Chick Flicks

Ken AshfordPopular Culture1 Comment

Snin43l Basically, the chick flick template is this:

First part of the movie: he hates her; she hates him
Second part of the movie: both principal charactors realize they their mutual loathing for each other is just a cover for the fact that they really deep down love each other; at some point the male character (typically, Hugh Grant) apologizes profusely for behaving so boorishly in the first part of the film

You can spice it up and add interesting sub-charactors (a kid, the girl's best friends, etc.), or set in a different time period or exotic locale — hell, make one of the charactors a vampire – but you've pretty much got the formula for most chick flicks.

This, ladies, is the reason guys don't like chick flicks — they're rather predictable.

And ladies, if you want your guy to watch a chick flick with you, there are certain things you can do find a chick flick tolerable to guys:

  1. Make sure there are action sequences.  Titanic did this so well that most guys even forgot it was, at its core, a chick flick.
  2. Find one with badass lines.  Ex: "My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die."
  3. Make sure the female lead is the kind of person that guys fantasize about, and not at all like, you know, you.  Ex: Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (or, to a lesser extent, Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, but only in that scene)
  4. Make sure the male lead has a job that guys fantasize about, and not at all like their jobs in real life.  See Jerry McGuire and Top Gun.
  5. Find one with John Cusack.  From Say Anything to High Fidelity to (yes, even) Sixteen Candles, there's something about Cusack which de-chickifies the chick flick.
  6. Make sure Hugh Grant is not in it.
  7. Make it The Notebook, which worked (for some unexplained reason).

And if none of that works, give up on your honey and find this guy:

Nick Waters, a 29-year-old man from Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, has become something of a celebrity after he pledged to watch “30 chick flicks in 30 days,” an ambitious goal to be completed by today, February 14th–Valentine’s Day. He did it and says that he is a better man because of it.

So, how did this blogger with a mission come up with something like this, and why? He didn’t do it for the attention: he claims that he did it to become a better husband. His introductory statement on his website says: “First, you should know that I’m that ‘guy’ exploring these films. Second, my name is Nick. I’m a husband, and have been for seven years. Third, no one put me up to this. And fourth, I’m not some professional film critic. I live in a small town in southern Oklahoma. I work in communications.”

At first I was skeptical: how much can a guy really learn from so-called “chick flicks,” movies where the women are often emotionally unstable wrecks, the guys are stereotypical at best, and true love happens in an hour and a half? But, to Nick Waters’ credit, a few of the movies he chose went deeper than “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “Legally Blonde” (which are two of my favorites, by the way). He says that one of his favorites was “Atonement,” and some of the movies he listed I have never even heard of. And I was impressed that “Sex and the City” was Day 12 on his list.

Nick Waters says, “I have relearned so many things during this as it pertains to trust, communication, love and what it means to work for a marriage versus just being in a marriage.  Life is an adventure and if you can pursue that adventure with someone you love, it makes it even more memorable.”

And you can read the full list of his chosen movies on his website: