The Netflix War

Is this war going on at your house, too? I love Netflix! As my faithful blog readers know, I love storytelling of all kinds and am as addicted to movies as I am to books. John is even more addicted, if that’s possible. In case you don’t know, through Netflix you can rent one or more movies at a time by mail and keep the film(s) as long as you like. When you return it, they send another. We’re on the three-movies-at-a-time plan, which runs us about $17 a month (now that they reduced their rates. Seriously, what other company reduces their rates?)
We watch about three a week (unless I’ve got deadline insanity, in which case John watches about five and I watch zero). When you go to, you create a numbered “queue” with the movie you next want to see at #1. John and I each have access to this queue. There’s the rub. When we’ve watched a few groaners in a row, I know he’s been messin’ with my carefully arranged queue and I get in there and rearrange it to my liking. He, of course, feels the same way and does the same thing.
We often love the same movies. (Recent faves: The Outlook, The Lives of Others, The Tunnel (both German), Sweetland, Calendar Girls, Kolya, Notes on a Scandal) and hate the same ones (Perfume (couldn’t make it through five minutes–yuch, The Last Sin Eater, Broken English). Then there are the old, film noir types that are sometimes good, but that John loves, loves, loves. After the third or fourth in a row. . . . well, it’s time for me to get on the Internet and start rearranging the queue again. And John’s pretty good about sitting through the so-called chick movies, but the third or fourth in a row has him hitting the queue himself. This is great fun for passive-aggressive types!
Hmm, I just checked our queue and see we’re waiting for Performance (!), that strange 1970 flick with Mick Jagger (I admit I haven’t seen it. John definitely slipped this one in), Rumor Has It (a mutually agreed upon Jennifer Aniston film, but I have no idea why), and Plenty (an old Meryl Streep film–another John choice). Checking out the queue, I see some tweaking that needs to be done.
I realized as I was writing this post that I have no problem panning a movie in my blog, but I won’t pan a book. If I truly don’t like a book, I won’t discuss it here. Wonder what that’s all about?


  1. Julie on October 19, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Perhaps if you were a movie producer/director/screenwriter, you’d be the same way about movies. Seems like most writers are very careful not to diss other writers. I guess you never know when it could come back to haunt you, huh?
    I saw Rumor Has It, quite by accident on a flight. It was cute.
    Notes on a Scandal–that was intense, wasn’t it?
    When it come out on Netflix, if you love music, you should see Once if you haven’t already. It’s an indie movie (which I see you have a few of on your list) and has been quite a grassroots success. I saw it twice at the theater and can’t wait for it to some out on DVD! It’s mesmerizing.

  2. Julie on October 19, 2007 at 12:21 am

    Hehe, I see that you JUST posted this blog. We have the same reading schedule, and it looks like we must have the same blogging and commenting schedule, too. (I promise I’m not an author stalker, just a simple fangirl.) 😉

  3. Diane Chamberlain on October 19, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Julie, you’re just a nightowl, like me. i seem to get to bed later and later. I’m always yapping about how I want to go to bed earlier and get up earlier but it doesn’t work for me. I hate to let go of the day.
    I already have Once on my Netflix “save” list for when it comes out on DVD.
    I’m sure you’re right, that if I were a movie maker, I’d be less likely to diss other movies. I know what goes into writing a book and hate hurtful reviews. I also know that a book that works for one person won’t work at all for another. Same with movies, but I feel so removed from them and some are simply so bad I can’t imagine why they were ever made.
    I love Judy Dench, always, and Cate Blanchett, usually. I thought Dench was amazing in Notes on a Scandal.

  4. Chris Messineo on October 19, 2007 at 10:41 am

    I don’t know if you are aware of this, but Netflix will let you have mutliple queues with one account, one for you and one for John.
    Just don’t tell Liz I told you this.
    p.s. “Perfume” was brilliant. 🙂

  5. Diane Chamberlain on October 19, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Ha! As long as you treat your auntie diane kindly, I won’t tell Liz. We were so repulsed by the first few bloody, gory scenes in Perfume that we couldn’t keep watching. Does that continue throughout the movie (the blood and gore)? What have you liked lately, Chris? (So I can cross it off my list — only joking!) DId you see The Lives of Others? At the risk of introducing politics, I can see our own government moving in that direction. . .

  6. brenda on October 19, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    I love movies, but I have no time to watch them. I like the show, “CRIMINAL MINDS” and try to watch it and sometimes catch a movie on LIFETIME.
    When I was single (for 8 years) a friend and I often saw 3 movies a weekend. Now just NOthing really great and little time. However, I think it might be a good idea to rent a few this winter…you have me intrigued-perhaps, I need to get back into the habit. When I visit my son, he rents movies I will like.
    Of course, I watch kids’ movies on DVD with the little ones.

  7. brenda on October 20, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    I am scheduling my life for next year-believe that.
    Any workshops in the making?

  8. Diane Chamberlain on October 20, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    Not as of this moment, Brenda. You need to read my latest post on the “new sixty!” You’re definitely one of the people Ellen Goodman is talking about.

  9. Chris Messineo on October 21, 2007 at 8:16 am

    I did see “The Lives of Others” and I loved it.
    Since you asked, here are ten of my favorite independent films from the last few years (in order from light to dark):
    – The Dish
    – 10 Items or Less
    – The Station Agent
    – In America
    – Pieces of April
    – Birth
    – Mean Creek
    – The Dead Girl
    – Dogville
    – Hard Candy
    Watch or avoid as you see fit.

  10. Diane Chamberlain on October 21, 2007 at 10:35 am

    Thanks, Chris. we loved The Dish, but haven’t seen the others. I’m going to read about them on Netflix and then decide. For anyone who’s managed to read this far down the comments, Chris is not only my nephew, but also the founder and director of

  11. Rob Lopresti on October 21, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    My wife and I watch a video together less than once a month so Netflix is not an issue for us, but there was a fascinating article in the NY Times a month or two ago about Netflix infidelity – people who agree to watch a series together and “cheat” when one is too busy! Call the marriage counselor!

  12. Diane Chamberlain on October 21, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    rob, yes i noticed that An Inconvenient Truth is on our Netflix “viewed” page, but I didn’t see it. John must have watched it while I was out of town. We’ll have to have a discussion. . .

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