Team ATPB loves a good walk down memory lane. We might not be reaching for VHS and DVD copies of our favorite movies and series anymore, but the nostalgia is still in full effect when we rewatch films we’ve loved over the years. There’s something so comforting about revisiting a show or flick that you know every word to and have the soundtrack memorized, too. What nostalgic movies and series are you watching, Pretty Birds?
Nostalgic Movies and TV Series to Watch
While the ever-flowing waterfall of news continues with or without us paying attention, take some time to check-in with yourself and maybe even cue up one of these nostalgic movies and classics to chill out while remembering easier times.
Bring it On (2006)
One of my all-time favorite movies, Bring it On is actually iconic. From the incredible hairstyles and costumes to the pretty relevant plotline – I rewatch this film so often I could recite the dialogue at this point.
This Spike Jonze movie isn’t that old (2013) but was one of the best romantic movies I’ve ever seen. The concept of falling in love with an operating system (OS1) combined with the music, cinematography, and color theory makes it perfect. Scarlett Johansson is the ideal voice for Samantha and I watch this so often when I’m feeling a bit low.
The Borgias (2011)
This is another period drama show that I feel didn’t get the shine it deserved when it debuted in 2011. I love watching The Borgias, set in Renaissance-era Italy and focusing on the rise of the Catholic Church. The opulent costume design paired with brilliant acting from Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia? Such a fave.
Amanda Winnie Kabuiku
Sex and The City (1998-2004)
I know it is a bit cliché, but Sex and The City is fun, real, and accurate. I’m not a teenager anymore, but I think it’s a great series. I remembered being obsessed with Carrie. I wanted to be her. Even though times have changed and since then, all actresses were white in a white New York, where minorities were invisible, it remains a delight. I rediscovered the characters, and I am happy not to find myself so much in Carrie anymore. Now, I discovered that I am more a Charlotte, what a relief! Her back and forth relationship with the unstable and immature Big is not the dream, either. But I love it!
I think I have a problem; I want to identify myself at all costs. Then, every time I watch Sex in the City, I need a Girlfriends’ drip to get back into reality. I watched the series for the first time, while I was an intern in London for an eco-friendly underwear brand. A girl from Los Angeles introduced me to Girlfriends while we were putting the underwear inboxes. I dreamed of being a journalist, thanks to the character of Maya Wilkes. All the characters are beautifully written. Mara Brock Akil wrote a masterpiece that gets better over time. Every topic is current: Black love, interracial relationship, money management, and friendship. I learned that it would soon be on Netflix. I look forward to it.
Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)
I can watch Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain millions of times. It’s one of my favorite French movies with L‘Auberge Espagnole. Audrey Tautou appears in both of them. I saw the first time in a movie theater when the ticket used to cost nothing. The colors and the narration, everything is beautiful. I’m still obsessed with her apartment size in the touristic district of Montmartre. I have a lot of affection for Amélie Poulain, the main character. She is still the French woman’s eponym to me. Her charisma is legendary, so Parisian and, at the same time, so working-class.
The Simpsons (1989-present)
I grew up watching The Simpsons (my mom even watched the series when she was pregnant with me) and I’ve been watching it for as long as I can remember so it’s a show I always revisit. It’s still airing now but I love the old episodes, especially the Treehouse of Horror Halloween episodes. The gifted and brilliant 8-year-old Lisa Simpson was always my favorite character. Nothing reminds me of my childhood more than rewatching classic episodes.
Love Jones (1997)
A movie that brings nostalgia to me that I’ve rewatched lately is Love Jones. I was truly moved when I realized Netflix was showing this popular 90s classic. I was six when this movie came out and I remember so vividly my mom and aunts watching it – covering my eyes on “bad parts”. This romantic drama is my favorite because it displays Black love in a charming way. Larenz Tate and Nia Long made a gorgeous couple and watching them in this film is mesmerizing. Watching as an adult brings much nostalgia, but makes the film more relatable in many ways. The scenes and meaning hold much more weight than they did in the 90s. Love Jones takes it back to simpler times of courtship, true gentlemen, and more intentional dating. Larenz really shows interest in wooing Nia, and I blush the entire movie. If you’re into romance and 90s Black movies, this one’s for you.
Randomly, right before the quarantine lockdown, I decided to watch some nostalgic movies from my childhood that I haven’t seen in years including Annie, the 1982 version. It felt so good to sing along with the iconic songs from Annie, I started playing the soundtrack while cleaning for a few weeks after.
Watching Madeline reminded me of how much I admired her spirit growing up and still do today! She was such a boss, a fighter, and a good and loving friend. Her presence was always felt and I’ll always appreciate having her character to look up to growing up. Watching these two films made me so happy and brought me back to my childhood in ways I haven’t felt in a very long time.
Crooklyn (1994), a Spike Lee classic, will always have a special place in my heart. It feels good because it reminds me of my experiences growing up that I cherish because life comes at you fast. The lead character Troy, a strong leading girl, who was around my age when I first saw the film, that I admired growing up. I’m sure to cry every time I watch but it’s more comforting than painful, it makes me feel like everything will be ok. The lead character Troy is a strong leading girl, who was around my age when I first saw the film. I admired her so much growing up.
The Holiday (2006)
The Holiday is just perfect to me. I never get tired of it and I feel the highs and the lows of the story and characters every time like the first time. It’s always a feel-good movie for me, I love the characters so much! It also reminds me every time to never get too hung up over the horrible feelings of a break-up, to actively seek ways to enjoy life, and the next great thing is always right around the corner.
Legally Blonde (2001)
I recently rewatched Legally Blonde for the first time in maybe 15 years and didn’t miss a beat – every comeback and every song brought me all the way back to middle school, blaring the soundtrack in my room while thinking about Elle’s (and Bruiser’s) amazing looks!
The Secret of NIMH (1982)
The imagery of this animated film is so rich and full of fantasy and imagination. It’s darker than your Disney classics, with intense themes from animal testing and displacement, but it’s of emotion and ethics following a community of field mice trying to survive as a farmer plows over their homes.
Before Sunset (2004)
The ‘Before Trilogy’ films directed by Richard Linklater are all on my list, but the second film, Before Sunset, takes the cake for me. Set in Paris, it captures a few hours in the afternoon as Jesse and Céline catch up after their meet-cute in Vienna a decade earlier. Their conversations and movement across the city of lights keep a wonderful pace. I can’t wait to watch it once again.
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