While you get ready to hunker down and check off that long list of binge-worthy things to watch, why not kick it off by supporting the beautiful city we call home? Miami has been the backdrop for plenty of great storylines–action-packed, sport-related, or arthouse–stories as versatile as the Magic City itself. Here are some of our absolute favorites, aside from the absolute obvious:
Everyone knows the name and remembers the cringe-worthy Oscars moment, but how many people have actually gotten around to watching the Best Picture winner? In my humble opinion, no film has captured the pacing of what living in Miami actually feels like quite as well as this one. It’s slow but breathtaking.
Ace Venture Pet Detective
One of my absolute favorite comedies of all time and, in my eyes, one of Jim Carrey’s best roles to date. The early 90s flare, Courtney Cox’s aesthetic peak, and a genius scene involving a tutu and a football. Dolphins fan or not, it must be watched.
Not a day goes by where I don’t miss Robin Williams. For one briefly fierce film, he graced Miami’s presence with his impeccably flamboyant performance as a gay cabaret owner handling the antics of his drag queen singing partner.
It was because of shoes like Miami Vice and this drama by Brian De Palma that the 80s have been embedded into our city’s visual identity forever. Lover of gangster films or not, it doesn’t get more classic than this.
Absence of Malice
To those of us who grew up in this city, the bayfront Miami Herald building was historic. This film stars Paul Newman and Sally Fields in an entangled web of journalism and the search for truth. It could’ve just as easily taken place in NYC but having Miami as a backdrop gives the thrilling story some much-needed light.
The acclaimed documentary by Miami storyteller extraordinaire, Billy Corben is always a great place to start. Watch Miami’s rise into becoming the cocaine capital of the United States.
Ah, yes. A young Alec Baldwin is a gem to behold, especially when wielding a gun shirtless. The chemistry between him and a young Jennifer Jason Leigh is intense and lays the foundation for this fun watch.
There’s Something About Mary
The Farrelly brothers have played an essential role in the formation of my personal sense of humor and this film (along with Dumb and Dumber) was at the center of it all. Ben Stiller at his nerdiest, Cameron Diaz at her most charming, and Matt Dillon playing the jerk we all love to hate. Shoutouts to HistoryMiami and Matheson Hammock who act as locations for pivotal moments in the film.
Rounding off the movies with one of Antonio Banderas’ first that propelled him onto the American cinema mainstream. Throw in Sarah Jessica Parker and Mia Farrow for some fun antics.
A spy following the trail to who might have put a target on his back, first released in the mid-2000s with a nostalgic feel. It’s a fun 7 season binge.
Regardless of how you might feel about how this serial killer epic drama ended, we can all agree that its first few seasons were fantastic. Particularly season one and coincidentally, the only season to actually be filmed in Miami.
The Golden Girls
All seven seasons of this 80s comedy are pure, well, gold. By the end of it, you’ll be fighting over who is more like each character while building your shrine to Betty White.
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2
If you haven’t seen this series, you really are missing out. A raunchy female comedian in the 50s/60s juggling motherhood and stardom. In the second season, her tour takes her to Miami for a few funky episodes and some great cameos by The Fountainbleu, Eden Roc, and the Intercontinental Motel all set in our city’s “Golden Era”.
Jane the Virgin
This satirical telenovela is one of those binges you have to take at face value and laugh along with it. The award-winning comedy series ended last year but its quirk still lives on.
Cover photo by WGN TV.