Note to Chicks on chick-flicks

this is the best synopsis of why I don’t watch chick flicks, ever, unless they’ve come with at least two recommendations from guys (who have been carefully vetted not to be chick-flick victims.  Sorry Dad, I love you, but you are WAY too prone to think Fried Green Tomatoes was actually watchable without symptoms of nausea).

Note that this is in a post where the author actually recommends a chick-flick:

I mean movies like Premonition, in which (spoiler coming, but you don’t want to see it anyway) the wife foresees that her husband is going to die, which he is going to do because he is going to cheat on her, but he doesn’t because he loves her too much after all, but he is killed anyway, fate being what it is, but fortunately he has just bought a fat new life insurance policy so the wife gets to buy a big new house.  The end.  I wonder who thought that one up.

Gee, I wonder?

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  1. Zathras

     /  December 5, 2007

    Good advice. So which chick flicks have you seen that you liked?

  2. Bridge to Terebithia was good. VERY good. Though it’s borderline a “rough kid flick” rather than a chick-flick.

    My Big Fat Greek Wedding was good. (And the wifey can vouch, I resisted seeing it for three years)

    That’s about all I can think of off the top of my head: I’m sure there’s one or two I’ll remember later, but usually they’re about feeling wise as they watch men learn “valuable life lessons,” (a.k.a., how to master the skill of being a chick in a guy’s body) or else the guys are simply there as wish-fulfillment machines (how this is different from everyday life is debatable in the Land of the Golddigger, but happily, I never had the kind of cash to attract any of those vampires…)

  3. Anna

     /  December 5, 2007

    Love Actually? Despite Hugh Grant?

  4. The only chick flick worth seeing was Elizabethtown. The rest should all be flushed as the drek they are.

  5. Anna

     /  December 5, 2007

    Depends on the definition of chick-flick, I guess, and that wildly varies even between members of the same gender…

  6. Zathras

     /  December 5, 2007

    There’s definitely a definitional issue here. A couple of people have told me they thought Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was a chick flick, and that’s one of my favorite movies this decade. Maybe it is a chick flick, maybe it isn’t.

  7. Madeleine

     /  December 5, 2007

    I agree with Anna. How is ‘chick flick’ being defined? Is it any film that is marketed predominantly for women or is there some other criteria at work?
    Being a female who is fairly allergic to most films marketed for women, I can say that there are some that I’ve really liked (Love Actually and Elizabethtown being two of them) and others (Beaches etc.) that made me feel nothing if not manipulated.
    I guess I’m trying to say that as a woman with a working brain and an emotional maturity above the age of 10, it’s that feeling of manipulation and patronization that seems to accompany a lot of “chick flicks” that really bugs me.

  8. happycrow

     /  December 5, 2007

    Chick flicks, as opposed to guy flicks, could be sloppily defined as movies/films/trash on celluloid that
    a) are overwhelmingly marketed to one sex
    b) present a worldview overwhelmingly colored by attitudes or preconceptions common to one of the sexes (for example, Rambo flix are very much a teenage-boy thing, and the example review given above is very much along the lines of the unapologetic gold-digging and husband-as-ATM that is unfortunately prevalent in much of the U.S.)

    Love Actually was okay. But that actually wasn’t one film — it was a series of romantic/comedic vignettes. Some of those vignettes were exceptional. Hugh Grant’s was utter drek. I haven’t seen Elizabethtown.

    Zathras, I haven’t seen Eternal Sunshine, but I’ve heard that it was very DEFINITELY a chick-flick, and it hasn’t been recommended to me by any viewers (yet). Either it’s an overlooked gem, or you just might be a chickflick victim… 🙂

  9. Alex

     /  December 5, 2007

    Definition is very important, but there are some REALLY obvious stereotypical versions of what is classified as a “chick flick” that present emotional escapism – just watch anything on the Lifetime channel for an idea. With that I am reminded by a humorous comment my grandfather in law made once: “After watching Lifetime once with my wife – even I hate men!”

    And I also enjoyed Love, Actually when watching it with my wife, but I doubt I would have ever wanted to see it by myself. Now there are movies “I get it” whereas these same movies I would have dismissed out of turn before I was married.

    Finally – I would point out that we guys have our escapist “crap” as well that we guys love that most women roll their eyes at and refuse to watch. My wife calls them “Shooters and Screamers”.

  10. Zathras

     /  December 5, 2007

    I am not a chick flick victim! Am I?

    Let’s see, of the movies mentioned so far,
    Fried Green Tomatoes: bleecch
    Beaches: even worse
    My Big Fat Greek Wedding: ok, helped to have a few beers before seeing it.
    Love, Actually: ditto, including the alcohol consumption.
    Elizabethtown: did not see and have absolutely no interest to see.
    Bridge to Terebithia: did not see; does not look bad.

