Well it’s finally time my friends. Time to discuss the chick flick. When I was a kid I had no clue what that term meant, but as I have gotten older I get it. One of my favorite movies is a chick flick, and one I am not ashamed to admit to loving. It was 25 years ago this week that a little movie came out called :
Yep. Pretty Women. It starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere and was a monster hit. But, why? The premise was absurd after all. Because the chemistry between Roberts and Gere was irresistible (not to mention a strong supporting cast and a fantastic sound track). But since I have discussed that movie in other places, I decided to talk about other “chick flicks” that I admit I do like.
So what makes a movie a chick flick? In my opinion it can be one of two things. Either it’s a sappy romance based story, or a story focusing on women and usually with a tragedy thrown in. For instance Steel Magnolia’s and Fried Green Tomatoes (though with Tomatoes that is arguable) are classic chick flicks but neither have a romance. And for the record, saw the first one and it was quite boring. So what makes, say, Father of the Bride not a chick flick? Probably the fact that the main character is the father, and so everything is seen from his point of view. Although the same is said for Four Weddings and a Funeral but that is considered a chick flick. Of course the running plot is romance based it does end with Andi MacDowell crying in he rain (FYI, HATE that movie).
Yeah while I am not a huge action fan I also don’t like the real sappy “chick flicks”. I guess because the story is just so flat. I mean, what the heck happens in Sixteen Candles? Girl upset parents missed birthday, goes on a date. Yawn. Ok, Ok there is more than that but not that much really. These movies are just so boring. Gun to my head I wouldn’t sit through “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. And if you’re wondering why “When Harry Met Sally” isn’t on here, I have yet to sit through that whole movie.
But once in awhile these movies will actually get my attention and I will enjoy them. Here are 10 (well technically 12) such films, in no particular order.
A League of Their Own
Yeah I know, Nostalgia Critic mentioned this one recently when he discussed chick flicks. But what can I say, my timing sucks. Hey, at least no one else at Channel Awesome talked about this recently.
I’m sorry, what did Todd in the Shadows just review?
Er…. moving on. Even though this movie is all about women, it’s really good! Why? The characters are really memorable. Tom Hanks is funny, Madonna is awesome, and Geena Davis never disappoints. It’s also based on real events which helps. This movie is a lot of fun and I dare you not to like it!Â And speaking of Nostalgia Critic, while I liked Mama Mia in a guilty pleasure sort of way I decided to leave it off here since I have to admit, it wasn’t very good.
What can you say about a movie about witch’s where hardly anything magical happens? Yeah that is kind of a buzz kill but what sells this movie is that Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman have such a good chemistry. And you really end up cheering for them, even if the plot is a bit weak. My wife used to make me watch this every Halloween. One of the reasons I am happy to be divorced today. But in all seriousness, it isn’t bad.
Sleepless in Seattle
This is the one for years I had to kind of admit to liking with a bit of embarrassment. Not because it’s a chick flick but because it seems no one likes this. At all. I don’t know, I liked it, though I won’t deny the premise is contrived (though it’s not “While You Were Sleeping” ridiculous). It’s a sweet story and Hanks and Ryan always work well together (You’ve Got Mail was good too).
The Princess Bride
I am not exactly sure when or why I saw this, but when I did finally see it I admit I did like it. The characters are what sell it (notice a pattern?) since the romantic stuff is corny as hell. But it’s a nice story and I think the best part for me is the framing device. Peter Falk and Fred Savage sell their minor rolls, not to mention the other quotable lines in the movie. “You killed my father. Prepare to die”. Oh and Billy Crystal’s cameo is hilarious. This is just a fun watch.
The First Wives Club
I think the reason this movie works is because it’s made clear the three ladies aren’t just “man hating”. Their ex’s are all horrible and why wouldn’t we want to see them get their revenge? If there had been no ex’s and they were just out to punish all men, yeah that would be one thing. But the movie entertained me, what else can I ask?
For some reason I have trouble counting this as a chick flick. I mean there is plenty of humor and even some decent action. But when we get to the “Unchained Melody” part (both of them) and that ending where Demi Moore is saying goodbye to Sam….yeah deep down it’s a chick movie. Just a chick movie a bit more balanced than others which may be why it was a pretty big hit in 1990. It has a little something for everyone plus a strong cast.
One Fine Day
This isn’t one of George Clooney or Michelle Pfeifer’s best know movies, but it’s really a nice film. It literally takes place over the course of one day, and I love gimmicks like that. Yeah in order for the plot to work there are a few contrivances and wild coincidences. But the chemistry between the two leads is fantastic. So fantastic hey added a kissing scene at the end when the creators realized how well the two acted off each other.
Dan in Real Life
I wanted to have a lesser know, and a bit more recent, choice on here. This Steve Carell movie is a simple romance plot which really offers nothing in the way of surprises. But it’s sweetly acted and has enough comedy in it that I’ll say that I liked. Steve Carell can be kind nutty but here he is understated as the heartbroken Dan. And it works.
50 First Dates/The Wedding Singer
This is a tie because they both star the same two people and the plots are basically the same, romance between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. In Wedding Singer it’s a by the book cliched romance with a bully, a misunderstanding, and every other romantic cliche…..but there are so many 80’s gags you have to love it. As for 50 First Dates it takes an absurd concept and does a nice job with it. It really treats the memory loss Barrymore’s character experiences seriously. And their relationship is believable as a result. I think one of the problems with Sandler’s movies is that the plots are just half assed. Here it is well done, and since Barrymore and Sandler have great chemistry it blends very well. You know it can’t be just them, or did you not see “Blended”?
I wondered if this counted. But at the end of the day it is a sappy romance driven story. And when it premiered women lined up night after night for months to see it (I am so not making that up). What can I say about this movie that has not been said? It is a “by the numbers” romance but the way it was directed makes it unique. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are great in this (to this day I don’t know how she lost the Oscar to Helen Hunt for the overrated “As Good as it Gets”). And the reason this rises above crap like “Pearl Harbor” is because it treats the disaster of The Titanic, and the real life people on board, with immense respect. We feel the loss of the Titanic while we’re cheering for Rose and Jack at the same time. Add a hauntingly fantastic song by Celine Dion, and what’s not to love? It was very well done and I am not ashamed to say that I enjoy this movie.
So, any I missed? Jerry Magure? Overrated but not awful. Dirty Dancing? Grown on me but just a little. My Best Friend’s Wedding? Eh, not bad. Runaway Bride? Not bad. Enchanted? It tried really hard! Terms of Endearment? DEPRESSING, but there is some good stuff in there.
What are your favorite’s? Comment and let me know.