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Author Topic: Chick Flicks
Arch Stanton
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Babbler # 2356

posted 28 April 2002 02:56 AM      Profile for Arch Stanton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cara Sposa rooked me into watching Chocolat recently. Ah yes, chocolate and Johnny Depp, with weird latino Wicca undertones.

What a nauseous piece of celluloid dreck! Predictable, sickly sweet and boring.

Please. I'll entertain alternative views on the subject, but I druther hear warnings about similar examples of cinematic offal.


From: Borrioboola-Gha | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
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posted 28 April 2002 10:33 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I loved Chocolat. But then, having recently been the "scarlet woman" at church for having left my husband, and after protesting their exclusionary tactics regarding gays and other people that the power structure there labels as Sinners (or, much less worthy Sinners than themselves), there were a bunch of us from my circle of friends who really felt a personal connection to the message of Chocolat.

On the other hand, maybe I just loved it because I'm a chick.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 28 April 2002 01:11 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I didn't understand Chocolat so much as a "chick flick," because I take that term to mean a shameless Hollywood fling at some kind of heavily focused-grouped female demographic. Chocolat, instead, I took to be an attempt at a soulful European art-film kinda thing.

It should have worked, too, or rather could have worked. Between the director (Lasse Hallstrom, who gave us My Life As A Dog), the cast (Judy Dench to the fore, of course, but even Johnny Depp has something to recommend him), and the art direction and cinematography, they could have had something there.

But it foundered on the script, so-called. The most succinct description of the picture came from a chick of my close acquaintance, the lovely Maria, who called it a "paint-by-numbers European art film."

The "conflict" was just too easy and obvious. When you're celebrating life-affirming, pleasure-loving, earth-and-goddess-centred folk over against repressed, puritanical, parochial and hypocritical ones, you're very much pushing on a open door. You're playing on the audience's desire to feel good about itself.

But enough of that. It's the whole concept of the "chick flick" -- utterly pre-fabricated product coming almost exclusively out of Hollywood -- that needs junking. And the man- (boy-) centred "action flick," too.

As a reviewer of Life Or Something Like It put it yesterday, on DNTO, "if this is a chick flick, all you chicks ought to be out rioting in the streets, because Hollywood's treating you like a bunch of dough-heads."

And all us dudes too, of course. Is anyone here actually going to give Mr. George "Joseph's Coat-holder" Lucas any of your hard-earned coin for the next bit of Star Wars product his factory extrudes?


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 28 April 2002 01:40 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought a chick flick had to do with Old MacDonald and group.
From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
rosebuds
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posted 28 April 2002 03:32 PM      Profile for rosebuds     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have a hard time coming up with Chick Flicks that aren't worth watching - mostly because I don't go see movies starring Freddie Prinz Junior.

If I had to recommend a good chick flick, though, I'd point you to Ghost World, American Beauty, or Babettes' Feast.

Chocolat didn't thrill me, but it was certainly a sweet story. Can't say I enjoyed Johnnie Depp in it all that much. In fact, he did an awful job with the greasy hair and the fake accent. Yuk.


From: Meanwhile, on the other side of the world... | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 28 April 2002 05:04 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm sure many of you (m or f) have experienced the shock of catching yourself thrilling to the kind of films made eons ago, such as the Thin Man series, or the screwball comedies (Preston Sturges, anyone?), and instantly realizing how much you're starved for movies (scripts!) that consider women's intelligence, both as stars, and as audiences. (Woody Allen's a consistent exception, and no surprise, he's a fan of those films). Claudine Colbert, Katherine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyk, et al, all received parts worthy of their obvious brains and sophistication, and there was a corresponding assumption that enough women shared those same qualities to make such pictures very profitable. Ironically, these films were made in what we consider far more repressive times. Yet it's hard to imagine wildly successful sequels being made today involving assertive, funny, intelligent women built around anything more than shooting--and giving birth to--aliens.

A further assumption was that men would get as much out of these movies as women. Today, a "chick flick" is an exclusive term which assumes something much worse: that women are so easily manipulated they don't require more than a soap opera's finesse, and that men naturally don't put up with this sort of thing. Of course, men aren't manipulated by tent pole action pix. The difference between "chick flicks" and "guy flicks" is whether they depend on shameless melodramas or shameless special effects. Rule of thumb: if the trend is to dumb down one gender, the other gets dumbed down right along with it.

Well, as Godard said, "The best way to criticize a film is to make another one." I'm always astonished, even from a strict business standpoint, at how such an enormous untapped market can continue to go wanting. That's a nice bit of gravy for those of us who love writing for chicks anyway. There's just so little competition.

Onward. Or, more accurately, backward.


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
from the mouths of babes
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posted 28 April 2002 08:33 PM      Profile for from the mouths of babes     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The way I see it, you chick flick haters have got it all wrong. How you enjoy one of those formula chick movies (this goes for teen, slasher, and action too) is you figure out the formula. Keep it in mind, and go see your movie with a bunch of friends. Then the group of you watch the movie as a camp comedy,ticking off all the formula points it gets. My friends and I did it to Titanic and had a blast.
From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 28 April 2002 08:53 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I enjoy mocking formula as much as the next, uh, guy, but because it's essentially an act of self-defence, and because there are so many formulas out there, chick flicks being only one of 'em, I get tired after a while, and turn cranky.
From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
from the mouths of babes
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posted 28 April 2002 09:03 PM      Profile for from the mouths of babes     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
that's a good point. Oh, well, I guess it's back to IMDb to sort out the good movies from the formulas...
From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 28 April 2002 09:11 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
you all know I have a high tolerance for bad movies, music, and art- why should it surprise you when I say that I sometimese like chick flicks (even though Chocolat was not one of them, and I liked it too (though Johnny Depp's little mustachio and gautee really bugged me))? Sometimes I get impatient though, and if they take a long time getting through the formula (this is usually done in an effort to make it seem less formula driven, and more original, though it never works), I get really frustrated and sometimes shout things like "hurry the fuck up!" at the TV.
From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skadie
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posted 28 April 2002 09:29 PM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I hate the term "chick flick."
From: near the ocean | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Liam McCarthy
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posted 28 April 2002 09:47 PM      Profile for Liam McCarthy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That reminds me, I had a high school teacher who was so politically correct that she wouldn't allow us to use the term politically correct. I do hate Toronto. Anyhow, when watching said movies I always try to picture Steve Bushemi(?) in the male heart throb role. For example, I think I ruined Chocolat for my girlfriend by stating, "that movie was okay, but wouldn't it have been with Steve Bushemi instead of Johnny Depp." No Harlequin dreams for her that night. I have to say that Ghost World was a great chick flick precisely because it included a little Bushemi action.
From: Windsor, Ont. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged

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