February means Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re Netflix-and-chill-ing (are we still saying that?) or staving off feelings of crushing loneliness, streaming is a must. This month, you can either celebrate the lovelorn holiday with Mindy Kaling’s ode to romcoms and a sensual evening with Michael Bolton, or fully embrace your singlehood with the cynical bleakness of an indie flick with the perfect title for the Trump era. And who doesn’t love a good ol’ chipper cannibalism comedy, regardless of his or her relationship status? Here’s your go-to streaming guide for the next month.
Amy (Feb. 1st, Amazon)
Amy Winehouse’s death in 2011 came as a shock to the world; filmmaker Asif Kapadia’s painful documentary proves that we should’ve all seen it coming. The neo-soul songstress’ life was full of chaos and self-destruction, and this Oscar-winner tracks her inspiring rise to fame and heartrending fall, as archival footage chronicles a long, hard spiral downward. Moments of rare candor taken from private home videos – in one unforgettable clip, Winehouse breaks down in tears while recording with her hero Tony Bennett – lend this portrait an unbearable intimacy. You’ll never hear “Back to Black” the same way again.
The Boondocks: Complete Series (Feb. 18th, Hulu)
With white-people nonsense at an all-time high nationwide, it’s a perfect time to revisit Aaron McGruder’s animated adaptation of his long-running comic strip about a couple of black kids trapped in the ‘burbs. Socially conscious Huey and brash wannabe gangsta Riley get into all manner of mischief with their hardscrabble Grandad, unabashedly spitting truths on race, class and American culture at large. Don’t let the serious-minded satire fool you, though; the show was a reliable laugh riot throughout its four seasons, from memorable encounters with A Pimp Named Slickback (like A Tribe Called Quest, he explains) to the timeless and aptly-titled episode “Let’s Nab Oprah.” Stay woke.
The Collection (Feb. 10th, Amazon)
The streaming service’s latest big-ticket buy is a WWII-era period piece about a Parisian fashion house poised to rival Netflix’s The Crown for sheer opulence, U.K. division. Desperate Housewives writer Oliver Goldstick brings plenty of intrigue to the story of antihero designer Paul Sabine, on a dogged mission to re-energize French fashion under the specter of global war. He’s got demons of his own, natch – like passing off his closeted brother’s ideas as his own, and some possibly unsavory things done during the Occupation as well. Historical style-porn with an agreeably pulpy plot? So hot right now.
David Brent: Life on the Road (Feb. 10th, Netflix)
It’s been years since clueless boor David Brent left paper retailer Wernham Hogg at the conclusion of the British version of The Office, and he’s taken the intervening years to find himself. As he fritters away his life’s savings on the ill-advised tour, he gleefully offends anyone unfortunate enough to make his acquaintance. Ricky Gervais brings back his legendary, influential cringe-comedy character for one more go-round; it’s hard to take, and yet you can’t help but want more of it. (As the actress said to the bishop.)
Girlfriend’s Day (Feb. 14th, Netflix)
On loan from Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk plays a depressed greeting card writer, tired of his profession and sickened by everything else in his life. The announcement of a new holiday devoted to girlfriends and an accompanying contest for the most romantic card spurs the sad sack to action; some wrong turns lead him into a web of deception, violence and strategically placed paper cuts. The cast has been well stocked with plenty “Oh, them!” utility players, including June Diane Raphael, Stacy Keach, Natasha Lyonne, Rich Sommer, and Toby Huss.
I Don’t Feel At Home in This World Anymore (Feb. 24th, Netflix)
Maybe February is too early to declare this the best-titled movie of the year, but what else could capture that familiar feeling of everything sucking quite so perfectly? That’s where an unlucky nurse (Melanie Lynskey) finds herself in the directorial debut from Blue Ruin star Macon Blair – at the end of her rope and sick of the bullshit. When some neighborhood toughs ransack her shabby home, she joins forces with her screw-loose, nunchuck-wielding neighbor (Elijah Wood) and sets off on a misbegotten mission of revenge. Who likes gallows humor, pulp-crime action and Coen-esque comic grace?
Lost in Translation (Feb. 1st, Amazon)
Bill Murray is Bob, an long-in-the-tooth movie star filming a commercial in Tokyo. A 19-year-old Scarlett Johansson plays Charlotte, a recent college grad accompanying her photographer boyfriend on a fashion shoot in Japan. Surrounded on all sides but feeling isolated, the twosome bond over their shared confusion about their lives and ambivalence toward their respective partners. Another sublime Sofia Coppola movie, another perfect soundtrack (My Bloody Valentine, Squarepusher, the Jesus and Mary Chain), another melancholy look at solitude in the big city. And seriously, we still have not figured out what Murray whispers to Johansson at the very end.
Michael Bolton’s Big Sexy Valentine’s Day Special (Feb. 7th, Netflix)
Everyone knows that when the time comes for some V-Day lovin’, it’s all about setting the mood: dimmed lights, trail of rose petals, a musical variety special from Michael Bolton and the Lonely Island, etc. The golden-throated songbird and SNL-veteran sketch comedy doofuses have united once again to help you get your freak on with sultry renditions of romantic standards and original tunes. And naturally, they’ve brought along the usual gang of familiar faces for some added doses of levity: Sarah Silverman, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph and a half-dozen others will drop by to get the sparks a-flyin’.
The Mindy Project, Season 5 (Feb. 14th, Hulu)
When we last checked in with chronically heartbroken gynecologist Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling), she had destroyed her relationship with Ben (Bryan Greenberg) by sharing a heated kiss with on-again off-again beau Jamie (B.J. Novak). She resumes the fifth season by trying to figure out what (and who) she really wants: return to her former lover/current friend Danny (Chris Messina)? Give things another shot with her ex-fiancée Casey (Anders Holm)? Go the clean-slate route and find someone new? Oh, there will be rom-com pratfalls and feminine empowerment to spare!
Santa Clarita Diet (Feb. 3rd, Netflix)
Real estate agents Sheila and Joel Hammond (Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant) look like the picture of SoCal success: well-padded professional portfolio, photogenic daughter, two-car garage. Except that Sheila hasn’t been feeling like herself lately. Specifically, she appears to be clinically dead and hungers for human flesh. Thankfully, her faithful husband decides to help her track down someone who deserves to die so that his darling can have a fresh meal. This demented horror-comedy from Better Off Ted creator Victor Fresco sounds like a genuinely weird, morbid treat. Bon Appétit!