Oh GOD It’s Chick Flick Night…HELP!
As men, we’ve all been there. You’re in the video store and you’ve got Lethal Weapon in one hand and the GodFather in the other and you’re grinning ear to ear over Movie Night…and then you get “the look”. You know the look I’m talking about…the look that says “I was kinda hoping we’d cuddle up on the couch and watch something a little more…”
A Chick Flick.
Tonight my friend, there will be no flying bullets…no raunchy fuck scenes…no bare knuckle brawls…no V8 engines.
Oh no, buckaroo (Banzai). She’s getting Chick Flicks and there’s just nothing you can do about it. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “How in the HELL am I going to get through this night?!” Fear not little camper. Fear not. A few of us were having this very discussion during a smoke break at the Nationals game last week, and we decided to post this self help guide for men everywhere.
So which Chick Flicks is it OK for you to watch? Dare I even say that you’ll LIKE? Here are a few to grab that will help you stay sane on movie night, recommended to you by people you should trust. Give this a read and then, please, post your recommendations…it’s a team effort and if we all pitch in we can make Chick Flick Movie Night a little easier for us all…
There was some debate about this movie being a chick flick. I say bollocks. (I mean, look at that cover?!) When I saw this commercial back in the day I said “well, there’s another Timothy Hutton movie I won’t be seeing…what the hell happened to that kid after Taps?” But years later I watched I found myself knee deep in this movie and truly diggin’ it.
Beautiful Girls will make you laugh at yourself as a man. It will…for lots of reasons. Why? Because the point of this movie is to show women just how breakable we men are and why. From Michael Rappaport’s inability to commit after 7 years to Matt Dillon’s inability to let go of his super popular youth….from Tim Hutton’s lack of faith in himself as anything more than a musician (and even that is waning) to the befuddled husband/father Noah Emmerich becomes.
Every type of guy is exposed in this movie. And you WILL see yourself…and you WILL laugh. It’s definitely for her, but he’s gonna dig it.
Oh, and Annabeth Gish is in it. God, she makes me crazy.
And yes, I know a grown man falling for a 13 year old Natalie Portman rates pretty damned high on the “ICK” factor…but it ain’t like THAT. It’s…ummm…sweet. Ugh.
It’s Ok for guys to like chick flicks. period. But publically you mean? To be able to tell his guys friends? Bend it like Beckham is a chick flick but guys love it. Also, every man I’ve ever known pretends to not like Sex and the City, and yet, somehow, they all know every subplot. So my official answer is Bend it like Beckham, but my unofficial answer is the upcoming SATC movie.
In addition to the movies, I will give you some tips for how to avoid falling into a chick movie vortex from which you cannot extricate yourself with a shred of dignity.
* Does the movie feature a scene in which females dance around to an oldies songs in their pajamas? If yes, you should not like this movie.
* Is the lesson of the movie that if a man would just listen to his woman, or bring her chicken soup when she’s sick, that he would be a better man? If yes, you should not like this movie.
* Is Sandra Bullock in the movie staring out a window while Paula Cole, Sarah McLachlin, Lyle Lovett, Sheryl Crow, or Randy Newman play on the soundtrack? If yes, you should not like this movie.
* Is the movie Beaches? For even thinking this might be ok you are a monumental girl.
Now for my movies. You could argue that some of these are not chick flicks, but I think they fit into the category you’re discussing. Basically, when the studio execs greenlit the pic they thought “Dames will make this a hit; booyah!” But because they actually made them with intelligent dialogue, or feature a male prominently, there are some who argue they’re not chick flicks. Those people are wrong.
* As Good As It Gets
* Keeping the Faith (nobody’s ever heard of this movie. It features Ben Stiller, Ed Norton, and Jenna Elfman. Men are allowed to like it.)
* An Officer and a Gentleman
* Pretty Woman (general rule of thumb: is there something for both genders to look at? If yes, then you’re ok to watch it.)
* About a Boy
* The English Patient
* My Best Friend’s Wedding (this movie includes enough references to college baseball and the White Sox, including a scene actually filmed at a game, to keep you in the clear.)
* And just for my friend the Argentian Jew: Fever Pitch.
I don’t know how I made it into this round of discussions, but hey.. I’m here. I MUST warn though: I’m a dyed in the wool sci-fi geek. You’d never really know it just by talking to me, unless things delved into BSG/Heroes/Jericho territory…but I’ll put in my five cents worth
(adjusted for inflation).
I’m not really into the chick flick thing…hell, I’m not even sure what would actually be considered a chick flick…but I’ll make a few guesses.
IMNSHO, romantic comedies, for the most part, constitute the vast majority of chick flicks. Recent examples would be 50 First Dates and Serendipity (which I liked because I like serendipitous stuff…and Kate Beckinsale is fucking hot.) Of course there are ones like The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants or WTFEver it was called.
