You've had all of 2014 to do what you resolved to do last year: catch up with old friends, cook more, read more, do more yoga, experience more "culture," and become your Best Self in every conceivable way.
The bad news: It's already mid-December.
The good news: You still have time to squeak out a few eleventh hour accomplishments without breaking a sweat.
That means you'll write those holiday cards you purchased last year. You'll finally use your slow-cooker. You'll invite your brother over, at long last. And you'll finally get through your ever-growing Netflix list.
In partnership with Netflix, we've gotten the scoop on which movies will be departing the service in the new year. (Cue one single tear.) In order to take advantage of last call, we've planned some movie nights that will help you catch up with pop culture -- and your friends -- by the time 2015 rolls around.
In 2015, Netflix will feature even more great content, from all-new originals Bloodline and Daredevil to the eagerly awaited new seasons of Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards.
December 19: Friday, I'm In Love
The Day I Saw Your Heart (2011)
"Why is life worth living? It's a very good question. [...] those incredible Apples and Pears by Cezanne ... uh ... the crabs at Sam Wo's... uh... Tracy's face..."
-- Isaac Davis, Manhattan
Invite: Your significant other, your ex-lover, your most neurotic friend, your psychoanalyst. For a rollicking good time, invite all of them at once!
Eat: Apples and pears, softly lit. And crab, of course.
Friday night double feature! First, there's The Day I Saw Your Heart a French-language confection starring the charming Melanie Laurent. Then, you'll settle in for one of Woody Allen's classic films in Manhattan. By the time you get to the opening strains of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," you'll be well on your way to a melancholy, romantic evening.
December 20: A Saturday Sheen-Off
The Breakfast Club (1985, Emilio Estevez)
The Mighty Ducks (1992, Emilio Estevez)
Red Dawn (1984, Charlie Sheen in his film debut)
"[Loud crunching noises]"
--Allison Reynolds, Breakfast Club
Invite: Your dad, ne'er-do-well brother and a ragtag group of unlikely friends.
Eat: Breakfast for dinner. You could do something more on-theme, but we trust that pancakes are tastier than eating an Ally Sheedy sandwich (pixie stix on Wonder Bread with Cap'n Crunch, butter) or gnawing on a knuckle-puck.
BONUS: Watch Gandhi (Martin Sheen in a supporting role) if things are getting awkward with your dad and you still have 3-plus hours to kill.
Pay tribute to the mystery of the Sheen/Estevez family dynamic by watching a one-two punch of coming-of-age comedy. As the sun goes down, reach for the uber-patriotic, Dad-pleasing popcorn flick Red Dawn. (Fun fact: It was the first film to carry at PG-13 rating.)
December 21: Sunday, Sporty Sunday
The Longest Yard (1974)
Slap Shot (1977)
Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977)
"Let them play! Let them play!"
-- Bad News Bears, Breaking Training
Invite: Your usual Sunday football crew.
Eat: Banish cold pizza from game day and reclaim your place as the host with the most. Make wings, slathered with your "special BBQ recipe" (or, ahem, just one of ours).
Sure, Sunday is for football, but it's really about hanging out with your friends ... and eating massive quantities of food. Break up the ritual with a few classic '70s sports flicks. Stay on-theme with the The Longest Yard, a Burt Reynolds classic about an NFL player turned inmate. Then watch one of the funniest hockey movies ever made, starring the inimitable Paul Newman. If you've given up on your team for the night, commiserate with the original sad-sack team, the Bad News Bears.
December 22: The Cure For A Case Of The Mondays
Duck Soup (1933)
Original Kings Of Comedy (2000)
"Prepare ship for ludicrous speed!"
-- Colonel Sandurz, Spaceballs
Invite: Your friend with a slightly off-kilter sense of humor.
Eat: Duck soup, in honor of the Marx Brothers classic. We've deviated from the original recipe for obvious reasons. (Groucho: "Take two turkeys, one goose, four cabbages, but no duck, and mix them together. After one taste, you'll duck soup the rest of your life.") This recipe uses your slow cooker, so you can just toss in the ingredients Sunday night and come home to a hearty meal.
A triple-feature that spans several decades is a lot to handle for a Monday, but we promise these films will fly by at ludicrous speed. First, we've given you a set-it-and-forget-it recipe and a swift 60-minute flick in Duck Soup. Mel Brooks' Spaceballs will keep the anarchic spirit alive, and Spike Lee's Original Kings Of Comedy (Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Bernie Mac) will keep you in stitches well into the night.
December 23: Grab Bag, or “Trash Night”
Brain Dead (1990)
Humanoids From The Deep (1980)
WWE: The 50 Greatest Finishing Moves In WWE History (2012)
--Stone Cold Steve Austin, WWE
Invite: Your little brother, random strangers from the mall.
Eat: Bacon sandwiches.
We’ve had many beautiful moments that began with reaching deep into our Netflix library to retrieve something we’ve never heard of. Start with Brain Dead, a horror movie starring both Bill Pullman AND Bill Paxton, Humanoids From The Deep, a classic horror/exploitation flick, and finish it off (obviously) with WWE: The 50 Greatest Finishing Moves In WWE History. Ka-pow!
December 24: A Day of Great Suspense
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
"They're not stolen, they just never been paid for."
-- Bacon, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Invite: Your grown-up cousins, after the kids have gone to bed.
It's Christmas Eve, otherwise known as the most suspenseful night of the year. As you finish wrapping gifts for the little ones, turn on these darkly comic capers. Sneakers, a politically flavored film about a bunch of hackers, has an almost unfathomable cast: Ben Kingsley, Robert Redford, River Phoenix and Sidney Poitier. And Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a delightfully profane classic of the genre.
December 25: Masterpiece Theater Thursday
The Parent Trap (1998)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Don't tell us you haven't tried this handshake.
Invite: The whole entire family, from the little tykes to Grandpa.
Eat: Christmas dinner, family-style.
It’s time for family-friendly fare, which means galumphing dogs, light-hearted mischief and old-fashioned sing-alongs.
December 26: I Love The '90s
My Girl (1991)
Stealing Beauty (1996)
Boyz In The Hood (1991)
"Get out of here! And don't come back for five to seven days!"
-- Vada Sultenfuss, My Girl
Invite: Your childhood friends and neighbors.
Eat: Leftovers, smuggled from your parents' houses in Tupperware containers.
These films might seem like unlikely bedfellows, but they have two important things in common: moving coming-of-age stories and killer soundtracks. You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll jam along to the likes of the Temptations, Portishead, Hole, Run D.M.C. and Ice Cube.