that should win over even the most cynical of little ones.
Russell Brand stars as Tristan
Adult acting talent comes in the form of Paula Patton and Matthew Goode as Alice and David, a new couple who hope their quartet of children will become a happily blended family during a few days in the West Country (Goode, in particular, is great as an embarrassing dad never quite as cool as he likes to think). But not only do the kids not get on, there’s also the local eccentric Tristan (Russell Brand) to deal with - a man on the hunt for the very same creature they’ve made friends with.
Try Jacqueline's Wilson Four Kids and It
Perfect for young viewers, FOUR KIDS & IT is a refreshingly clean cut and innocent couple of hours, made even more cosy by sumptuous scenery and the cutest cottage this side of Kate Winslet’s in The Holiday. But it’s Sir Michael Caine’s voicing of Psammead that steals the show - more cockney geezer than he’s been for years and clearly relishing the role. If the rest of the film occasionally plays things a little too safe, there’s always his lovably grumpy routine to keep things enjoyably cheeky.
FOUR KIDS & IT [Cert.U] is available now, exclusively on Sky Cinema.
BEST OLD FILM TO STREAM
FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF
Netflix continues to knock it out of the park with its old-skool movie additions just when we need them most. This week it’s eighties classic FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF - perhaps the pinnacle of iconic writer/director John Hughes’ career and a film that lead actor Matthew Broderick still gets asked about on a daily basis, thirty four years after its release. If you’ve never seen it, prepare for something special.
Try out an 80s classic
Broderick stars as the title character: a high-school hotshot and righteous dude who just wants to show his uptight best mate Cameron (Alan Ruck) a good time. With the help of Ferris’s doe-eyed girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and Cameron’s dad’s prized red Ferrari convertible, the trio bunk lessons to soak up the sights of Chicago. There’s a restaurant visit, a baseball game, a trip to an art gallery and even a street parade to enjoy, Ferris consistently several steps ahead of both his parents and his suspicious school principal.
WATCH: The trailer for Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The joy of FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF is, well, its joy. Here’s a film so full of wonder and celebration (of friendship, romance, music, Italian sports cars) that your spirits can’t fail to be lifted. Whilst it’s more than a little knowing - Ferris himself often addressing the camera directly - few movies from the brash eighties feel so genuine. Much of that is down to Matthew Broderick. Baby-faced he might have been, but in real life he was a twenty-something with plenty of acting experience - and it shows. Balancing cockiness with charm, wit with vulnerability, Ferris is a hero not just for a single day off. He’ll be one forever.
FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF [Cert.12] is available now on Netflix.
COMING SOON TO WATCH AT HOME
WATCH: Little Women trailer
Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Greta Gerwig’s fresh, unique and modern adaptation of the timeless Louisa May Alcott masterpiece will wow longtime fans and newcomers alike. And get this for a cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern and Meryl Streep. It’s one to relish.
LITTLE WOMEN [Cert.PG] will be available digitally on 11 May and Blu-ray/DVD on 25 May.