Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chick Flick

I don't think ANYTHING bugs me as much as when I tell someone that I like a movie and they say, "Chick Flick." I truly believe this a rude comment, meant to be derogatory...and, bottom line, I guess I am never quite sure why it is said. Is it meant to put me down (and 'chicks' in general) or the movie? Why do you feel the need to 'rate' a movie as such? And, what constitutes a movie being a "chick flick" anyway?
I had this conversation a couple of months ago while attempting to loan a movie to a friend who, by the way, is not a chick. Among the STACK of movies that he was happy to have me loan him was the (brilliant) Academy Award winning film, Once.
As he sifted through all the DVDs he grabbed Once and handed it back to me. "Chick Flick" he said without even looking up. I threw a highly-defensive remark right back at him--along with the DVD. "Are you kidding me?" I added.
He said, "Look at this cover...boy and girl walking together toward the sunset...Chick Flick."
I'm telling you truly--NOTHING irritates me more than this.
I asked him what makes a 'chick flick' AND, even more importantly, why he is unable to watch such a film, even on a recommendation from me--someone who knows him and thinks he might really enjoy it.
He said, "A chick flick is made to appeal to woman. It's heavy on the relational and emotional side...it's a movie where you're left crying at the end. You know, like 'Beaches.'"
Really? I told him that I'd never seen Beaches in its entirety, but that I have cried in hell of a lot of movies.
I, in fact, cry at some point during MOST movies (ask my kids.) Heck, I bawled in "Shawshank Redemption", "Million Dollar Baby" and, most recently, (and for the third time) while watching "Crash." He stopped me to say that he had cried in "Crash" too.
OK. But it's not a chick flick...right? Deeply emotional as well as relational, but you'd never call it Chick Flick for sure!
He said, "OK...a Chick Flick is a movie where people live happily ever after...chicks go nuts for that kind of stuff!" I tell ya, I about threw a shoe. I hated the conversation. But I am stubborn as a freakin' ox. I don't give up easily.
I made him take the movie. I assured him that it was not romantic, he probably wouldn't cry and if it encouraged him to watch the movie, I would swear that nobody in the film lives happily ever after.
He took it. And he had it, along with five or six of my other recommended DVDs, for the last couple of months.
Yesterday I had a voice mail from him on my phone. "Hey, I couldn't sleep last night, so I popped in Once. Oh my gosh Julie! What a good movie! I love the guys voice and his songs and I really like the non-traditional ending! It was really good."
Wow. I called him back and he could not stop 'gushing' over the film and its brilliance. He even told me that he had downloaded the music and couldn't wait to purchase the movie for himself.
And, he suggested that the movie cover be changed so that it didn't look like a chick flick.
I very kindly suggested that perhaps he change his attitude about movies in general and not judge a book by its cover. I went on to say that--as far as I was concerned--having deep emotions is a human trait, not a female one. I added that having a good relationship is not just the stuff of fiction and fairy tales...we all desire this...women and men.
A good movie that touches your heart or stirs your soul or encourages your hope for love and relationship should not be delegated--or negatively judged--as belonging to just one half of our population. I believe those who quickly dismiss a movie, calling it 'chick flick' are missing out on some very good films.
Or, perhaps, they are just sitting alone in a dark room at night with a Kleenex box realizing that they are deeply moved by an emotionally touching movie...
It's OK guys. You won't be judged.
In fact...we like you like that.


TS Harrison said...

Several Thoughts:
- First "chick flick" comes from Sleepless in Seattle, part of one of Tom Hanks dialogues...(it should probably get a rewatch to see how they define the term)
- Since it comes from a sappy love story involving both Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, it really shouldn't be offensive nor taken in a derogatory manner...
- Anyone who so chooses to use the comment "chick flick" ignorantly...well they should be lambasted
- Once is not a chick flick...great movie!
- By this guy's definition of "chick flick" Saving Private Ryan would fall in this category...
- I have to disagree with you though...Any guy sitting at home with a box of kleenex and crying while viewing...say...The Notebook or Fried Green Tomatoes...will be and should be judged.
- Just because I'm judging this guy...doesn't mean I haven't sat at home and done the same thing though. But part of our man code is never to admit it, and always to mock it..

PETE Di LALLO said...

I can admit to seeing about a zillion chick flicks with five daughters and wife...Except for a dozen or two I probably would have preferred a war movie with John Wayne...but I'll never tell...
love this blog...

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I was totally going to recommend the book to you because I think of you ALL the time when I read it. I should have known you already discovered it. I am about half way through and I LOVE it. Absolutely love it. I am in India now and I was sad to leave Italy, but I'm sure I'll love the whole thing. It really makes me think of you, that is funny you mentioned it.