I’m hosting ‘girlie movie night’ for some of my fellow grad student ladies this weekend. I’m in a male-dominated field, so it’s been forever since I’ve hung out with just girls and I thought it was time to change that.
I’m also kind of at a loss for what to show. I hate sappy romances and formulaic movies. Do most women actually like them? I showed Pride and Prejudice at the first movie night because it seemed like an obvious crowd pleaser and that went over well. So I’m looking for some more broadly appealing movies. Any suggestions?
Well, I’m a girl and I like movies that aren’t all about explosions and machines and stuff, but I hate hate hate the term “chick flick” because it’s usually used as a pejorative, and I hate most of the movies that typically fall into that genre.
Having said that …
Given that P&P was a success, the Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility is very good – lots of recognizable actors and very well written and acted. Random top-of-my-head choices I also like:
[li]Truly, Madly, Deeply[/li][li]Much Ado About Nothing (the Emma Thompson/Kenneth Branaugh version)[/li][li]French Kiss[/li][li]Strictly Ballroom[/li][li]Shakespeare in Love[/li][/ul]
[li]The Big Easy[/li][li]A little more serious than “chick flick” but still female-centric, Frida[/li][li]I love the Doris Day / Rock Hudson movies, but a lot of people can’t get past the social constraints of the period. Same for Katherine Hepburn / Cary Grant movies.[/li][/ul]
I know it’s the butt of every “chick flick” joke, but *Beaches *is a really good movie.
I also second Terms of Endearment, and if you’re looking for something a little more fun and current(ish) try She’s All That. IM 32-year old opinion, it perfectly captures the essence of high school, with bitchy girls and douche-y guys, with some good writing, good acting, a great ending, and some superior straight man acting by Kevin Pollack.
As a man who prides himself on embracing all genres of film a quick scan of my collection gives me the following which I would happily recommend to a group of women with little fear of either spoiling their evening with mindless pap or being criticised for not understanding the female mind:
[li]Cinema Paradiso (one of the best films ever made but subtitled if that matters)[/li][li]Any of Baz Luhrmann’s Red Cutain trilogy (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo and Juliet or Moulin Rouge)[/li][li]Stranger Than Fiction (lovely quirky little romantic comedy)[/li][li]Amelie (Also subtitled)[/li][li]Annie Hall[/li][li]Chasing Amy (Kevin Smith, so swearing and graphic dialogue, but past that it is a nice relationship picture with more depth then the standard boy-meets-girl)[/li][li]The Legend of 1900 (Brilliant film)[/li][li]Garden State[/li][li]Pleasantville[/li][li]Finding Neverland (I adore this film, and it would be my safe bet given your success with Pride and Prejudice)[/li][li]Don Juan DeMarco (The most traditional chick flick on this list, and objectively the worst film, but a guilty pleasure of mine none the less)[/li][/ul]
Slightly more out there I would also throw out:
[li]Intolerable Cruelty (Vastly underrated Coen brothers film, but you need the right mindset)[/li][li]Edward Scissorhands (Brilliant romantic film made by Tim Burton - which unfortunately rules it out for many women straight away)[/li][/ul]
So, now your chance - tell me how little I understand the female mind (or how they are all mindless pap…)
(Right, off to start a thread on teen slasher pics to reassert my masculinity)
[li]Edward Scissorhands (Brilliant romantic film made by Tim Burton - which unfortunately rules it out for many women straight away)[/li][/QUOTE]
You’re kidding, right? Almost all the Tim Burton fans I knew were teenage girls. And it’s Tim Burton + Johnny Depp, which guarantees a strong female audience. And yes, it is really good. Though I only watch it when in the mood since it depresses me some.
That’s good to hear, but we must move in different circles. In my world girls of the age to see Edward Scissorhands when it was new weren’t interested because he was the guy who made Batman and Beetle Juice and nowadays they aren’t interested because he’s the Sweeny Todd / Planet of The Apes /Sleepy Hollow bloke.
I also don’t think that Johnny Depp’s name had any pull when Edward hit, especially over in here in the UK where we didn’t really get 21 Jump Street.
Still, it is an incredible film and I recommend it to man, woman, boy, girl, cat and dog alike - but I would still expect a few groans if I suggested it to a dozen women on a girl’s night out. I’m pleasantly surprised to find out that I may be wrong.
I’m a straight guy who loves so-called “chick flicks” (but it’s OK…my wife loves Honk Kong action movies). If your crowd is OK with subtitled movies, I can’t second Amélie strongly enough. It’s one of my all-time favorite films.
One favorite that hasn’t been mentioned, not a romance, is America Ferrera’s debut film Real Women Have Curves. It’s about a Mexican-American extended family in the garment business, and the struggles of the daughter to make her own choices. It’s in English with some subtitled Spanish.
An area you might not be familiar with is Bollywood. Practically every one is a romance with beautiful young people. One stunning one is** Saawariya**, but if you’re new to the genre, you might want to start with one of the films intended for English speaking audiences like Bride and Prejudice, a Bollywood take on Jane Austin’s tale.
Came back to add: Almost Famous, though I don’t know if it is technically a “chick flick”.