Best New Bets on Netflix: December 2016

A fresh assortment of entertainment has arrived on Netflix this December and Eclectic Pop has narrowed down your best bets. First up the Top 5 movie additions and then a TV pick. Let’s get started…

#5. 'Holiday Engagement' (2011)

A Hallmark Channel original, this 2011 romantic comedy stars Bonnie Somerville as Hilary, a newspaper writer with a lawyer fiancรฉ. When she loses her job and her fiancรฉ breaks up with her right before Thanksgiving, she devises a plan to avoid ruining her holiday visit to her parents’ house. 

So she does what anyone in movies does when faced with her predicament. She hires an actor (Jordan Bridges) to pretend to be her fiancรฉ, so she can maintain the faรงade of her “perfect” life, in front of her family.

Knowing Hilary’s duplicity is bound to come out and watching her try to maintain the charade, makes for hilarious situational comedy. The most satisfying aspect of ‘Holiday Engagement’ is the romance between the leads. Thanks to Somerville and Bridges’ indefatigable screen chemistry, ‘Holiday Engagement’ is made all the more, well, engaging. Now Streaming

#4. 'Wildflower' (2016)

When a recurring nightmare starts eating away at a college student (Nathalia Ramos), she begins to believe it is actually a suppressed memory. She then sets out to figure what exactly it is and what it means. Dramatic thrillers are always a draw and given their rarity as of late, this one is probably worth checking out. Now Streaming
The Model aka Modelka Movie Poster 2016

#3. 'The Model' (2016)

A Danish model’s (Maria Palm) obsession with a successful fashion photographer (Ed Skrein) sends her life spiraling down a rabbit hole. ‘The Model’ sounds like a compelling look behind-the-scenes of the cutthroat fashion world, with a larger than life story as viewers’ tour guide. All in all, it sounds like a promising movie for a Saturday night. Now Streaming

#2. 'Picture Perfect' (1997)

The best starring vehicle of Jennifer Aniston’s career is this quirky and heartfelt, romantic comedy. Aniston plays an ad-exec, who falsely claims a wedding photographer (Jay Mohr) she just met is her fiancรฉ, in order to win favor for a promotion. Of course, her lies start to catch up with her in comical ways. The script is perfectly suited to Aniston’s on-screen talents and showcases her range as an actress. She and Mohr also strike up a believable chemistry that furthers the movie's impact. Now Streaming

#1. 'The Good Neighbor' (2016)

When a couple of high school kids (Logan Miller, Keir Gilchrist) try to pull a prank on an older neighbor (James Caan), they get more than they bargained for. ‘The Good Neighbor’ is an independent thriller that stars screen legend, James Caan. What is not to love about this combination? That is rhetorical. There is everything to love about what ‘The Good Neighbor’ has the potential to deliver. Now Streaming

Honorable Mention: 'Disorder' (2015)

This French-language thriller starring Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger arrives on Netflix Instant, right before Christmas. You can read Eclectic Pop’s review of ‘Disorder’ here. It is worth noting that there is already an English-language remake in the works, according to Deadline. Starts Streaming: December 20
Medici: Masters of Florence Promo Art (Netflix)

TV Pick: ‘Medici: Masters of Florence’ Season 1

To say the new Netflix original ‘Medici: Masters of Florence’ has a star-studded cast would be an accurate assessment. The series stars ‘Game of Thrones’ alum Richard Madden, Dustin Hoffman, and Brian Cox. 'Medici' chronicles the life of Cosimo de’ Medici (Madden) as he takes the reins of his family’s growing empire, and develops the House of Medici into one of the most powerful forces in the world.

If the Medici family sounds familiar, there could be a number of reasons. If you are a ‘Reign’ fan you will recognize it as the family name of Catherine de’ Medici (Megan Follows), the crafty queen regent at the center of the show’s juiciest plotlines. Catherine was a direct decedent of Cosimo de' Medici.

After playing supporting on ‘Thrones’, Madden proves he can easily handle the lead in ‘Medici’. His performance is essential and Madden never hits a false note.

Another revelation for the series is actress Annabel Scholey, who gives a star-making turn as Cosimo’s loyal wife, Contessina. Scholey’s is one of the breakout performances of the year.

For fans missing ‘Game of Thrones', ‘Reign’, or both, ‘Medici’ is the perfect prescription to tide you over. Given its ability to be binge watched, it will not satiate you for long. Now Streaming

[Image by Netflix]