Help me find some weeknight movies to watch <3
January 20, 2009 9:18 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend some cutesy indie films to me, in the style of Garden State and I'm Reed Fish? Feel-good love stories, but with a little

I first saw Garden State years ago, and absolutely loved it. The quirkiness and charm was wonderful. I saw "I'm Reed Fish" last night, and thought it was also good (but not as good as Garden State). Can anyone recommend some movies in the same vein?

1. Somewhat clean (I know Garden State is rated R, but it still wasn't *that* bad).
2. Happy ending (Or at least decidedly bittersweet. Both movies have left me feeling thoroughly satisfied. I like that.)
3. Love story (Looking for bland, vanilla, heterosexual love stories like in this movie. Something easily relatable.)

Also, please nothing far too chick flicky. Both movies aren't the manliest movies out there, but hey, I have a soft side.

Both movies are also "coming-of-age" movies. I'm 18 years old, and I've found that I love watching these, or any movies in general about maturing and growing into adulthood, more and more. Bonus points for that.

Suggest away.
posted by Precision to Media & Arts (46 answers total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
I saw Eagle vs. Shark the other day. It's a cute love story from New Zealand about two totally dysfunctional people. The male lead is the guy from Flight of the Conchords.
posted by sugarfish at 9:25 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]

You certainly need Stranger than Fiction; Down with Love too.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:29 PM on January 20, 2009

Response by poster: I've seen both, Tomorrowful, and both are wonderful. Keep them coming! Stranger Than Fiction is probably one of my all time favorites.
posted by Precision at 9:32 PM on January 20, 2009

I enjoyed Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
posted by meinvt at 9:36 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

Napoleon Dynamite.
posted by radioamy at 10:04 PM on January 20, 2009

Once is my favorite indie love story, though I wouldn't call it cutesy or quirky.
posted by bassooner at 10:06 PM on January 20, 2009

Harold and Maude?
posted by TDIpod at 10:11 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

Igby Goes Down is awesome, and woefully under-recognized for its awesome-ness.
posted by Kololo at 10:20 PM on January 20, 2009

Also, according to the always awesome Amazon recommender thing, people who like Garden State also tend to like Little Miss Sunshine, The Last Kiss, I Heart Huckabees, Juno, and Lost in Translation.
posted by Kololo at 10:24 PM on January 20, 2009

Outsourced is a funny, entertaining and sweet love story with some lovely shots of India. And you saw Once, right?
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:30 PM on January 20, 2009

Maybe I thought of it because one of your movies featured the word fish, but you might like "Big Fish." It's certainly got quirk, love, charm, and some coming of age in there too.
posted by ilana at 10:35 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Before Sunrise + Before Sunset
posted by limon at 10:36 PM on January 20, 2009

Shooting Fish is my favourite movie, and definitely falls into the quirky charming category. You might also like A Life Less Ordinary.

I know you asked for movies, but if you're up for tv shows too, I would suggest Northern Exposure, and anything by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls).
posted by Emilyisnow at 10:47 PM on January 20, 2009

Charlie Bartlett certainly has its faults, but I thought it was cute, and it fits with the coming of age, quirkiness, and love story. The Royal Tenenbaums comes to mind, it has elements of a love story, coming of age, and definitely quirky characters, but its darker than some of the movies mentioned. It does end happily in its own way though. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a great love story and excellent movie all around.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 10:49 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Breathless (not the one with Richard Gere)
Punch Drunk Love
Me and You and Everyone We Know
posted by carsonb at 10:55 PM on January 20, 2009

10 Things I Hate About You
Almost Famous
Intolerable Cruelty
High Fidelity
posted by carsonb at 10:57 PM on January 20, 2009

None of these movies would exist were it not for The Graduate.

As an aside, I'm not going to bother telling Zach Braff about your Garden-State-enjoyment because he doesn't need any more plaudits, but I'm sending this to Reed Fish right now -- he'll get a kick out of you liking his movie, I'm sure.
posted by incessant at 11:10 PM on January 20, 2009

Rocket Science
posted by uandt at 11:37 PM on January 20, 2009

Rage in Placid Lake is a good one from Australia starring Ben Lee. It didn't get a theatrical release in the US, but it's on DVD and instant viewing from Netflix.

Almost Famous
Kicking and Screaming (not the Will Ferrell one)
posted by wsquared at 11:44 PM on January 20, 2009

Oh, triple recommendation for Me and You and Everyone We Know.
posted by dentata at 12:19 AM on January 21, 2009

I asked a similar question on here a while back and got a great screening list.
My favourites of the ones I've seen so far are:
Amelie, Juno, High Fidelity, Annie Hall, Punch-Drunk Love, Stranger Than Fiction, Eagle vs. Shark, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Once, Rachel Getting Married.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:43 AM on January 21, 2009

If Lucy Fell
posted by visual mechanic at 1:44 AM on January 21, 2009

Oldie but a goodie: Harold and Maude
posted by gonzo_ID at 3:15 AM on January 21, 2009

Amelie (will seriously probably become your new favourite movie)
Chungking Express (the second half of this is like Hong Kong Amelie)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (a cute Woody Allen movie, very Stranger Than Fictionesque)
C.R.A.Z.Y. (fantastic French Canadian coming-of-age film, although not as happy-go-lucky as the others)
posted by oulipian at 4:12 AM on January 21, 2009

Also, according to the always awesome Amazon recommender thing, people who like Garden State also tend to like Little Miss Sunshine, The Last Kiss, I Heart Huckabees, Juno, and Lost in Translation.
posted by Kololo at 10:24 PM on January 20 [+] [!]

