Let’s talk about chick flicks today.
Chick flicks, for the uninitiated, are a slang term for the film genre that is considered especially catered to women,i.e., literally ‘flicks’ for ‘chicks’. Though they can be enjoyed by everyone, they are usually marketed to younger women (Think teens and young adults). In simple terms, these are great women-centric movies with a lot of heart, meant to entertain and not to be looked at from a critical lens, at least not in a typical way. These movies are great for a chill movie night, sleepovers or even for when you just need a good laugh. They are also popular culture staples, and many references you might not even realise are born from these highly iconic films.
Chick flicks are one of the most successful kinds of movies out there but the genre itself is still hugely underrated, being thought of as not “serious” cinema. They are also often severely judged, underestimated, considered foolish and even the term “chick flick” is used in a derogatory manner, all because the target audience is women. This is one of the many ways society’s internalised misogyny seems to shine; putting down things because the majority of their fans are ‘stupid’ young girls. So what if these movies are not “serious”? Every movie does not have to be. They may seem frivolous but are usually great learning experiences for young girls(and everyone else), speaking from personal experience. Whatever is wrong with making and enjoying light-hearted cinema?
With that, I come to my point that while these movies may be called “chick” flicks they aren’t just for “chicks”. Men can, and in my opinion, should give the genre and these movies a try. They can be educational and that kind of education is hard to get from regular life. They are also just super hilarious and fun, so you would be entertained for the hour or so you sacrifice if nothing else. This list would be a great place to start if you need one to begin or just find one suited to your taste from the many such lists online. With that, I think its time to get into my current top 5 recommendations, in no particular order (Okay, this is not entirely true. I do have favourites but I will disclose them, I promise). As always if you do end up giving any of them a shot please do tell me. (You can comment on my blog, email me or contact me @musingsofwhimsicalsoul on Instagram) I swear, I can even take the hate, I’d just really love to hear from you.
Mean Girls is the queen of all chick flicks, the OG and my unabashed favourite. It came out in 2004 and was hilariously written by the uber-talented Tina Fey. It had quite the stellar cast including the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and of course, Ms. Fey herself. It stars Lindsay Lohan at her peak, as a homeschooled girl who has just moved back to the USA from Africa for high school and is suddenly thrust into the “girl” world full of cliques and unexplainable rules. My favourite thing about the movie is how grounded it remains, despite having some totally outlandish moments; it toes the line between humorous and ‘too much’ so well. It also is ridiculously quotable, has an iconic wardrobe and soundtrack, and remains fresh in pop culture to this day.
The 1995 movie, considered a loose adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma is the “Mean Girls” of the previous decade. Ridiculously quotable with excellent outfits to the boot, this is the story of Alicia Silverstone’s Cher, a popular, rich, beautiful and totally self-centred high school girl who befriends the ‘hopeless’ new kid Tai Frazier played by Britanny Murphy and decides to help her be less ‘clueless’. It has it all: a makeover montage, great music, hilarious moments, excellent fashion choices, famous pop culture quotes, a young Paul Rudd, what more do you need?
Legally Blonde is the best example of chick flicks being empowering for young girls. In this 2001 movie, the typical ‘girly’ girl Elle Woods played by Reese Witherspoon, when dumped by her Harvard bound boyfriend for not being ‘serious’ enough, takes admission in Harvard Law school to win him back but ends up proving herself a successful lawyer, all while staying true to who she was. This movie is another pop culture icon, with many famous quotes and moments, both fashion and otherwise. I particularly love the fact that Elle is proud of who she is, never changes to fit in and doesn’t have to; she can stand out for all the best reasons instead.
10 things I hate about you
The 1999 modernization of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” gave us the most badass female protagonist Kat, played by Julia Stiles, who basically defied every stereotype there was and was happy to do it. (Another character to learn from!) The movie was about a new student Cameron, played by a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt who is totally smitten with Kat’s younger sister and decides to set Kat up with the school’s bad boy, Patrick Verona, a.k.a young Heath Ledger to get around the sisters’ father’s strict rules on dating. The movie is also up there on the quotability quotient, has a strong female lead, hilarious moments and remains a pop-culture staple. (It’s also as old as me, which will always be a way of measuring time in these posts!)
The most recent one on this list and in my opinion the best chick flick to come out in recent years, Easy A came out in 2010 with a screenplay partially inspired by ” The Scarlet Letter” and is still fresh as ever. Emma Stone plays Olive Penderghast a “clean-cut” high school student whose one lie is blown out of proportion by the school’s rumour mill and gives her a ‘reputation’, one that she embraces and owns, at least till she can. Olive might be one of my personal favourite teen movie protagonists and is definitely the most relatable. I love this movie and believe it is quite underrated, at least when compared to its more popular peers on this list. Definitely give it a watch, for the witty writing, Emma Stone’s brilliant acting and Amanda Bynes in her most recent movie role, if nothing else.
THIS POST’S QUESTION: What is your Top 5 list of chick-flick recommendations? Comment below with what you think about it, I’d love to hear from you!