chick flicks versus buddy flicks

WHEN A MOVIE IS MADE about an in­cred­ibly tal­ented fe­male ath­lete (skater, gym­nast, dancer come to mind) who somehow hurts her­self in a manner so tragic that it ends her promising/active ca­reer, but through per­se­ver­ance, hard work, and the love and sup­port of family and friends, she makes a re­mark­able come­back and is even more amazing as a dam­aged ath­lete than she was as a psy­chi­cally per­fect ath­lete, etcetera, it’s called a chick-flick.

But when a movie is made about an in­cred­ibly tal­ented male ath­lete (base­ball player, foot­ball player, boxer come to mind) who somehow hurts him­self in a manner so tragic that it ends his promising/active ca­reer, but through per­se­ver­ance, hard work, and the love and sup­port of family and friends, he makes a re­mark­able come­back and is even more amazing as a dam­aged ath­lete than he was as a psy­chi­cally per­fect ath­lete, etcetera, it’s called a drama.

Postscript: Chick-flicks vs buddy-flicks

Type “chick flicks” into Google and you’ll see a page of sites of­fering their ver­sion of the best chick flicks of all time. I chose the Film­site list not be­cause it was the best—in fact, I wouldn’t even rec­om­mend it: start with Glam­our’s “The Best Chick Flicks of All Time; Movies Like Mean Girls” first and then try a few of the others. But I se­lected Film­site here be­cause its in­tro­duc­tion (below) is so con­de­scending, telling us that the site’s ed­itor only put it to­gether as an af­ter­thought! How bloody ap­pro­priate given Film­site is a guy’s site …

After ex­am­ining Film­site’s own Greatest ‘Guy’ Movies of All-Time or the 100 Greatest Guy Movies Ever Made and the 50 Best Guy Movies of All Time, it only seemed fair to put to­gether a list of gal films or chick flicks (a de­meaning and damning term, how­ever, since this sub-genre of film was tra­di­tion­ally known as the “wom­an’s films - melo­dramas ” in the ’30s and ’40s).

It is not sup­posed to be an all-inclusive and com­pre­hen­sive col­lec­tion of all ‘chick flicks’ ever made—that would be im­pos­sible. Fa­miliar quotes or taglines from each film have been in­cluded in this compilation.

Chick flicks have often been put down as trite, sappy, emo­tional, soap-opera-ish, cliched, melo­dra­matic, weepy, and trivial. Often con­sid­ered an all-encompassing sub-genre, they mostly in­clude dialogue-laden, for­mu­lated ro­mantic come­dies (with mis-matched lovers or fe­male re­la­tion­ships), tear­jerkers and gal-pal films, movies about family crises and emo­tional catharsis, some tra­di­tional weepies and fantasy-action ad­ven­tures, some­times with foul-mouthed and em­pow­ered fe­males, and fe­male bonding sit­u­a­tions in­volving fam­i­lies, mothers, daugh­ters and children.

Basic themes of chick flicks in­clude self-discovery, ef­forts to find the right man (al­though often mis­guided or at­tracting the wrong one), mis­taken iden­tity com­pli­ca­tions, var­ious love tri­an­gles, Cin­derella or ugly-duckling tales, and lots of fe­male bonding.

From the fol­lowing list, it ap­pears that ‘chick’ flicks have be­come a promi­nent staple of films be­gin­ning in the mid-1980s and for­ever since. Com­pared to the ear­lier ‘wom­an’s film,’ film critic Molly Haskell has written that the:

[The] chick flick, chirrupy and up­beat, sings a dif­ferent tune, more de­fiant and ironic, post­modern and post-feminist, like the growling brag­gadocio of grrrl power. Where grrrl power says ‘I can be cute and as­sertive too,’ chick flick says, ‘I’m eman­ci­pated but it’s OK to long for ro­mance, to get hung up on a guy, to ob­sess about mothers or children.’ ”

 


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