By Emily Brennan
The chick flick is not to be underestimated. Not every movie has to challenge social norms or be a political manifesto. No need to search your brain for the terminology you may have utilized in your college film class—film noir, canted frame, mis-en-scene, etc. Sometimes it’s nice to watch a movie and like it because it made you feel good and it entertained you. The “chick flick” is meant to make you cry, make you laugh, and heck, it is meat to make you believe in the power of love. I have compiled a list of some of the best “girl” movies of all time so as the weather turns cold and you are condemned to the indoors you have some of the best flicks to watch with your favorite chicks.
This is the first movie I reach for when I need a little pick-me-up. This movie has it all, love, travel, and Jude Law. Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz play two dynamic ladies who are trying to heal their hearts by trading homes and spending the holidays in locations that are the polar opposite of what they are accustomed to. Watch as these two gals find themselves (and handsome lads) in unlikely places! Trust me, by the time this movie your mood will be bright, your heart will be full of hope, and you will most likely start pricing tickets to England.
My mom introduced me to this movie a long time ago. She and my aunt saw this movie in theaters an embarrassing amount when it first debuted and it remains to be one of her favorites—and now one of mine. Baby (Jennifer Grey) gets her trust-fund world shattered by sexy dancing and Johnny (Patrick Swayze) begins to believe in a better future for himself. Plus, Patrick Swayze’s bad boy image contrasted with those wounded puppy dog eyes and pouty lips should be enjoyed by every generation…oh lover boy.
I wish I were cool enough to say that Meryl Streep was my spirit animal, I am obsessed with all films that she makes an appearance in. This film proves that a woman is an ever-changing being and life is full of growing pains. When Streep’s character begins to believe that her soul mate may be none other than her ex-husband she is set on a comical journey of self-realization—and all after she was at the point in her life where she had it all figured out. Bonus: you get to see Streep make chocolate croissants, and then you get to go buy some for yourself.
The movie that inspired an army of girls in the early 2000’s to grow up to be lawyers. Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) sets out to win her man back, but by the end realizes that it is much better to be independent. She wears pink, boasts her sorority pride, masters Harvard law school, and brings a murderer to justice. Beauty and brains cannot coexist in one body—I object!
Under the Tuscan Sun
I’m a huge fan of women coming out of the other side of a devastating situation stronger that before. Diane Lane finds herself divorced after putting in many years of hard work on a marriage and develops one of the best coping mechanisms I can imagine—she moves to Italy! In the land of wine, pasta, and gelato she fumbles her way to an emotional awakening. The best part? She doesn’t predictably end up with the first dashing Italian man she meets; it isn’t all about finding a man to complete you, you are great all on your own.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
In this flick all the rules are thrown out the window. Andy Anderson (Kate Hudson) tries to shake her studly suitor by doing everything “wrong.” Women shouldn’t bring up the future of the relationship too soon, don’t act like you like the guy too much, don’t be too emotional—bullshit! This movie is a hilarious reminder that when it comes to love there are no rules.
The best of Abba. If given the opportunity, it is worth every penny to see this phenomenal work as it was originally intended, on the stage. However, if going to a show isn’t convenient option, the movie is also fabulous. Again, my woman, Meryl Streep demonstrates her brilliance as Donna, the hardworking mother to the beautiful Sophie (Amanda Siegfried), who is preparing for her upcoming wedding. As it turns out, things rarely go according to plan and Donna and Sophie’s world is flipped upside down when three mysterious men from Donna’s past find their way back to the island of their youths. Oh chickita, take a chance on this movie, feel the beat of the tambourine, and become the dancing queen (sorry, I had to).
There are two particular reasons that this movie is on my list of must-see chick flicks. The first reason is that I love Tim Burton films. The second reason is the scene when the main character, Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor) first sees the girl that will become his wife—it’s how I imagine my future husband will feel when he first sets eyes on me. This movie is a work of whimsy that is built upon elaborate tales of adventure as golden boy, Edward, spreads his wings and becomes a man. Of all the movies on the list, this is most certainly the outlier, but is worth the risk. Go fish.
Julia Roberts was America’s sweetheart all through the 1990’s and with good reason (see also Notting Hill, Pretty Woman, Steel Magnolias, Mystic Pizza, Mona Lisa Smile, Eat Pray Love, etc). Roberts’s character, Maggie, has a reputation around town as the girl who has fled each of her three weddings. When a cynical journalist, Ike (and former American gigolo, Richard Gere), gets wind that this runaway bride has snared her next victim he goes to interview the world’s fastest bride. However, this movie proves that when a woman acts on her intuition it can get messy, but is almost always the best thing to do.
Bridget Jones’s Diary: The Edge of Reason
Life is clumsy even after the happy ending. In the first installment of Bridget’s story we left our heroine with the man of her dreams. In this sequel, Bridget needs to wear scary knickers in order to squeeze into her dress, she falls subject to hair and make up emergencies, she humiliates herself and yet, she continues to hold her head up high. As she maneuvers the battlefields of life and love, Bridget throws her insecurities shamelessly onto the table and shows us that perfection is not only unattainable but also unnecessary.
A good movie has the power to turn a bad day around by reminding you to take life a little less seriously. Let the good vibes from these films wash over you!