Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chick Flick

So, like, what did you guys do this weekend? Me and Ainsley went to see Hannah Montana and it, like, TOTALLY rocked. There was this one guy in it, and he was SOOOOO cute, and Miley Cyrus was just faboo, and the songs were totally awesome. And then it got all sad and stuff at the end, and I kinda started to cry a little, and I realized I really miss Billy Ray's mullet, but then it got happy again.

Okay, now that I have exorcised the inner 12-year-old who took over for a little bit while we watched that movie, I can get back to being me. Totally.

I have to admit that I love having Ainsley at an age where we can go watch cheesy Disney flicks in the theater together on girls' days out. This is mostly because I not-so-secretly love movies like High School Musical and the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana concert movie. But there is another component to me volunteering to take Ainsley to these movies where we're surrounded by squirrely tweens; it's a stepping stone to chick flicks.

Some people's loathing for the term "chick flick" is only surpassed by their loathing for the equally un-feminist term "chick lit." They take umbrage at the idea that movies by women, for women, and/or about women should be singled out with a term that implies fluff, not substance.

To those people I say: get over yourselves.

There are movies I love because the acting done in them is a work of art, or because they have something significant to say about our culture or make me think about life in a different way. And then there are movies that I watch with my brain largely turned off so I can just enjoy the ride. I would argue that some movies labelled as "chick flicks" really do fall into that first category; movies like Terms of Endearment (Shirley MacLaine is brilliant) and Thelma and Louise (one of the first movies I ever saw that didn't have a "happy ending", because life doesn't always have a happy ending.) But for us girls, most of us anyway, there is something inexplicably fun about watching "Baby" Houseman dance in the spotlight, or breaking down with Sally Fields in Steel Magnolias, or saying, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," along with Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind.

The girls' night out to see a chick flick is a long-standing tradition in my family. My mom and sister are not the type of people to get the cultural significance of a Pulp Fiction (heck, my mom still doesn't "get" WALL-E) but they are absolutely the type of women who will sit in a theater and and be moved to tears over Ghost. I often got taken with them when they wanted to see a truly good woman-centric movie (The Color Purple) or when they just wanted have a good time (the early Sarah Jessica Parker flick Girls Just Want To Have Fun.)

It's a tradition I want to pass on. I look at it like I look at junk food: it's certainly not all I am going to feed Ainsley, but it makes for a good treat every now and then. Just as she gets her fruits and veggies and whole grains (almost) every day, she gets introduced to "quality" kids' movies like Coraline and Enchanted. But for fun we occasionally let her have Munchos and Airheads (the Barbie DVDs, Camp Rock.) And some day instead of the Barbie movies and made-for-TV Disney Channel fare, she and I will graduate to rom-coms and weepy tearjerkers. I have no doubt that she will still like the good stuff, too (she is already displaying a love for fantasy movies like The Spiderwick Chronicles and even The Lord of the Rings). But someday I think we'll be able to bond over some fluffy chick flicks.

Because in my family, that's all a part of being a girl.

Here are my questions for you: for you ladies, what are your favorite chick flicks (if you like them at all)? And guys...do you secretly like one of these girly movies?


Robert K. said...

I will confess to having sat through the "Sex and the City" movie, as well as secretly liking "Love, Actually" and "Playing by Heart" more than any heterosexual man ought to.

Library Lady said...

LOVE "Playing by Heart." That's a pretty classy chick flick. It's got Jon Stewart in it, after all.

DRoss said...

Grease is the word, baby. I remember seeing that at the drive-in with my parents and little sister!
That was before the neo-cons got ahold of Dad. But it was the religious right that finally pulled him out of a seriously ugly stint of what would've probably qualified as clinical depression if he'd given in and gone to counseling. It was certainly clinical chain-smoking and growling at family members. So you've gotta take the bad with the good.
My mom and aunts used to take me, my sister and girl cousins to see all the Rocky movies. We indulged in a group Sly Stallone drool-fest and went for lunch and ice cream. They all razzed me for groovin on the Russian in Rocky IV more than on Stallone himself.
As for a bona-fide chick flick, I have to confess an all-out-of-reason love of Doris Day movies. Pillow Talk is one of my all-time favorites. Yes, I know they're awful. But I love them like you would love a leg-humping dog - despite their obvious faults so obnoxious to others.