5 Independent Films To Watch

by Georgette Walker

I really enjoy watching independent films. Mainstream films tend to either romanticize too much or forego any originality. Here are five independent films to watch.

Broken English
Parker Posey stars in this 2007 independent film as Nora Wilder, a single New York woman who is longing to meet Mr. Right. After experiencing two failed dates, Nora wonders if she will ever find love. While attending a friend’s party, she meets a charming Frenchman named Julien (Melvil Poupaud). With Julien’s carefree attitude, Nora begins to open herself up to new possibilities. This film is a great depiction of women who are struggling to find love and happiness. There is no over-the-top-dialogue, quirky sidekicks or fantasy ending, which makes this film all the more enjoyable.

Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.
I became aware of this film through BET. When I was in elementary school, I used to see commercials airing throughout the day for a contest to view this low-budget film. Once it made its way to my local video rental store, I had to see it. Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. is a story about a sassy, outspoken, no-nonsense teen named Chantel. Although she excels in school, her foul-mouth is an issue with those of authority. Chantel is anxious to graduate high school early and attend college, but she learns that she is pregnant. I’m saddened to know this film can be viewed on YouTube in its entirety. Please support black films!

2 Days in Paris
This indie comedy was written, produced, and directed by Julie Delpy. She also plays Marion alongside Adam Goldberg as Jack. Delpy casted the film with Goldberg, her former boyfriend, and her real parents. Marion and Jack spend two days in Paris after vacationing in Italy. During their Paris trip, the couple starts to question whether or not their relationship can be salvaged. I cannot wait to see the follow-up to this film with Chris Rock called 2 Days in New York.

>I Like It Like That
As a youngster, I would sneak downstairs at night to watch all the good stuff on HBO and Showtime. I knew my parents would not approve me watching any films on either channel late at night. Well, one of those films happened to be I Like It Like That. Lisette lives with her husband Chino (he was so fine to me) and her three kids. After Chino goes to jail, Lisette is forced to take care of the household. It never fails that I start to sing, “Yeaaaah baby, I like it like that!”

Muriel’s Wedding
Who remembers Toni Collette as the corpulent, unattractive Muriel? To escape her reality of being teased and ridiculed, Muriel listens to ABBA and dreams of her wedding. She decides to skip town with her friend Rhonda to start a new life. Everything seems to be a fairytale come true, but soon Muriel has to face some harsh realities.

Have you seen the aforementioned films? If so, would you recommend them? Do you have any independent film suggestions?

  • LemonNLime

    “2 Days in Paris” was good and I LOVE Adam Goldberg. I never heard about the squeal!

  • Nae

    I LOVE Two Days in Paris!! It was all too funny I might rent it again. Oh and Ill check out the other films as well. Great article. I hope more folks comment :)

  • deandra j.

    Leon: The Professional

  • Sindy

    I liked ‘I Like it Like That’ and “Girl..” back in the 90s.

    I think “Girlstown” deserves an honorable mention.

  • Sindy

    Meant to say “Just Another Girl on the IRT”.

  • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com Perverted Alchemist

    “Hav Plenty” anyone????

  • MedStudent

    I LOVED “I Like it Like That”, *Dominican accent* as a child! And the song by Pete Rodriguez wasn’t bad either. Nina from New York Undercover did her thing in that movie.

  • http://gisforgrace.wordpress.com NinaG

    Haven’t seen any of these. Definitely adding Broken English and 2 Days in Paris to my to-watch list

  • Pingback: Independent Films to Watch « shannonbland

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

    On The Outs
    Medicine For Melancholy – Tracy Heggins
    Raising Victor Vargas
    Attack The Block
    Our Song – Kerry Washington
    Money Matters
    Anne B Real
    A Kiss Of Chaos
    Skin – Sophie Okonedo
    Desert Flower – Liya Kebede
    Life Support – Queen Latifah, Tracee Ellis Ross

    I could go on but I’ll stop there.

  • Dalili

    I LOVED Muriel’s Wedding…..awww, I’d forgotten about it. 2 Days In Paris was pretty good too.

