5 Movies Like Desire (2011)

Staff & contributors

Full Time is about the Herculean task that is getting through the day. For Julie Roy (the incredible Laure Calamy), that means keeping a job in the city as a single mother living in the suburbs. In this particular week, she has to attend to childcare, work a job below her skill set, apply for a job that actually matches her skill set, and get home before her children's bedtime, all while a transport strike immobilizes the city. 

Protests aside, Julie's reality is an everyday feat some of us don’t even bother to question, but the film—edited and scored like a thriller—makes a vital point about the overlooked difficulties of juggling career, family, and self. 

It's unrelenting, intense, and truly gripping from start to end, kind of like Uncut Gems for the everywoman. It's rare to see social commentary at this pace, but it's also unexpectedly powerful, a necessary portrait of the times.

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Actor: Agathe Dronne, Anne Suarez, Arnaud Maillard, Arnaud Préchac, Bô Gaultier de Kermoal, Carima Amarouche, Cedric Welsch, Christine Kay, Cyril Gueï, Dominique Plaideau, Évelyne El Garby-Klaï, Fabrice Abraham, Geneviève Mnich, Guillaume Vincent, Irina Muluile, Karine Valmer, Laure Calamy, Laurent Pons, Lucie Gallo, Mareme N'Diaye, Marina Saura, Mathilde Weil, Michaël Assié, Olivier Faliez, Philippe de Monts, Romain Deloutre, Romain Ogerau

Director: Eric Gravel

Rating: Not Rated

Bad Axe is an intimate documentary that follows the Sievs, a tight-knit family that runs a restaurant in the city of Bad Axe, Michigan. When the rise of COVID restrictions and racist hate groups put their business at risk, the Sievs try to hold on to each other while also carefully, in their own way, fighting back.

Mostly shot in the unforgettable year that is 2020, Bad Axe captures the fraught intensity and existential panic we all spiraled into during the global pandemic. It’s a charged film, but underneath all that buzz is a story about a family with its own tensions and histories and contradictions to deal with. Bad Axe is at once simple and complex, and like family, you just kind of love it, flaws and all.

Genre: Documentary, Drama

Actor: Austin Turmell

Director: David Siev

Somewhere in Queens has the familiar feel of an indie dramedy. It’s intimate and unassuming, casually funny and effortlessly moving. It has the low-key charm that evades more large-scale productions, lending the film that rare poignancy that makes something feel special. 

All these boost an otherwise simple story of family and acceptance. Couple Leo and Ange (a very compelling Ray Romano and Laurie Metcalf) are getting on in years, and watching them navigate the common pitfalls of people their age is both funny and heartwarming to watch. This is cleverly paralleled with their son Sticks’ (Jacob Ward) coming-of-age journey, which is just as expected but tender as ever. 

Theirs is a tight-knit family that fights as much as they love, and watching them in a modest production like this isn't just feel apt but authentic and dear too, like an old family picture come to life.

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Actor: Caryn Richman, Danny Garcia, David St. Louis, Elizabeth Yu, Erik Griffin, Geoffrey Owens, J. C. MacKenzie, Jackson Pace, Jacob Ward, James Ciccone, Jennifer Esposito, Jennifer Simard, Joe Caniano, Jon Manfrellotti, June Gable, Karen Lynn Gorney, Katie Kreisler, Lauren Biazzo, Laurie Metcalf, Matt Romano, P. J. Byrne, Ray Romano, Sadie Stanley, Sebastian Maniscalco, Seth Barrish, Tony Lo Bianco

Director: Ray Romano

Rating: R

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and it’s the main reason why filmmakers keep cashing in with old media franchises. Archie has been reimagined before, with the bewildering twists and turns of the CW’s Riverdale, but this time, it’s India’s turn with the franchise, and Graphic India and Tiger Baby Films partnered with the original publication to reimagine the town as an Anglo-Indian community in The Archies. The production design is undoubtedly stunning, with the maximalist Bollywood spectacle borrowing from 60’s Americana, and the musical numbers aren't half bad either. However, it’s the story and characterization that falters, as it feels like the leads are just going through the motions of the familiar love triangles. The film is still fun to watch, but ultimately, it feels like The Archies relies on spectacle to make up for its shortcomings.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance

Actor: Aditi Saigal, Agastya Nanda, Alyy Khan, Ankur Tewari, Ashok Banthia, Avan Contractor, Delnaaz Irani, Deven Khote, Dianne Commissariat, Dot., Farhan Akhtar, Kamal Sidhu, Khushi Kapoor, Koel Purie, Lovely Sharma, Luke Kenny, Mihir Ahuja, Nikos Andritsakis, Prerana Poddar, Puja Sarup, Satyajit Sharma, Sheena Khalid, Suhaas Ahuja, Suhana Khan, Tara Sharma, Vedang Raina, Vikram Kapadia, Vinay Pathak, Yuvraj Menda

Director: Zoya Akhtar

Set in the capital of Peru, How to Deal with a Heartbreak is a follow-up to the mildly successful romantic comedy How to Get Over a Breakup. The titles are pretty self-explanatory, but where the first film is strictly about romance, the sequel experiments with more tender themes like family and friendship. It features everyday characters meant to seem relatable and endearing, but halfway through watching, one can’t help but wonder why any of this matters. The stakes are so low and the premise so ordinary, it feels like a huge effort to simply care about the movie. Some rom-coms are saved by a funny script or a charming cast, but this has none of that. The most rousing part of the film is when one character (I won’t divulge who) dies, and so Maria Fe is forced to grapple with the heaviness of death. It’s the one moment in the movie that feels real, but sadly it’s tossed aside to make way for more generic fare.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Ana María Orozco, Carlos Carlín, Christopher Von Uckermann, Gisela Ponce de León, Jason Day, Jely Reategui, Karina Jordán, Norma Martínez, Salvador del Solar

Director: Joanna Lombardi

Rating: R