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Summer Watch Recap

  • Post Author
    by Talk
  • Post Date
    Thu Aug 17 2023

By Sarah Kirsch

After a summer of watching movies and enjoying an emptier Madison, I recapped my Letterboxd to see what kind of movies I have been watching. A solid 13 — some rewatched multiple times — were on my watch list. To celebrate the end of the summer season, I ranked every movie I watched this summer from best to worst.

1. Nimona (2023)

Starting off strong with my favorite movie of this year, I watched “Nimona” three times in July alone. It's fast-paced, has great representation and had totally lovable characters. There was nothing I disliked about it besides that I haven't read the graphic novel yet! 

This will likely stay my favorite movie that has been released in 2023, and I always recommend it to my friends that are looking for a movie to watch. For my deeper thoughts on it, read my review here

2. Imagine Me & You (2005)

Recommended by my friend, “Imagine Me & You” fought hard for my #1 spot. I have always looked for more WLW (women-loving-women) films but have found it difficult to find ones with pure, queer joy storylines — where they don't die and actually have a thought-out relationship. 

“Imagine Me & You” is cheesy and romantic, and it features many stereotypical tropes (e.g. girl works in a corner flower shop), which I really enjoyed seeing in a WLW film. “Happy Together” by The Turtles was the closing song, which I became obsessed with after watching the film. Pure queer love!

3. Spoiler Alert (2022)

With quite opposing tones from the first two on this list, “Spoiler Alert” is a heartbreaking film that reflects on a gay couples' history of falling in love. It's romantic in a devastating sort of way. Yes, I sobbed for the last thirty minutes of the movie. 

I always appreciate Jim Partsons' acting, and this film is no different. It's an emotional movie, but it was so well done that I had to rank it high even though it made me sad. Sad, in a wistful way. 

4. Summerland (2020)

Also recommended by my friend, “Summerland” is a WLW movie that takes place during World War II. Much of the storyline is actually not the two women together, but rather the writer Alice reflects on their relationship that had taken place in the past.

There is a great plot twist that I will not spoil. I gave this movie five stars on Letterboxd and truly feel like it deserves it.

5. Beautiful Boy (2018)

As a fan of just about any film with Timothée Chalamet in it, I was surprised by how long I went without watching this film. I was hesitant to watch originally because of the drug aspects (in fear that it would make me emotional), but I actually really adored this movie.

One of WSUM's Traffic Directors recommended this movie (shoutout Krissy), and the film made me cry, as you would except. A lovely film. 

6. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Unintentionally placing two Timothée Chaalmet movies in a row, “Call Me by Your Name” has always been my devastating, comfort movie. I do not love it for the relationship but for solely Elio's character. 

While I think the book is better, this film narrates Elio's self-acceptance as he grows up and becomes more comfortable with his identity beautifully. The book goes into more detail, especially of what he's thinking. I especially adore his relationship with his parents and the vulnerability of Elio's character.

7. Barbie (2023)

Everyone has been raving about “Barbie” this summer, and I can't blame them. Some WSUM members and I went to see this together and reviewed it for our podcast. All-in-all, I can see why people adored this, especially women. 

I really appreciated the messages in this movie but found myself struggling to relate to it in full capacity. I am a huge fan of Greta Gerwig's movies, but I probably wouldn't watch it in the theater again — hence the mid-list rating. 

8. Red, White & Royal Blue (2023)

Only being released last week, I have watched this film three times since it was released. I stand by my opinions in my review that the book is better, but for those that haven't read the book, the movie doesn't openly miss much. 

I definitely would've rated this higher if there weren't so many other good movies that I have watched as well. It's a great movie, and I would recommend anyone that watched it to read the book as well. 

9. The Fallout (2021)

I originally watched “The Fallout” only because of the main characters, Maddie Ziegler and Jenna Ortega. It should be watched with sensitivity in mind, as it is about a school shooting. I personally think Ortega was great at her role, and for one of Ziegler's new-ish acting roles, she did great as well. 

I think some plotlines were opened and then not properly closed, which I found myself wishing the movie was longer. The chemistry was there, but I can't always watch this movie because of how emotional it makes me.

10. But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)

Would you believe me if I told you I watched this for the first time this summer? I never understood the comedic aspect of it until my friends sat me down and forced me to watch the Director's Cut of it. While I was skeptical at first, I ended up finding it funny. However, it wouldn't be my first choice to watch. 

11. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (2022)

As a fan of Whitney Houston's music, I found this movie to be entertaining and energetic. I learned new things about Houston that I never knew, and I found it very interesting. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” is only low on this list because I likely wouldn't seek it out again.

12. TÁR (2022)

I watched “TÁR” only for Cate Blanchett and the fact that there was queer characters. As I watched, I was confused by the storyline and had a difficult time following along. However, I loved the musical aspect and enjoyed seeing Blanchett play piano. 

If I rewatched this film, I probably would understand and enjoy it more. Blanchett's acting is amazing as always, but I don't know if I would want to seek this film out again. 

13. Bros (2022)

I had many thoughts about “Bro” after watching it, including pausing the movie 12 minutes in to look up who the director was. I personally thought the jokes were very unfunny and borderline patronizing. The fact that my straight friend recommended it to me as a “really great gay movie” also made me dislike the movie even more.

While I don't have the experiences of MLM (male-loving-males), I thought the representation was a little disingenuous and possibly harmful. I can respect that it was written by a queer man, but I still really disliked it. 

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