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The Binge: work and family ... the struggle is real




Still from the Amazon Prime program, Catastrophe - starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan
Still from the Amazon Prime program, Catastrophe - starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan
Tim Bret Day

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Thanks to services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others - there are thousands of movies and television shows available at any given time. But how do you decide?

Take Two contributor - and also writer & film historian Mark Jordan Legan stops by with this month's Binge offering ... and because today is Take your Daughters and Sons to Work Day, we thought it'd be a perfect time to look a options that feature the struggles of work/life balance.

From 2005 is the delightful Nanny McPhee. Oscar-winning screenwriter Emma Thompson adapted the popular books, and she also plays the title role of the wise, mysterious and magical nanny who suddenly appears one day to help Mr. Brown, played by Colin Firth, the overwhelmed widower with seven rebellious children.

The film is a bit like "Mary Poppins" with more of a brash and fun streak running through it and with some wonderful life lessons. Perfect for ages six and up.

Next  is the Amazon Original Series, Catastrophe. The show is based and filmed in London and in true British fashion, twelve episodes are spread over two seasons. American comedian Rob Delaney and British actress Sharon Horgan star in this hilarious and terrifically raunchy series. After a boozy one night stand leads to an accidental pregnancy, Delaney decides to move to London and marry the woman. So they have a marriage and a baby in a blink of an eye. 

Next is The Kids are Alright. Full of superb performances, Annette Benning and Julianne Moore play a gay married couple who have happily raised two children through a sperm donor. But their son and daughter become curious about who the sperm-donor dad was and after tracking him down invite him over for a family dinner, which needless to say is rather awkward. The sperm donor is wonderfully played by Mark Ruffalo. 

And we close with the outstanding 2002 film About a Boy. Hugh Grant gives a charming, first-rate performance as a spoiled man-child with family money. He’s only ever had to think of himself and is perfectly fine doing that until he meets an unusual boy being raised by a struggling single mom. But Hugh Grant learns he can do well with hot single moms if they think he’s a hot single Dad, so he starts asking the kid to pose as his son. But in many ways, this kid is more mature than Grant and becomes his moral compass.