Ep. 112: Under the Tuscan Sun

Nate and Ryan watch Under the Tuscan Sun with special guest Rachel Hughes Gates. As we continue to rectify blind spots during this Gap Year, Rachel suggested that we watch Under the Tuscan Sun, a movie that has stuck with her ever since she saw it in theaters 20 years ago. Though the movie didn’t make the biggest splash upon its release, it has maintained popularity with its effective blend of romance, comedy, scenery, food, and affection for Italian cinema. Rachel talks us through what the movie has meant to her and why she thinks more people should watch Under the Tuscan Sun, preferably while eating some Italian food and some good wine.

What are your thoughts on Under the Tuscan Sun? What movies do you think we should watch to continue our Gap Year? Let us know!


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Ep. 108: You’ve Got Mail

Nate and Ryan discuss You’ve Got Mail to celebrate this year’s annual T. Hanksgiving! Rom-Com Tom Hanks won America’s hearts throughout the ’90s, so listen in as Nate and Ryan take a look at Hanks and Meg Ryan at the peak of their powers. Directed and written by Nora Ephron with her sister Delia, You’ve Got Mail revisits a time when the internet was a benign novelty and brick and mortar stores still held sway.

Where does You’ve Got Mail rank among your Hanks favorites? How are you celebrating T. Hanksgiving? Let us know!

Read Love in the inbox: the epistolary pleasures of the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan rom-com, Hanif Abdurraqib’s ode to You’ve Got Mail (4Columns)

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Ep 81: Bridget Jones’s Diary

Nate and Ryan watch Bridget Jones’s Diary and discuss their feelings about it, until they turn their critical eyes on themselves. The episode ends up being quite a departure for CWSBF as we realize just how problematic it is that we feel the need to weigh in on movies that aren’t for us. For many people, Bridget Jones’s Diary teaches them to like themselves just the way they are, but what happens when the way we are makes us unbearable f*ckwits?

What are your thoughts on Bridget Jones’s Diary? Let us know!

For perhaps some more informed thoughts on the movie:

Ep. 73: 10 Things I Hate About You

Nate and Ryan put on their Sketchers and Prada backpacks and roam the halls of Padua High School as they rewatch 10 Things I Hate About You, the ’90s teen rom-com to end all ’90s teen rom-coms.  Join in as they reminisce on nights at Blockbuster video, gush over the eternally charming coolness of Heath Ledger, and ruminate on how that poem scene works 20 years later.

What are your memories of 10 Things I Hate About You? Heath Ledger: the coolest person of the decade or the coolest person of all time? How does Julia Styles rank among teen rom-com leading women? Will more adaptations like this make teens love Shakespeare? Let us know!

Here are a couple articles that we discuss in the episode:

“10 Things I Hate About You”: When Heath Ledger Was Just Breaking Through by Ilana Kaplan, New York Times.

20 Years Later, 10 Things I Hate About You remains a model for how to do the teen rom-com right by Caroline Siede, The AV Club.

Ep 68: Love Actually

It’s a romantic Christmas for Nate and Ryan as they discuss Love Actually, the 2003 holiday rom-com starring Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, and most of the other British movie stars you can think of in the pre-Benedict-Cumberbatch era of British movie stars. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Love Actually has become an annual favorite for many, including Nate’s and Ryan’s wives. Listen in as they discuss what sticks and what doesn’t in this throw-it-all-at-the-wall Christmas epic.

Is Love Actually in your annual holiday movie rotation?  Let us know your thoughts!

Mentioned in the episode:
Love Actually is the Least Romantic Film of All Time by Christopher Orr (The Atlantic)
I Will Not Be Ashamed of Loving Love Actually by Emma Green (The Atlantic)