Netflix A-Z Double Feature: The Pill & Quartet

I know double features are a rarity in Netflix A-Z with the exception of Nymphomaniac Vol 1 & 2 ( review HERE). However, the season has been rather busy and I’ve been more obsessed with watching Gilmore Girls than actually watching movies. In fact, this one has a little cheating to it because the Q selection in general on Netflix is so tiny and I only wanted to watch something fun during the holiday season that I just decided to bring back the Q Selection.

Let’s start this.

The Pill (2011)

The Pill

Director and writer: J.C. Khoury

Cast: Noah Bean, Rachel Boston, Anna Chlumsky, Jean Brassard, Al Thompson, Dreama Walker

Worried that he has gotten the free-spirited Mindy pregnant after an unprotected one-night stand, Fred feigns romantic interest and sticks by her side for twelve hours to make sure she takes both doses of the morning-after pill. – IMDB

Its hard to pinpoint how I feel about The Pill. Its something I’ve been saying recently. Its more of an indifferent feeling that I have after watching it. While The Pill has a few rather nice moments, there is also something that lacks believability in it. Let’s break it down a little. For starters, Rachel Boston is fantastic as always as the free-spirited Mindy. Mindy is an intriguing character mostly because there’s a lot of color to her life as we learn about her during the day that she has to take her morning after pills in the company of Fred, played by Noah Bean. On the other hand, the issue I had more was that I didn’t think that Fred was a likable character. In fact, I wanted Mindy to see through his lies especially as he manipulated his way into staying with her during the day while the audience could easily see his intentions was only for his own protection to not have to deal with consequences. However, the story is more about him and his growth and recognition of what to do and what he wanted more than it was about Mindy. Perhaps this is where I think that the way it ended wasn’t necessary because it made the story feel much more generic than it may have been without that ending.

The Pill

There isn’t really much to talk about for The Pill. Its a rather straight forward story and somewhat predictable where its a boy meets girl, one night stand, a day together to get to know each other (probably more than expected from family party, etc.) and then he falls for her, she realizes what he’s been doing and he leaves and realizes how much of it was a mistake. A story like this can only be powered by charming characters and in reality, other than Mindy and at the start, the character felt a little off, Fred and especially his actual girlfriend Nelly was a little unbearable to watch. It helped as the movie went along that we saw Fred and his personality but it was hard to be sympathetic for him or feel like cheering him on. For me, The Pill just didn’t connect the way that it was intended.

Quartet (2012)


Director: Dustin Hoffman

Cast: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins

At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents. – IMDB

[Excerpts from review that I wrote in 2015. Full review HERE]

Quartet is a feel good movie under its little bits of drama, its mostly a comedy with some romantic nuances in it as well.  The older cast and location gives this a lovely little twist.  The setting itself is pretty nice.  This retirement home is located in a big elegant house and its interior design is really nice.  Its outside is surrounded by large green fields and forests. All this is paired with some dashing pieces of upbeat opera segments and orchestral music.  Its done with so much heart and charm that its hard to no like this even a little. Sure, its a little predictable.  I mean, it is a romantic comedy sort of thing but its a different feeling from what it usually is.


The main cast here is with some rather colorful characters.  We have the two men: Reggie (played by Tom Courtenay) who has this silent gentlemanly charm to him while Billy Connolly’s character Wilf, is more open and straightforward with his words and actions.  At the same time, we have a lovable and forgetful Cissy, played by Pauline Collins, who can’t help but just make us laugh a little.  While Jean, is played by the remarkable Maggie Smith.  I loved her  in the Harry Potter movies and in Downton Abbey.  She always has to lovely little sarcasm and then a little elegance and in the most unexpected way a sweet and funny way at times.  She’s absolutely fantastic.  Here is no different.  In the retirement home, she breaks out of her little world that she’s used to and she sees these old folks, like Cissy learning these salsa dances which to her is completely crazy.  At the same time, this movie reminds us that love really has no age limit.  She acts exactly like a first date or feeling nervous about meeting an old love that we’ve never let go of.  But its about putting the past behind us and sometimes, stepping up and being more proud of who we are and embracing the person we’ve become. I think that is the main message here.