DO NOT watch The Last Kiss if you're looking for cutesy, quirky love stories. It's not a bad film, but it will likely make you very sad. It's generally about poor decisions and the breakdown of long-term relationships.

I watched it with my girlfriend once, and it just made us both feel a little down.

You should probably start with pseudostrabismus' list here, it's a good start.
posted by dnesan at 5:29 AM on January 21, 2009

Kicking and Screaming is the hidden classic no one knows about. Noah Baumbach. Another is Bottle Rocket. The movie that started it all.

And for something not so vanilla and heterosexual, and somewhat edgy: My Own Private Idaho.
posted by Wayman Tisdale at 5:50 AM on January 21, 2009

...or My Beautiful Laundrette.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:04 AM on January 21, 2009

Here's another vote for Once ... with the added benefit that it will lead you into the music of Glen Hansard and then on to The Frames.
posted by lpsguy at 6:13 AM on January 21, 2009

Seconding Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Also look into Wristcutters: A Love Story. It's a little gory at the very beginning, but surprisingly cute for a movie about people who've committed suicide.
posted by specialagentwebb at 6:25 AM on January 21, 2009

The Science of Sleep! Very indie, very cute, and starring the lovely Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal which is always a bonus.
posted by Pomo at 7:17 AM on January 21, 2009

Sounds like you're into Manic Pixie Dream Girls. These type of films tend to straddle the line between quirky-cute and teeth-grindingly precious for me, but I'm pretty cynical about indie whimsy.

I did, however, really like Lars and The Real Girl (and not just for Ryan Gosling's hot, hot mustache). There's enough painfully-well-acted awkwardness to temper the syrupy-sweetness, and there's a distinct lack of the popular culture references and self-congratulatory elbow-nudging that make this genre somewhat annoying.

It's PG-13 and pretty vanilla; the creepy image of the dude from "The Notebook" getting this jollies with a well-crafted hunk of silicone exists only in your imagination. It's bittersweet, and has a happy ending. Also, Ryan Gosling's mustache.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:26 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Tao of Steve? The Station Agent?

The Science of Sleep is a Michel Gondry movie, so I can't really recommend it to anyone that likes an actual ending to their movies. I would give the same warning for The Royal Tennenbaums.

Yes to Eagle Vs Shark, Napoleon Dynamite and I Heart Huckabees. Little Miss Sunshine isn't exactly a love story, but it does have a funny story line. Also strongly recommend Amelie if you like foreign films - there's no English dub (at least not on my DVD), so you'll have to be OK with subtitles. Or speak decent French.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:41 AM on January 21, 2009

The Baxter is another cute movie about the nice guy who never gets the girl.

I'm With Lucy is also pretty enjoyable, if a little cliched. Not as quirky or indie as a lot of other movies mentioned here, but still fun.

The Girl in the Cafe is a sweet love story with a sort of humanitarian sub-plot, if you can get over the characters' 30-year age difference.

Definitely, Maybe may be a bit mainstream, but the relationships are a little more complex than the average romantic comedy.
posted by wsquared at 8:52 AM on January 21, 2009

I really loved The Notebook, but it is a bit chick-flicky. [Worth it!]
posted by lunit at 9:44 AM on January 21, 2009

Seconding Shooting Fish. I'd also like to throw in Impromptu, even though it's a costume drama.
posted by of strange foe at 9:47 AM on January 21, 2009

If you're 18, then rent 2 Days in Paris. It's not a laugh riot or anything but it's fun to watch and the emotion in it is genuine .
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:16 AM on January 21, 2009

Who am I This Time?/
Older, but very sweet. Directed by Johnathan Demme starring Susan Sarandon and Christopher Walken.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:24 AM on January 21, 2009

Plenty of good things here, but I'll mention one I just saw this last week: The Wackness. Has some love elements, definitely some coming-of-age, fairly quirky, and a decent ending.
posted by mysterpigg at 12:13 PM on January 21, 2009

I loved Garden State, but I heart huckabees is one of the worst films I have ever had the displeasure to sit through.

I definitely recommend Amelie, Juno, Almost Famous and Empire Records though. Oh and Dazed and Confused. And Once. And Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Ok, shutting up now!
posted by nunoidia at 12:35 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Not as much a love story but I think that you may enjoy The Castle nonetheless.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:51 PM on January 21, 2009

The Last Kiss
posted by hal_c_on at 4:21 PM on January 21, 2009

Response by poster: Wow, such amazing recommendations. Thank you to everyone! I'll cull these into something of a list and check back here later if any amaze me (:

posted by Precision at 7:45 PM on January 21, 2009

A bit late for the party, but Wristcutters: A Love Story is a quirky and sweet.
posted by ye#ara at 6:51 AM on January 22, 2009

How about Singles, Threesome (It's R, but mild), or Reality Bites?

On retrospect, these are all really 90's. Wow, I'm getting old.
posted by omegar at 8:33 AM on January 22, 2009

2nding Wristcutters!
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 7:22 PM on January 22, 2009

posted by theperfectcrime at 9:21 PM on January 27, 2009

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