What’s on TV Saturday: ‘Family Romance, LLC’ and Fireworks


FAMILY ROMANCE, LLC (2019) Stream on Mubi. You may not be able to choose your family, but a thriving rental industry in Japan allows you to get pretty close. In his latest film, a hybrid work of fiction and documentary, Werner Herzog goes inside the country’s rent-a-family industry, which pairs actors with those in need of a replacement relative, spouse or friend — for a fee. The film follows Ishii Yuichi, the founder of the rental company Family Romance, and the various roles he plays to fill the voids in his clients’ lives. Things get complicated when Yuichi takes a job portraying a young girl’s missing father.

JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE (2020) Rent or buy on Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators. This documentary from the director Dawn Porter delves into the life, career and civil rights activism of the Georgia congressman John Lewis. The film chronicles Lewis’s Alabama upbringing; his work with Martin Luther King, Jr.; the march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.; and his tireless work as a legislator. At age 80, Lewis continues to fight for voting rights and gun control, while battling pancreatic cancer.

NATIONAL TREASURE (2004) Rent or buy on Amazon Prime or iTunes. This Nicolas Cage adventure film has taken its fair share of ribbing over the years: It prompted “Saturday Night Live” spoofs, and the New York Times film critic Stephen Holden called it an inconsequential “piece of flotsam.” But everything that makes this movie so absurd — like its conspiracy-laden plot — makes for great comedic viewing. Cage plays Benjamin Franklin Gates, a historian gone rogue, who sets out to steal the Declaration of Independence, which supposedly holds the key to priceless treasure. “All you have to do is steal the Declaration of Independence, unroll it on a kitchen table, apply a little fresh-squeezed lemon juice, heat with a handy hair dryer, and presto, letters and numbers appear,” Holden wrote in his review. The quest takes Gates to famous landmarks in Washington, Philadelphia and New York, and also involves some special glasses designed by the real Benjamin Franklin as well as a frozen ship near the Arctic Circle — because of course it does.

MACY’S FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR 8 p.m. on NBC. While neighborhoods in New York City have already been awash in mini illegal fireworks shows this summer, there’s nothing quite like the big Fourth of July displays that Americans are used to seeing every year. However, many cities around the country have decided to cancel their elaborate shows out of concern for social distancing. But at least two shows will still go on and be broadcast for safe viewing from the comfort of home. NBC will air the Macy’s fireworks show from New York, along with performances by The Killers, Tim McGraw and John Legend. And Washington will host A CAPITOL FOURTH, which will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. on PBS, and will feature performances from Patti LaBelle, The Temptations and Trace Adkins.

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