Christmas: Christmas Crush/Holiday High School Reunion (TV 2012)

Last minute change in plans has lead me to choosing something random on Netflix.  Why did I choose Christmas Crush out of all the badly rated Christmas movies, you ask? Because for once, I know someone in this movie. That someone is Rachel Boston.  I saw her in Witches of East End and while that show is cancelled and I truly miss it a lot, I guess this makes up for it…We’ll see, right?

Let’s check it out!

Christmas Crush
(also called Holiday High School Reunion)

Christmas Crush

Director: Marita Grabiak

Cast: Rachel Boston, Jonathan Bennett, Jon Prescott, Harry Hamlin, Sunny Mabrey, Julia Voth, Elizabeth Braun, Marilu Henner

When a woman learns of her high school reunion a week before Christmas, she’s ecstatic to finally have her chance to win back the one “that got away”. –IMDB

 The first thing we need to know when we step into these TV Christmas movies is that its not going to be at par. It’ll suffer some normal tropes and that the expectations should probably be a little lower. Christmas Crush suffers a lot of the tropes and there’s a ton of stuff that is wrong.  The first one might be that these characters are go back to reacting as if they were all high school students when they are clearly grown up now.  This can be a little annoying to watch at parts.  For me, the worse might be the high school crush that our main character has.  It was clear that he was a huge douchebag who was definitely now the one that got away.  In all reality, if I was Rachel Boston’s character, I wouldn’t go back to him.  There’s a weird little vibes that go through and sends mixed messages.  The script is a little messy.

Christmas Crush

However, there is a little guilty pleasure.  These types of stories don’t bother me too much. I can adjust my expectations and I pretty much can enjoy a lot of stuff.  Plus, its a Christmas movie with some really ridiculous humor and some feel-good moments.  Rachel Boston’s character, Georgia is finally back home and much to her reluctance, she ends up going to the high school reunion when she hears that her old flame has RSVP’ed. She was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” when she graduated and being ashamed of herself, she tells lies about her career when she is still working hard to be a fashion designer and be able to have her own runway show.  The feuds between old “friends” happen with preppy jealous girls and then, she tries to appeal to her ex when her best friend Ben, who has fallen out of touch since graduation is also back.  Now, the second reason I like watching this is that Ben is played by Jonathan Bennett.  Maybe that name is unfamiliar to you but he’s the love interest in Mean Girls.  He was also in a movie I saw recently called Lovewrecked also playing a similar sort of character, the dispensable best friend who secretly has a crush on the girl. The guy is a decent actor and they have some really cliche but cute moments.  Adding in a Christmas twist is definitely cute and the best parts are the cheesy ridiculous parts where Georgia makes a fool out of herself and Ben tries to bail her out of the mess. Georgia’s character may get a little frustrating but her and Ben are rather good characters that I enjoy seeing.

Christmas Crush

They movie fluctuates between the present and the high school days when they were also rather crazy with their endeavors and getting into troubles with all their bad ideas.  I think the part of this is that Georgia realizes that some of her memories were forced. She thinks she remembers it one way and that all her good memories are with her ex when actually they were with the Ben.  And when she thought that she never had a good guy, its because she let him go without really treasuring his presence.  I’m not one to relate to these since I didn’t date much in high school but it is a pretty typical high school romance sort of story.  The one thing that annoyed me the most was actually the ex.  His character was uber cheesy to an unbearable level. *shivers*  He was really creepy.

christmas crush

Honestly, Christmas Crush is a harmless movie.  Its not memorable and its super predictable and cliche.  However, it makes for some pretty good background noise.  I actually played it in the background a few more times during the night while I was doing something else and it had its fun moments.  It kind of mocks the different sort of people in high school but it does send the right message of knowing who matters in your life and knowing that sometimes its really about appreciating and being grateful for all the things you’ve accomplished and not compare with others.  Its you being happy with you.  For that, this movie worked alright for me.  If it had a less messy and more consistent script, it would’ve been much better and maybe swap the overly cheesy and dumb douche bag ex but then, how do we know that he’s just the wrong person, right? I’m overthinking this now, way more than this probably deserves. Still, I acknowledge its below average but I really didn’t mind watching it. It had a few laughs 😉

Have you seen Christmas Crush? What are your thoughts?