She’s the Man: Viola Hastings is crushed when her high school soccer team is cut, but when she asks to try out for the Cornwall men’s squad, the coach (as well as her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend, Justin) laughs in her face, telling her “Girls can’t beat boys.” Upon finding out that her twin brother Sebastian is sneaking off to London for a couple weeks with his band, Viola develops a crazy scheme to get revenge: she makes herself look like a boy and goes to Illyria (Sebastian’s new boarding school) to pretend to be him, joining the soccer team in hopes of defeating Cornwall in the opening game of the season.
Unfortunately for Viola, keeping up the ruse that she’s a boy isn’t the only challenge she faces; there are also a multitude of complicated, drama-filled high school love triangles that threaten to blow up her big secret! She’s the Man is an absolutely hilarious 2006 rendition of Shakespeare’s famous 1601 play, Twelfth Night, featuring the talents and charms of dynamic-duo Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum. Available to rent from Amazon Prime, iTunes, and other platforms.
The Wicker Man: One of my favorite movies of all time is The Wicker Man from 1973. This movie was one of the most controversial films of its time, bringing up topics like opposing religions and showing a cult and their traditions. The movie centers on Sergeant Howie, a policeman sent to the small island of Summerisle to investigate a missing child. Little does he know, he is walking into a very strange cult, and there is much more to this island than it seems. The imagery and dialogue throughout this film is jarring and stays with you even after you finish it, and has made its mark on horror films, inspiring films like Midsommar and Pet Sematary. If you love horror like I do, check out The Wicker Man for a scare that hits you and stays with you. Available to rent from YouTube Movies, Amazon Prime, and other platforms.
Labyrinth: If you’re looking for an old-school cult classic, you’ve found it. This iconic Jim Henson film stars not only Jennifer Connelly, but David Bowie. Prior to his appearance in Labyrinth, he played leading roles in five award-winning films. David Bowie portrays a goblin king named Jareth, who takes away young Sarah’s (Jennifer Connelly) baby brother, Toby. Jareth brings Toby to his castle in the Labyrinth, where Sarah must find him before the next 13 hours are up. If she fails to beat the Labyrinth, her baby brother stays with the Goblin King. and she will never see him again. She fights her way through the Labyrinth, making friends and surviving the seemingly impossible maze. Oh, also, it’s a musical. The soundtrack is both written and performed by David Bowie, which makes the movie even more unique. What makes this movie so interesting is its ability to walk the line of “I never want to see that again” and “I definitely need to watch that again” so successfully. In its time (1986), it was a flop, but now, it’s a favorite amongst the fantasy fanatic community. This standalone film is a must see for any movie lover. Available to rent on Amazon Prime and other streaming sites.
Looking for a page-turner while you’re social distancing? Our Driftwood staff provides some of our favorite light reading picks to pass the time while cooped up at home.
My Life Next Door
by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Everyone in the small coastal town of Stony Brook, Connecticut thinks 17-year-old Samantha Reed has it all: perfect looks, perfect grades, perfect house, perfect family. And yet, every day, Sam sits on her balcony and longs for things to be different. Her wish comes true when the dreamy boy next door, Jace Garrett, climbs up her terrace one summer evening and turns her life upside-down. Sam falls wildly in love, not only with her kindhearted new boyfriend but also Jace’s family; his parents and seven siblings are loud, messy, chaotic, affectionate, and full of unconditional love. Then, just when Sam feels happier than ever before, tragedy strikes, and she’s faced with an impossible decision: Should she stay loyal to her own “perfect” family, or save the Garretts, who are perfectly imperfect in all the right ways? Full of endearing characters and a heartwarming story, My Life Next Door is an irresistible summer romance that you’re guaranteed to enjoy from start to finish!
The Wrath and the Dawn
by Renée Ahdieh
Due to the worldwide pandemic, many potential vacation plans have come to a halt. But if you’re still looking to scratch that travel itch, I might have a solution: consider Renée Ahdieh’s fantasy novel, The Wrath and The Dawn, inspired by A Thousand and One Nights.
The country of Khorasan lives in fear of their cruel ruler, Khalid. Every night, the king takes a new bride, and every morning, she is killed. Shahrzad, a young woman, loses her best friend by the king’s hand and volunteers to be his next bride, with plans to kill him instead to avenge her friend’s death and put an end to his reign of terror. She survives the first night by telling Khalid a story with a cliffhanger, promising to finish the story the next night. Shahrzad manages to survive night after night, and soon discovers the Caliph is not what he seems…and even finds herself falling in love. This book is perfect for anyone who likes a bit of mystery, magic, and even romance. But be warned: it ends on a massive cliffhanger, so make sure to have a copy of the sequel, The Rose and The Dagger, on hand before you start!
Here are just a few of the albums that are keeping us dancing while we stay at home.
Nobody is Listening
Nothing starts the new year off right better than new music, and Zayn’s latest album did not disappoint. Released on January 15, 2021, Nobody Is Listening is the former boy-bander’s third studio album and is quite different than his previous projects, which have been more R&B based. With only 11 songs, it’s relatively shorter than his earlier works. Nobody Is Listening opens with a spoken-word rap (“Calamity”), ends with a guitar-driven ballad (“River Road”), and hits every stop in between. You’ll cry, feel unstoppable, fall in love, and wonder “is anybody listening?” all within the span of 35 minutes. Singer Syd and British rapper Devlin are also featured on two tracks. If you’re looking to explore a new style of music, I can’t recommend this album enough!
Favorite tracks: “Tightrope” and “Sweat”—Olivia Meyer
by Dua Lipa
Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa is the bubblegum pop that we’ve all been needing throughout this pandemic. Beginning with her big hit “New Rules,” Lipa has set herself up as a true-blue pop star who brings a disco flair to this record. Every track is pure sugar and honey; her unique vocals bring power and coyness in the best kind of way. Be sure to check this one out for good vibes and the most unique pop this year has to offer.
Favorite Track: “Levitating”—Sydney Sebert
by Taylor Swift
Everybody knows Taylor Swift for her kitschy pop-country sound, her big blonde curls, and her debut role as an actress in Cats. In July of 2020, she surprised her fans with her secret album, Folklore. Having loved her music since I was about eight years old, I stayed up all night to listen to the album. It has been one of my favorites since. Her old sound was quite youthful and straightforward. She was young, so this makes sense. Folklore is mature and has a certain depth that she touched on briefly in her 2012 album, Red. Taylor showcases her ability to write not only for herself, but for others. Bon Iver is featured in “Exile,” one of the more popular songs on the album. Folkore is classic. It’s timeless, and Swifties can attest, it is a seriously killer album.
Favorite Track: “Exile” featuring Bon Iver—Aleida Toebe
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