Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Top 5 Chick Flicks

In honor of the latest chick flick that we reviewed this week, Watchmen, I thought it would be fun to take a look at our favorite chick flicks of all time. Okay, I get the fact that Watchmen is not a chick flick, although there is some romance, but we were going to use this top 5 list 2 weeks ago but sadly audacity kept crashing and we had to cut it out. So after some delay, here it is, and we hope you enjoy it. For a definition of chick flicks, here’s an excerpt from the book The Ultimate Guide to Chick Flicks: “So what exactly is a chick flick? Perhaps the classic definition of pornography applies: we know it when we see it. (Not to imply in any way that chick flicks are pornography, though I do have a friend who calls Sandra Bullock's Hope Floats "porn for girls.") A more concrete definition might be a movie that specifically appeals to viewers with a feminine sensibility.” So that’s a chick flick definition from a chick flick book. Basically they’re movies that appeal to a female audience; however even beyond that they’re movies with high emotion and contain themes of a relationship base. So for me, I consider films like The English Patient, Terms of Endearment and, say, When Harry Met Sally as chick flicks, however unlike some critics I don’t consider Hitchcock’s Notorious or Whale Rider as chick flicks. Sure they deal with women empowerment and that is a crucial part of a chick flick, but I’ve always seen a chick flick as romantic movies. Romantic movies may just be a small part of chick flicks but they’re the only ones I like, so yeah, here are my top 5 favorite chick flicks.

5) Il Mare

- I’m only going to include one Asian movie since it’ll probably be hard for listeners to track down a whole list that just consists of sappy Korean movies. But none get sappier than Il Mare, the original movie the Keanu “Patchy Beard” Reeves and Sandra “Speed” Bullock remake disaster Lake House was based on. When you watch this 2000 South Korean film, you’ll wonder how Hollywood could take such a simple premise of lovers communicating through a mail box from different decades, so wrong. Il Mare is just touching. If you like Il Mare, also check out the 2000 South Korean film Ditto, which has a very similar premise to Il Mare and is just as good if not better.

4) Sleepless in Seattle

- I’m not going to lie, when this came out in 1993 I fell in love with this movie, so much so that I quickly bought the cd of all jazz standards and still hold a dream to this day of moving to Seattle. Maybe that made me a gay little kid but I don’t care. Penny assures me Seattle doesn’t look the way it does in the movie and wonders aloud why I want to movie to a city I’ve never been to. Look to the movie Penny, look to the movie. But yeah, the second and best pairing of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

3) Once

- this 2007 Irish independent musical romance film is unlike anything being made today. It’s a musical, but not in the traditional song and dance type. The music is has a creative, spur of the moment kind of beauty. It’s raw and real, just like the wonderful romance blooming between the two main characters. Once has a totally understated and simple premise, a boy and girl fall in love over music, but it’s so much more. It’s about hope, the chances we take, and the power of finding someone who truly understand us.

2) Notting Hill

- I’ve seen this 1999 movie over 50 times and I’ll probably watch it 50 more times. This is my favorite romantic comedy of all time. Yeah I get the fact that’s it’s incredibly clichéd but I don’t care. This is a movie about how an average bookstore owner in Hugh Grant meets and falls in love with the biggest movie star played by Julia Roberts, all played to an Elvis Costello soundtrack.

Some honorable mentions:

Love Actually

- sure this 2003 movie is unabashedly sentimental, and sure not all the parts equal a great whole, but for the ultimate high’s of love which every chick flick tries to achieve, none reach higher than Love Actually. Yes higher than even Beaches.

Say Anything

- no chick flick scene is more iconic than of John Cusack holding the boom box aloft trying to woo the beautiful Ione Sky as it plays Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes. Most romantic scene ever. This 1989 movie single handily ruined a generation of gestures from men because what could ever live up to that one scene? Nothing! Except maybe if the boom box played “I Like Big Butts and I cannot lie.”

The Shop Around The Corner

- One of Penny’s favorite films is a remake of this 1940 classic, but I find the original, just all the more whimsical and romantic. This one stars Jimmy Stewart (evidently I love the guy) and Margaret Sullivan as co-workers at odds who turn out to be secret pen pals who fall in love with one another’s correspondences even though they don’t realize that it’s with each other. Even though this movie is about pen pals, it doesn’t feel dated. Classic hate/love romantic chick flick.

Karate Kid

- this is the ultimate chick flick because nowhere is there a more womanly performance than Ralph Maccio’s in this 1989 film. I still get all weepy eyed when after getting his leg swept he goes for the crane kick and saves the day. So brave. Part 2 also ends with one of the greatest chick flick songs ever with Peter Cetera’s Glory of Love.

- and before we move on, two movies that Penny reminded me of that I absolutely love: 1998’s City of Angels and Sliding Doors. I love me some Nic Cage and I love Sliding Doors. Seriously Sliding Doors is a highly underrated romantic drama with a great soundtrack.

1) Before Sunrise/Before Sunset

- I’m cheating here a bit since these are two movies, but they are a dualogy that make up a singular whole. These two movies, (Before Sunrise came out in 1995, Before Sunset in 2004) are not only my favorite chick flick movies, but they’re also 2 of my favorite movies ever, and Before Sunset is my favorite sequel ever, yes even moreso than The Godfather 2, send all hate mail to Penny. Anyway both star Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, Before Sunrise shows them as two 20 year olds meeting in Paris, spending one day together and falling in love. However things happen, and well, I don’t want to gove anything away. Before Sunset takes place 10 years later and we see how the characters have matured and what happened to them after Before Sunrise. No two movies have ever done real time, with the actors and characters growing the same age better. Both movies take place in the span of one day, and both movies are just the two characters talking, but it’s so romantic and is a true and realistic approach to romance from being young and naïve to being older and jaded. God I love chick flicks and I love these two movies.

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