    The only other chick flick I enjoyed was probably Moonstruck, and that was mainly because ….well, I’ll just leave that thought uncompleted.

    It is hard for me to see a Charlie Kaufmann movie as a chick flick. I loved Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, but Eternal Sunshine was if anything more schizophrenic than these two, and I really got into that angle. I guess the question is whether every movie that has a romance as being central to the plot is a chick flick. I think that’s going too far.

  11. Since I haven’t seen either Eternal S. or Moonstruck, I can’t say anything.

  12. I’d pose the same question as Zathras: is any movie that has a romance as being central to the plot a chick flick?

    And, BTW, I also agree with Zathras, re: Charlie Kaufman movies (I’ve seen the three that he mentioned — JG states that seeing the last one [Eternal Sunshine] with dead-drunk people is hilarious).

  13. Alex

     /  December 5, 2007

    Hey Zathras,
    If I liked “Being John Malkovich” while sober…do you think I would like Eternal Sunshine? I had seen the concept of “Sunshine” and thought it looked good but wasn’t sure. To me romance/love as the central theme to a movie doesn’t make it a chick flick unless its sappy or emotionally unreal.

  14. Alex, if you liked Being John Malkovich, you should really like Eternal Sunshine, sober or otherwise. The romance is not sappy–in fact, some of the argument scenes ring more true than just about any other similar scene in movies. It’s got an incredible cast–Jim Carrey is as good or better than he was in the Truman Show, Kate Winslet and Kirsten Dunst play fascinating, 3-dimensional characters, and Elijah Wood plays a complete loser very well. The movie ranges from serious to drop-dead funny–especially one particular scene with a very “young” Jim Carrey. Very highly recommended.

  15. Alex

     /  December 5, 2007

    Thanks Zathras – I’ll put it on my Netflix list to watch soon. The way you describe it, yes, I probably will enjoy it.

  16. Ok.. I admit it.. I watch the chick flix. It started out with free foreign shows (thanks Alex!) at the Inwood. But I can offer a few that you’d possibly like.

    Crouching tiger, hidden dragon – isn’t that a chick flick – with swords?
    Failure to launch – funny
    Four weddings and a funeral – depends
    How to loose a guy in 10 days – funny

  17. Anna

     /  December 6, 2007

    Ah, you are right,. CD…CTHD IS a beautiful example of what most people would not call a CF, but per the definition of ’emotional and romantic’ yep, definitely.

  18. Yeah, maybe that’s why I left CTHD feeling used….

  19. You mean, because the heartless solipsistic bitch of a protagonist destroyed everybody who tried to treat her like a human being, and then ran out on the guy she supposedly loved, leaving him standing there at the monastery wondering Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?

  20. Mike

     /  December 6, 2007

    Yeesh. This post is depressing. But I wanted to add that watching foreign ChickFlicks is kinda fun. I saw one with Tamara written after WWII in the Soviet “Mother Russia” style of propoganda. Chick Flick? Very much so, but I never noticed due to the fun I had with picking out the propoganda.

  21. Mike

     /  December 6, 2007

    BTW, British CFs do not count as foriegn.

  22. Anna

     /  December 6, 2007

    that remark about the Russian films made me laugh so hard I had to run from my cubicle and hide in the bathroom. That is SOOOO true!

  23. Mike

     /  December 8, 2007

    Glad you liked it. You think that was funny, you should have seen the Soviet Cowboy movie…

  24. Anna

     /  December 8, 2007

    Heh. I might have seen it…bet you did not see the Soviet Ivanhoe movie though, complete with songs.

  25. blackpine

     /  December 10, 2007

    Chick Flicks are the same retread as the Father Knows Best Films except now it’s the He Doesn’t Get It Does He film. Eternal Sunshine is not a chick flick because the woman is as much a headcase as the guy, and it’s not a romance movie, it’s a love movie, and love is ugly. Romance movies always involve the man dying so his love becomes eternal. A love movie allows for, hat tip Julie by way of Alex, a Greasy Shit Moment (i.e. “Unisex bathrooms should never happen because can you imagine watching someone really hot walk into a stall and then hearing them take a greasy shit?” Poetry, Julie, poetry). What do you do when you have a long standing grievance against the person but you still love them? Eternal Sunshine answers that one, because it’s all about the long haul. Titanic, City of Angels, Premonition, et al are about romance. Imagine Titanic if he had lived. They would have been dirt poor, he’s have pissed away their money gambling, and he probably wind up punching her at some point, creatures of the time that they were. Who was that silly authoress who said she only loved Jesus? That is the same impulse behind these flicks. The perfect, unsullied man who can never make a mistake. If she actually ran across a political activist carpenter who was Jewish, she’d spit take her Earl Grey.


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