According to a grade 6 student I once taught, a chick flick is a movie that involves a love story between a man and a woman. They meet under unusual circumstances, and in most cases, the guy (sometimes the girl) must work hard to get the other to notice them, date them, love them. Approximately two thirds of the way through the movie, something happens to break the couple up. (My student explained that this was most often a misunderstanding, often about a former lover, but could include a job transfer to another city, etc.) To finish, the movie then wrapped up with a tearful and ‘just-in-time’ reunion, usually at an airport, where the viewer is certain the relationship will continue on happily ever after.
The more I watch movies with my wife, the more I wonder if these types of movies have to follow this order – because lots of them do. Guys know that if they want to spend time watching a movie with their wife/girlfriend/date, they’ll need to spend time with chick flicks, women just don’t seem to get off on great crash and bang action flicks. My wife must feel like she doesn’t even need to try anymore, because if a film has a hint of violence, she’s not interested. Because of this, as you can well imagine, I’ve seen a lot of movies that I shouldn’t have. There are some terrible films in this genre. Many are just boring retreads with overpaid actors who have done this kind of role before. But you know, there are actually some that I wanted to include on this list. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I liked them, but if some hapless guy could be helped by at least choosing one of these films that won’t require him to pull his hair out, then I’ve done my job.
The following list includes chick flicks that aren’t too bad – in fact, I liked them:
Jimmy Fallon of SNL fame is an insane Boston Red Sox fan, in the year the BoSox finally won the World Series no less. He ends up hooking up with Drew Barrymore. He is an insane sports fan, and Drew must compete for his attention. The movie is cute, funny and follows the chick flick model to a ‘t’.
I used to think Meg Ryan could do no wrong. She was funny, pretty and made me actually like watching these types of movies. In this picture, Meg’s on her way to France to confront her cheating fiance, when she meets the con-man Kevin Kline. He’s French, and very funny. Liked it so much I bought the video.
Bridget Jones’ Diary
Squinty-faced Renee Zelwegger is Bridget, a frumpy, overweight diary-addicted young lady who just wants a good man. The problem is, she can’t seem to tell a good man even when he’s right in front of her. She actually takes time to decide between a lying putz (Hugh Grant) and a humane, honest lawyer (Colin Firth). A highlight is the ‘man fight’ between the leading men which moves from Greek restaurant to street – very funny.
Spunky Gwyneth Paltrow is great as match-making Emma in this adaptation from the Jane Austen classic. It’s one of those cases of the answer being right in front of you. In this case, Mr. Right is actually Mr. Knightley, and you can’t help but want these two to get together. It’s romantic, sensitive, wholesome and cutesy – I can’t believe I liked it.
OK, so this is basically just the same story as Emma only with a 1990’s setting. Alicia Silverstone is the modern Emma, with clueless friends, everything her spoiled little heart could desire, and a potential boyfriend that is gay. It all ends well though.
Fried Green Tomatoes
This is an interesting story of a housewife who is unhappy with her housebound life. She befriends an older lady who entertains her with stories of people she used to know.
Well this is definitely the classic boy meets girl, makes girl like him, loses girl, has to get her back story. It’s very funny too. Will Smith is great, and Kevin James nearly steals the show as a loveable dork who wants to be hitched with an impossibly hot, rich, popular socialite. A great romantic comedy.
50 First Dates
Drew Barrymore again, this time with Adam Sandler. Drew is a victim of some sort of accident and has a unique form of amnesia in which she wakes up every day forgetting what happened the day before. This of course provides a challenge for Sandler who needs to impress her every day and try to win her over. Of course it also means he can remember what worked on her and what didn’t. Some days I think I could use this kind of a loophole.
In the world of romantic comedies, this one really is a cut above. Coming from the Farelly brothers, this can be crude at times, but it deals with the real issue of inner beauty vs. shallow outward appearances. Jack Black falls in love with Gwyneth Paltrow – after he is un-brainwashed to see women from the inside out. Turns out she’s actually an obese woman, but Black sees her for her beautiful character. Jason Alexander is hilarious trying to break the two up, and he has a horrific character flaw. A unique way of approaching the chick flick genre. .
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
This was a bit of a sleeper hit and turned out to be a blockbuster at the box office earning more than $200 million. A regular guy ends up falling in love for a Greek girl. The humour is in the family relationships, and anyone with inlaws will enjoy how things play out.
If you are stuck with a date night and she’s picking the movie, I recommend trying to convince her to watch one of these
Just in case you thought I missed some, I thought I’d mention some romantic comedies I TOTALLY hate: Jerry McGuire, Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, Maid in Manhattan, Sweet Home Alabama, The Wedding Singer, Runaway Bride, Six Days Seven Nights, America’s Sweethearts and About a Boy. These are movies not worth watching – avoid at all costs!