Title: Just Peck
Released: 2009

Fix: Indie Teen Comedy
Platforms: Tubi TV, IMDB TV

You’re sitting at home, halfway through an awesome (or, let’s be honest, awesomely cheap) bottle of wine, and suddenly, tragedy strikes. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WATCH ON TV. You’ve exhausted all of your recordings, and even though your DVD collection is decent, you just spent the weekend binging teen comedies and Jane Austen adaptations. Your evening of mindless entertainment has suddenly become a DARK ABYSS OF NOTHING.

Friends, this terrifying scenario has happened to all of us at one time or another, and recently, FYA reader Devora emailed and asked for our help. Why not, she suggested, start a feature in which we recommend movies available on streaming?

Devora is obviously a genius, so we did what she told us to do. Welcome to Stream It, a new weekly feature on FYA in which we help you salvage the excuse to drink excessively on your couch. In this series, we’ll mostly skip the popular choices, because you wouldn’t be reading this if you hadn’t already watched, say, Friday Night Lights or Felicity. Because you’d be watching them! RIGHT? Right. Instead, we’ll try focus on the hidden streaming gems that you might breeze past due to terrible movie poster art or an unknown cast.

We’ve also adapted our typical scientific methods of teen film critique to better serve your streaming needs. And so, without any further ado, let’s examine our first subject!

Netflix Summary:

In this charming comedy, scrawny high school geek Michael Peck forms an unlikely friendship with Emily, a gorgeous senior way out of his league. But soon Peck dreams up a daring science fair project that he hopes will win Emily over completely.

FYA Summary:

In this totally charming teen comedy that is actually pretty realistic (I mean, for Hollywood), ITTY BITTY dorkalicious Michael Peck sweetly swimfans over Emily, who is super hot and kickass and overflowing with baggage (of course). But ITTY BITTY ADORABLE Peck dreams up a lame science fair project that he idiotically hopes will win Emily over, even though it’s obvious that girlfriend has some serious issues that Peck does not understand. But you’ll forgive Peck anyway, because he is JUST SO PRECIOUS AND AWKWARD. And also his parents are INSANE (in a really great way).

Familiar Faces:

Keir Gilchrist as Peck

Dang! There’s actually quite a few well known actors in this movie, which is unusual for a Netflix wallflower. First and foremost, the TEENY PRECIOUS star of the film is Keir Gilchrist, whom you might recognize from It’s Kind of a Funny Story (YA book adaptation, holla!) or The United States of Tara. The ridiculously alluring Emily is played by Brie Larson (also from The United States of Tara, as well as 21 Jump StreetScott Pilgrim, etc. etc.). Peck’s parents are Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives) and Adam Arkin (Chicago Hope REPRESENT!), and it’s fun to see both actors being so delightfully weird.

But the best thing about diamonds in the Netflix rough are the randos, the people you have to look up on IMDB because they look SO FAMILIAR but you can’t place them. Like this lady:

Camryn Manheim as Ms. Wood

Ok, so if you watch Ghost Whisperer, you already now that’s Camryn Manheim, but seriously, who watches Ghost Whisperer? I can tell you what I DO watch: Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, like, a million times and OMG IT’S TOBY!

Here’s another one:

Molly Hagan as Ms. Sears

Molly Hagan plays an English teacher in this movie, but you might know her as an ’80s prepster in Some Kind of Wonderful. HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY WHAT WHAT!

And then, to top it off, they cast this nobody as “Detention Teacher”:

Octavia Spencer as Detention Teacher

Couch-Sharing Capability: Maximum

This is a good movie ON THE REAL, you guys. And therefore, you don’t need to be ashamed of watching it with your significant other/friend/roomie/fellow FYA book club member. Like, even a dude would enjoy this! Probably!

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Medium

Trust me, you will actually want to remember that you saw this movie. And you don’t need beer goggles to appreciate it!

Use of Your Netflix Subscription: Highly Effective

Y’all, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this film. The writing is refreshing and authentic without being “quirky,” and the casting is MARVELOUS. The actors can really act! And the jokes are really funny! And, best of all, this is a teen movie that feels AND looks realistic. Because I don’t know about you, but the guys at my high school looked a lot more like Peck than, say, Jacob and Edward.

So do yourself and your couch potato ass a favor and check out Just Peck. And if you’ve already seen it, lemme know what you think in the comments.


Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.