When looking for a movie to watch on any kind of streaming service, sometimes people are just not in the mood to watch something that requires all of their attention. Sometimes, film fans turn to movies to think less, not more. Whether it’s a low-budget comedy film, a cheesy rom-com, or an overly slow and uninteresting movie, it’s no doubt that these films are still necessary to make a more wholistic film industry.
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With so much going on in the world, there’s perhaps even more of a need for movies that viewers don’t necessarily need to get invested in and plug all of their attention into. Instead, these films make great background noise or easy viewing to occupy one’s mind, even just for a little while.
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He’s All That (2021)
Any comedic remake of a ’90s film is bound to be questionable at times, and that rule applies to Mark Waters’s comedy film He’s All That. The movie is a remake of the 1999 teen romance movie She’s All That directed by Robert Iscove. In this version, roles are reversed, and the girl is the popular kid, not the guy.
If there’s one way to describe He’s All That, it’s basically 91-minutes of back-to-back rom-com clichés. In some ways, it falls into so many high school romantic comedy tropes that it almost feels as if it were designed to be that way. There’s no denying that the movie is entertaining, but it’s perhaps best enjoyed while engaging in other activities.
The Hangover (2009)
The first of the trilogy, Todd Phillips’ The Hangover tells the story of three friends who party just a little bit too hard on their friend’s bachelor trip to Las Vegas. It then tracks them as they wake up with a baby and a tiger in their presence, having lost the groom.
With a lot of ridiculous humor and shock value moments, The Hangover is perfect to have on during a relaxing movie night with friends, but it’s certainly not anything that will stay with viewers once a few days pass. In the end, it’s another example of a typical comedy movie that doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, making it ideal background noise.
It Follows (2015)
It Follows revolves around a deadly curse that follows people around after they have sex. For some, it is an artistic and intelligent horror film. For others, it is a slow and shallow horror flick that has some interesting concepts but fails to be either scary, suspenseful, or entertaining.
With clear parallels to STIs, director David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows takes a realistic concept and makes it into an idea for a psychological horror film. However, it arguably falls flat, remaining slow-moving throughout, which makes it good background fodder for horror film fans while they work, play games, or socialize, if nothing else.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
Susan Johnson’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is easy viewing which makes it the perfect film to have on in the background. Following the protagonist Lara Jean as her top-secret love letters are mailed out to each of her crushes, the rom-com is full of heartwarming (and some cringe-worthy) moments that don’t require too much brainpower to understand and enjoy.
The film also has its fair share of humor and a light-hearted storyline that many viewers will find comforting. While it may not be the most original story ever told, it’s a typical high-school rom-com that can easily be enjoyed in the background.
21 Jump Street (2012)
So many comedies love to form friendships between ‘the popular kid’ and ‘the nerdy kid,’ and 21 Jump Street is no different. In this action/comedy film, viewers watch Jonah Hill (the nerdy kid) and Channing Tatum (the popular kid) grow up and become police officers. The main plot of the film revolves around the two young cops going undercover to bust a drug ring supplying high school students.
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The movie is entertaining, funny, and silly, but it doesn’t offer much more than a typical action/comedy film. For this reason, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s 21 Jump Street is great to have on while multitasking.
The Duff (2015)
In The Duff, Mae Whitman stars as main character Bianca Piper, who desperately tries to prove that she is not the “designated ugly fat friend” of her circle. The film caught a lot of flack for its title and the casting of Whitman but it’s arguably one of the most underrated teen movies of the past five years. While not classic by any stretch, it’s worth a watch at least once and can make for good background noise.
With a theme and plot that is neither inspiring nor all that original, The Duff is not a movie that involves a lot of thinking on the part of the viewer. However, it’s arguably a good movie to watch with friends – ones who share mutual respect and don’t refer to each other as far or ugly, of course.
Caddyshack is a classic comedy film starring Bill Murray and Chevy Chase. The movie follows a teenager working as a caddy at a hoity-toity country club so he can eventually afford a college education.
Caddyshack offers viewers numerous funny moments, like when a candy bar gets dropped into the pool and everyone is shocked when Bill Murray’s character eats it, believing it was something very different from chocolate. However, there isn’t much else that stands out in the movie, making it yet another good flick to have playing while doing something else.
Step Brothers (2008)
Adam McKay’s flick is beloved by many, and as Step Brothers includes plenty of funny scenes, it isn’t a surprise. With Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly feature as the stars of the show and the movie is filled with wacky and off-color humor as the two characters go from hating each other to becoming best friends.
While hilarious and at times even heartwarming, Step Brothers doesn’t include an overly complex plot or any hard-hitting themes. It’s a film that’s perfect for those looking for some lighthearted entertainment, even if it’s just in the background.
Any movie featuring Robin Williams is bound to be a good watch, and that’s exactly what the original Jumani film is. It does feature plenty of film clichés as it follows two siblings who fall into an enchanted board game, but Williams makes the movie entertaining at the very least, playing an adult who’s been trapped inside the game and needs a way out.
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The film is arguably a classic, meaning that many film fans, particularly those who grew up in the ’90s, will have seen this one before. The familiarity makes it the perfect comfort movie that remains entertaining even on the hundredth watch. It’s also a relatively short film that can be enjoyed while undertaking other activities.
Monty Python And The Holy Grail
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a film loved and cherished by many. The comedy tale based on Arthurian legend contains niche humor that is distinctly British, so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea – but it can be great as entertaining background noise, particularly for those who already know and love the story.
It’s a great example of quirky British humor as well as satire, poking fun at the typical hero’s journey and arc that movie fans see happen in most films. While not particularly hard-hitting, it’s a great film to have on while chilling with friends.
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About The Author
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Recently graduated from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications, Laura is a passionate arts and entertainment enthusiast. Laura watches hundreds of movies each year, reviewing and analyzing them so she can share her many opinions with other cinephiles across the world.
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