This month, Hulu beats out heavier-weight Netflix and all the other streamers on the family front, adding a baker’s dozen of high-quality multi-gen watches.
Baby Mama (2008): Tina Fey plays the straight woman who’s desperate to have a child, Amy Poehler her wild-woman surrogate. Hilarity—and an unlikely friendship—ensue.
Beaches (1988): It’s not exactly what springs to mind when the category is kid-friendly content, but the tear-jerker friendship epic starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey kills at a low-key sleepover between two best childhood girlfriends. Though kills may be a poor choice of words.
Benny & Joon (1993): My sister and I loved this movie so much as kids that we named a short-lived pair of pet gerbils after its leads. For the past several years, the weirdo rom-com starring Johnny Depp at his quirky best and Mary Stuart Masterson would have set you back $3.99 for a rental. Now it’s available for “free” with your Hulu sub.
Can’t Buy Me Love (1987): If young Patrick Dempsey driving a lawnmower means nothing to you, well, stream this one stat! And bring your middle-school-and-up kids along for the ride.
Center Stage (2000): The American Ballet Academy is a hot box for rivalries and romances among teen dancers. This movie is cheesy and predictable, and you can see all the seams. And yet: It’s also an enduringly watchable classic that even the most stoic tween or teen (and their parents) won’t be able to resist.
Edward Scissorhands (1990): I could go on for hundreds if not thousands of words about Tim Burton’s tragic romance starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, and Dianne Wiest in maybe my favorite performance of hers ever—and one day I will! But for now I’ll keep it at this: Edward will blow the mind of any kid elementary-school age or older while the parents marvel at how this masterpiece was made more than thirty forkin’ years ago!
Evan Almighty (2007): Steve Carell’s namesake congressman finds himself in the position of the Bible’s Noah—as in Noah and the ark.
Garden State (2004): Got an emo teen under your roof? Show them that you get them by turning them onto this early aughts classic. The next thing you know they’ll have Imogen Heap and the Shins in their earbuds.
Heaven Can Wait (1978): Tight pants, body-swapping, Warren Beatty—this classic has all the 1970s hallmarks but is wholesome enough for a full-family watch.
The Princess Bride (1987): The story of Buttercup and Westley (and Iñigo Montoya, Vizzini, and the rest of the gang) is a near-perfect all-ages movie. Except for the part when Westley is attacked by that enormous rodent creature. Still gives me nightmares every time.
Roxanne (1987): We haven’t yet shelled out for Cyrano, but every time we see its trailer I find myself Googling and comparing the age differentials between its stars Peter Dinklage and Haley Bennett (18 years) and the leads of the same story’s 1980s-set adaptation Roxanne, Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah (16 years). But I digress! In Roxanne, Hannah is very beautiful; Martin is smart, and has a very long nose. The whole thing has a greed-decade vibe that occasionally veers into the typically inappropriate. It’s also really long. But if you’ve got fans of Splash and/or Father of the Bride and/or The Jerk at home, this is a fine pick.
Sense and Sensibility (1995): If you have a kid who likes a period costume and—for better or worse—a marriage plot as much as one of ours does, it’s hard to top this one, which stars Emma Thompson and earned Kate Winslet her first Oscar nod as Thompson’s younger sis.
To Catch a Thief (1955): One of our family’s favorite capers stars a very tan Cary Grant, a breathtaking Grace Kelly, and stunning French Riviera scenery.
THIS is great! I love that you are recommending Hulu!!!