(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: Fruits Basket (2019)

Where You Can Stream It: Crunchyroll (with subtitles), Hulu (dubbed in English)

The Pitch: Recently orphaned high school teenager Tohru Honda finds herself living in a house with her handsome classmate Yuki Sohma and his two cousins — Yuki’s hot-headed rival Kyo, and the group’s de facto guardian, Shigure. But she soon discovers that Yuki’s family harbors a strange secret: they’re cursed to transform into an animal of the Chinese zodiac when hugged by a member of the opposite sex. Tohru quickly becomes entangled in the Sohma family’s lives and, through her cheery disposition and unflagging kindness, begins to change the embittered family members’ lives for the better.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Getting over the wacky romantic-comedy premise of this series is always the biggest hurdle for anyone starting Fruits Basket. The idea of several hot men who transform into cute animals living under the same roof of a naive girl has led many to miscategorize Fruits Basket as a reverse harem anime — a trope that describes a fluffy romance between one girl and her many varied suitors. But I promise you that this somewhat silly premise gives way to a sensitive and moving slice-of-life series that manages to profoundly examine depression, alienation, abuse, and the healing power of love.

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love wedding repeat trailer

At first glance, Netflix’s newest romantic comedy Love Wedding Repeat does little to set itself apart from the rest of the streamer’s swooning catalogue besides a dry British humor that makes the film feel like a charming successor to Four Weddings and a Funeral. But hidden in the logline for Love Wedding Repeat — and perhaps even the title — is the hint that this rom-com starring Sam Claflin, Olivia Munn, and Freida Pinto may have a secret sci-fi twist. Watch the Love Wedding Repeat trailer below.

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Normal People trailer

Since directing Brie Larson to an Oscar win in 2015’s Room, Irish writer/director Lenny Abrahamson has been fairly quiet, directing only a couple episodes of a TV series called Chance and a single feature, the 2018 horror mystery The Little Stranger, which starred Domhnall Gleeson. Now Abrahamson has returned to his home country as one of the two directors of Normal People, a new Hulu co-production with the BBC which focuses on two young lovers from Ireland who find themselves on opposite sides of a class divide. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Little Mermaid remake soundtrack

Alan Menken, the legendary composer who is responsible for providing the scores for several Disney animated classics, was hard at work on the studio’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid when the coronavirus ground Hollywood to a halt. And while we already knew that the new movie would feature new music, we weren’t sure about exactly how much to expect. But now we know: the ebullient composer recently revealed that there will be four new songs for the film.

Read on for his exact quotes, plus news about Disenchanted, Hercules, and more. Read More »

fourth before movie

“Think of this as time travel.” The greatest pick-up line in cinematic history or a prophecy of the swooning trilogy of films that would follow? When Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy first crossed paths in Richard Linklater‘s 1995 drama Before Sunrise, no one expected that we would follow the story of Jesse and Celine for 18 more years.

But now, as we come up on 9 years after the supposed final film Before Midnight (the magic number that spans the gap between each film), someone had to ask Hawke: will there be a fourth Before film? Hawke doesn’t exactly say no, and even enthusiastically imagines a Before sequel that follows Jesse and Celine during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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The Lovebirds Releasing on Netflix

One of the many theatrical releases that was postponed due to coronavirus concerns was the romantic comedy The Lovebirds starring Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) and Issa Rae (Insecure). Paramount Pictures pulled the movie from its April release date as several other studios postponed upcoming theatrical releases due to the growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus. But now the movie will get released for everyone to enjoy at home during self-quarantine, thanks to Netflix. Read More »

West Side Story Remake

Thanks to the spread of coronavirus, most of the major theatrical releases over the next couple weeks (and probably at least the next month) are being pushed to unknown dates sometime down the road. But when it comes to Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming remake of the classic musical West Side Story, slated for release in December, we probably don’t have to worry that movie getting delayed. That’s why 20th Century Studios has released new West Side Story remake photos, giving us our best look yet at the musical. Read More »

the high note trailer

The workplace romantic dramedy is underrated. We all know about the death and resurrection of the romantic-comedy, but fewer eulogies have been written for the slow death of the workplace dramedy (Working Girl, etc.) and the slow resurgence of them in films like Nancy Meyers’ underrated The Intern and Nisha Ganatra‘s surprisingly good Late Night. So it’s fitting that Nisha Ganatra will be coming out with another workplace dramedy, the upcoming Focus Features film High Note, that now tackles the glamorous world of the LA music scene, and the intriguing dynamic of an aging pop superstar played by Tracee Ellis Ross and her loyal assistant played by Dakota Johnson. Watch the High Note trailer below.

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How ‘Mulan’ Approaches Its LGBTQ Romance [Set Visit]

mulan lgbt

Disney has been championing more progressive diversity representation in their films in recent years, but have tread lightly when it comes to LGBTQ elements making their way into international releases. So that makes the live-action remake of Mulan a bit of a conundrum.

In the original 1998 animated film, the central romance was between Mulan, disguising herself as a man, and her commanding officer Li Shang, who was implied to be attracted to Mulan despite thinking her to be a man. That dynamic turned Shang into “sort of an LGBTQ icon,” producer Jason Reed acknowledged to /Film on the set of Niki Caro‘s Mulan. But while Disney has withheld LGBTQ elements from releases in China before, Reed assures that the romance will “play the same way as it does in the animated [film].”

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The Mister

After making over a billion dollars worldwide on the Fifty Shades of Grey film trilogy, Universal is getting back in business with author E.L. James. The studio has emerged victorious in a bidding war for the movie rights to her novel The Mister, a romance that was one of 2019’s best sellers.
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