  • Dalili


  • http://www.RealTalk123.com AlesiaMichelle

    Uh Yeh! I refer to Hav Plenty on my website a lot. I still have a thing for Mr. Cherot!

  • http://www.RealTalk123.com AlesiaMichelle

    Uh! I love “Girlstown” for those who haven’t seen it, Netflix has it. I prefer it to “Just Another Girl on the IRT”… I think it is worth a see but I was so annoyed while watching it.

  • http://www.codeemphasis.blogspot.com Clarity Jane

    Attack the Block?? Seriously?? That film is rubbish in so many ways. Sorry

  • http://www.RealTalk123.com AlesiaMichelle

    Murie’s Wedding is in my top five hands down. I laugh I cry… This is a movie for all to see.

  • Jess

    Medicine for Melancholy was good–found it by accident on Netflix–good date movie too!

  • Nadia

    “Rabbit-Proof Fence”

    I think this would certainly qualify as an independent film since it had to ultimately be funded by two Australian government grants in order to be filmed, and then released.

    The true story of two aboriginal girls taken from their tribe and their parents and their epic journey back home.

  • http://gisforgrace.wordpress.com NinaG

    definitely agree on Pariah and Medicine for Melancholy!

  • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com Perverted Alchemist

    That movie- as well as the soundtrack- was great in so many ways. When Hulu secured the rights to stream all of Miramax’s film library, “Hav Plenty” was the first thing I watched!

  • Dalili

    Anyone remember City of God?

  • Freebee33

    Yes! City of God is one of my favorites.

  • Isis

    I love indie films

  • Dalili

    It’s one of my favorites too! :)

  • M

    “Just Another Girl on the IRT” scared me straight when I was 12! That and “Brenda’s Got a Baby” video by Tupac lol

  • T

    Loved just another girl on the I.R.T

  • Alexandra

    Val listed some great films. I loved ‘Raising Victor Vargas’ and ‘Our Song’ growing up.

    ‘Five Feet High and Rising’, same actors in ‘Raising Victor Vargas’ but it was a short.
    Monsoon Wedding
    Welcome to the Dollhouse
    American Girl
    The Perez Family

  • mikey kun

    thanks for the list I will be so watching this films

  • Cato

    PLEASE keep posts like these coming! Thanks! :)

  • HowApropos

    Love ‘em ALL!!!

  • http://ladyelly.blogspot.com Lady Elly

    Great article!! Loves it!! I’m not an independent film lover, but this article may have conformed me. On my to-do-list this week, rent “Broken Arrow”……………sounds like a great movie- one I can relate to.

  • Bisous

    @Alexandra Welcome to the Dollhouse is one of my favorite movies. I like Happiness to but it’s a bit darker.

  • Stacy

    Just watched Broken English on Netflix!i need to step my indie film game up!

  • Sia

    Broken English is SOOOO Good! One of my favorite movies. Shout out to netflix for feeding my indie movie obsession

  • Shannon Frye

    I’ve got a few really great indies to suggest…

    “Alma’s Rainbow” – awesome story about a mother and daughter with different goals for their lives. Teenage and tombyish Rainbow is in love with hip-hop but her mother Alma – a failed musician – sees only heartache. This is one of my favorite coming-of-age films.

    “The Watermelon Woman” – Possibly director Cheryl Dunye’s best film to date. The story has aspiring filmmaker Cheryl (Dunye) trying to find out more about a black actress from the 1930s credited only as the Watermelon Woman. During her documentary, Cheryl must confront racism and homophobia and ponder who she is as a black lesbian.

    “The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls In Love” – Awesome awesome! It’s just a sweet and kooky love story about two girls from different backgrounds that become friends then something more. Nicole Ari Parker and Laurel Holloman were amazing as the teens in love. I suggest this film for anyone wishing to understand or be accepting to GLBTQ kids in their life. When I discovered this movie, it was the first time I saw a black lesbian portrayed at all: It made me cry to see myself on the screen and thankful for the representation.

    Just found the mag and will be suggesting Clutch to all the women in my life!! Great job, ladies!

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