In that sense, I fully agree with my co contributors: both great movies that any guy can like…especially geeky or otherwise awkward guys.
As for my entries, I say: What Dreams May Come (borderline sci-fi/chick flick…guys can like it for the weirdness and visuals, if anything), Pretty In Pink (yeah, classic growing up film…but in essence, a chick flick)… but #1 on the list: Thelma and Louise. Yeah, it’s not a pure chick flick…it’s got guns and relatively good looking women…so guys can like it.
That’s my call. Tell me if I’m full of shit or not.
Foreign movies like Volver and Talk To Her. If someone dares to question your manhood, an alternative to violence is saying you turned off the subtitles and only watched for sweet Penelope Cruz.
Can I mock your answers? As in, I heartily disagree that When Harry Met Sally and Beautiful Girls are truly “chick flicks.” The latter in particular.
As it’s easier to shoot down than to create on your own, I need to noodle this one. Why don’t you join me while I do?
Obvy it’s not okay for men to like Mean Girls or The Notebook. The former is 100% camp and bitchiness, and the latter is DRECK. However, it is okay to own this t-shirt, but only because it demonstrates how douchey it would be for a guy to actually like The Notebook, and any guy who says he does is just trying to get attention from the ladies. Dumb ladies.
Oh, I’ve got it. Clueless. Men can like Clueless. It has hot chicks, good jokes, and freaking Chris Turk. And that is absolutely a chick flick.
Beautiful Girls is actually quite definitely a guy movie. Any movie where guys are coming of age, the women are on the periphery, and a 13year old is sexualized is NOT a chick flick.
When Harry Met Sally
There is a seminal moment in the 1987 movie When Harry Met Sally that proves to all its viewers that this otherwise “romantic comedy” is not a chick flick.
Harry and his friend Jess are at the New York football Giants game watching Phil Simms march his team down the field. The camera shows them huddled together in their stadium seats, trying to stay warm in the freezing elements. Harry is talking about his marriage and how he found out his wife was having an affair. The dialogue interweaves with the stadium raucously performing the Mexican Wave.
Jess, braving the role of best friend and counter-intuitively comforting his obviously despondent friend, tells him,
“Marriages don’t break up on account of infidelity, it’s just a symptom that something else is wrong.”
Harry turns to his friend, the roar of the crowd intensifying, and responds:
“Oh yeah? Well that symptom is fucking my wife.”
Harry and Jess stand up, obeying the laws of the Mexican Wave and complying with the mob of 80,000 football fans… with nothing left to say.
A “chick flick” takes all the elements of women’s fantasies and turns them into faux-realities. Men don’t tolerate irrational depictions of romance and so, naturally, are turned off by these movies.
When Harry Met Sally, however, portrays relationships with honesty and brutal humor without masking the underlying thoughts and feelings of both sexes. It is universal in its scope and, therefore, the very antithesis of a “chick flick”.
In Her Shoes.
Amazing and definately a chick flick yet not a “romantic comedy”
When Arjewtino and I started this conversation, we wondered if The Princess Bride could really be considered a chick flick. Then he asserted, that yes it could, because isn’t that what women really want: a man to say ‘as you wish’? Let’s see, shall we?
One of the requirements for a chick flick is to have a dashing leading man. In this case, it’s Cary Elwes, before he went to seed. But what kind of a chick flick features Mandy Patinkin (better known as “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”), Chris Sarandon (Prince Humperdinck), and Andre the Giant (“No more rhyming I mean it!” “Anybody want a peanut?”) It is very important that the leading man’s sidekicks don’t distract from his overall swoon factor, but really? These three guys? Plus the kid from the Wonder Years (“Is this a kissing book?”) and Billy Crystal (“You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.”)? Turns out, these are the guys that make this movie okay for men to like. They facilitate the super-romantic love story of Westley coming back from the dead – twice! – to rescue his true love and live happily ever after.
They’re funny (“Inconceivable!”). They have sword fights (” I have some rope up here, but I do not think you would accept my help, since I am only waiting around to kill you.”) They kidnap and plot. They even engage a pirate, and all men love pirates, right? They wear funny makeup and have ridiculous accents (“Have fun storming the castle!”). They all defy death, which is very superhero-like and again, all guys like superheroes, right?
Then there’s this business of all women just wanting a man to tell us “as you wish” no matter how ridiculous we’re being. No, I’m not talking about the Notebook. Buttercup started out as a brat, but Westley won her over with his puppy dog eyes and dedication to her beck and call. Then, as usual with true love, they are broken up. Westley assumes a new identity (and a sexier one at that, black is much more becoming on him), gets through many obstacles, gets killed then brought back to life. All for her. For them. For happily ever after. “This is true love – you think this happens every day?”
Maybe Arjewtino has a point after all.
Anybody else got one?