7 Non-Franchised Double Features to Watch This Season
With the holidays upon us and the weather growing colder, there are more and more reasons to stay inside. We live in an age of binge-watching and, if you’re like us, you’ve run out of franchises and old episodes of Friends to watch. Don’t worry; your friends here at Coming Soon have got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of the “7 Non-Franchised Double Features to Watch This Season”. These are movies that aren’t related in name, but they share themes, actors or story elements that make for a perfect combination. These films make for great viewing for “sweater weather,” so grab a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa. Settle in, as we present some of our favorite double features.
7) Fred Claus/Four Christmases
There were a few years between Wedding Crashers and Brawl in Cell Block 99 that saw Vince Vaughn starring in a couple of holiday movies. Those movies were Fred Claus and Four Christmases. Neither films are masterpieces, but both provide the kind of festive entertainment that one expects from a studio-produced Christmas Comedy. In addition to Vaughn, both films feature a pretty strong list of supporting characters. Fred Claus features Paul Giamatti, Kevin Spacey and Kathy Bates, while Four Christmases stars Reese Witherspoon and Robert Duvall. It also features cameos from Jon Favreau and even Tim McGraw!
6) Elf/Step Brothers
Speaking of Christmas comedies, Elf is probably one of the most well-known and well-loved Christmas movies of all time. Elf stars Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, a human who was raised by Santa Claus and lives in the North Pole. Buddy goes on an adventure to find his real father in New York City, and hijinks ensue. It’s truly the most perfect Christmas movie to watch with the whole family. You might want to send the kids to bed before turning on the next movie, though. Will Ferrell again stars in the film Step Brothers — an irreverent tale about two step-brothers (surprise!) that are 40 years old and still living with their parents. John C. Reilly also stars in this profane but hilarious take on the true meaning of family.
5) A Walk to Remember/The Notebook
If you feel like you’ve been laughing too much, you can pop in a couple of movies that are sure to leave your eyes weepy and your heart heavy. The Notebook and A Walk to Remember were both novels written by Nicholas Sparks that were later adapted into feature films. They both focus on love, loss, and love lost. Yes, these movies are classified as “chick flicks,” but they’re both actually really good films that teach us about the power of love and how it transcends life, death and even time.
4) True Romance/Baby Driver
Of course, if you’re looking for a couple of love stories that don’t follow the Nicholas Sparks model, there are no better cinematic love stories than True Romance and Baby Driver. Both films focus on a quiet but intense male protagonist who falls in love with a beautiful stranger. It is that love that plunges both couples into a world of crime and corruption. It is also that love that brings them out of it. Baby Driver is almost like the spiritual successor to True Romance and both films make for a great double feature if you’re in the mood for an “us against the world” kind of love story.
3) Joy Ride/The Hitcher
Sometimes, a scary movie is just what the hypothetical doctor ordered. If you’re looking for a couple of flicks to remind you to never travel by car, Joy Ride and The Hitcher are the perfect movies for you. Both films follow characters that are stalked by a mad man. One drives a big semi-truck and the other actually gets picked up by the film’s protagonist. Mom was right when she told you to never pick up strangers, because the stranger that gets picked up by C. Thomas Howell in The Hitcher has extremely malice intentions. Likewise, the truck driver in Joy Ride, aptly named “Rusty Nail,” is intent on mentally and physically terrorizing Paul Walker, Steve Zahn, and Leelee Sobieski.
2) Insomnia/One Hour Photo
In Insomnia and One Hour Photo, Robin Williams plays off-type as two different versions of a lonely, psychotic killer. One Hour Photo features protagonists that we don’t actually care a lot about. Williams’ character, Sly the Photo Guy, cares very deeply for them though. As the one who has developed the photos of the Yorkin family for years, Sly almost feels like “part of the family.” The problem is, he’s not a part of the family, and he’s super creepy. In Insomnia, Williams plays an isolated writer who kills the teenage girl that he was in love with. Both roles are incredibly bleak and unsettling, but they also prove just how amazing of an actor Robin Williams actually was. He was so much more than a comedic actor. In these films, he was a monster and that made us love him even more.
1) Wolf/Bad Influence
Stay with us on this one. James Spader is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. With a career spanning decades and featuring roles in both movies and television, Spader has continually proved just how menacing — but also how charming — he can really be. Never was this more evident than in the movie Wolf, starring Spader, Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer. In Wolf, Nicholson plays an editor at a publishing house that gets bitten by a werewolf and slowly turns into one himself. Nicholson is not the villain of this film, though. That role belongs to James Spader. Spader plays the role of slimy, sociopathic Stewart. Stewart is gunning for Nicholson’s job and will stop at nothing to get it. Roles are reversed in the film Bad Influences. That film again stars James Spader, along with Rob Lowe. Lowe plays an enigmatic drifter who enters Spader’s life and completely flips it around. Not in a good way, either. People die. Spader plays the “good guy” in this film, but we like to pretend that Bad Influence was a prequel to Wolf, which explains why Spader’s character is such a bad person. Watch Bad Influence first, and then pretend Spader plays the same character in Wolf. Trust us.
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