10 Feel Good Chick Flicks
I hate the fact that most times people take romantic movies automatically for chick flicks, and that assumption couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not all romance films are chick flicks and not all chick flicks belong in the romance video selections. Sure, there maybe a main romantic relationship involved in a chick flick, but it’s not the center of the movie itself.
A chick flick is about either friendships centered on one woman or two or more women and they’re important, not just in a romantic way. They typically involve sisterhood, both in blood relation and not, and/or one woman’s evolution of herself. I think a lot of people believe romance is synonymous with chick flicks because women are the ones who are thought to be the only romantics. That’s not a man’s role according to society, therefore any movies involving women and/or love at all is labeled a chick flick.
The ones I have listed below are all chick flicks, although some are listed under romantic comedies, or simply “romance”. Even though there maybe some elements of romance present in a couple of films or the pretenses of a relationship or a bonafide one, I wouldn’t classify any of these as romantic stories.
The ones that came close but didn’t make the list are: Charlie’s Angels, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Mermaids, The Ya-Ya Sisterhood, A League of their Own, Never Been Kissed, and Wisegirls. I left Something Borrowed off the list because even though I like the film a lot (not that it’s necessarily that great of a movie in the least) a lot of women who’ve had their significant others stolen by their best friends more than likely wouldn’t see it as a “feel good” movie no matter under what circumstances the cheating took place. I saw Boys on the Side starring Whoopi Goldberg and Drew Barrymore a few years ago and I simply don’t remember it which is why it’s not on here. There’s no judgment of it either way, whether I thought it was good or bad though. And last but not least of the so-called honorable mentions, it’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants--a movie I’ve never seen before in my life aside from a couple of 40 second or so previews. I’ve just never had any desire to see it so I didn’t. Obviously I can’t have any judgment on whether or not it’s a good movie, but I just thought I should say something about it so people didn’t just think I forgot it existed. The movie Country Strong is a good chick flick, but it's more of a drama (and kind of sad) and it didn't exactly belong in a category with feel good movies.
There are plenty of chick flicks out there, and even more feel good ones that I’m sure I missed and will probably remember later or come across in the future, but I think I narrowed the ones I thought of down to a pretty good armful.
But here’s the list, the real list, of what I think are the top 10 Feel Good Chick Flicks:
10. Picture Perfect
This may seem like a movie about a woman pining away looking for love and a committed relationship, but it’s a lot more than that. This is about women wanting it all. This also shines a light on the fact that the ability to crush on a guy doesn’t die when you leave high school or college, but it's still there as long as you’re alive and kicking. I think this is one of the very few Jennifer Aniston films that I’ve actually enjoyed and can watch again and again (seriously, I can count on one hand how many of that woman’s movies I like even though she seems to keep getting leading roles). The main character had a pushy mom, a friend that had her back, a job that didn’t seem to value her, a crush on a guy who hardly noticed her, a neat little apartment, and she wanted more. Sound familiar? If it does, it’s because that sounds like at least half of the female population in their 20s and 30s. Whenever I watch this movie it’s so easy to get in a zone and just go on the journey with this girl. This is one of my favorite movies because not only is it funny, it’s well written, well acted, and the ending is pretty good, not every movie can say that. The movie itself is about 15 years old, but it definitely holds up.
9. Bride Wars
The premise is idiotic and the plot actually goes into ridiculous territory making the actresses in the film act out scenes that are contrived even for a movie about feuding girlfriends. So why is it on the list? At the heart of the matter, you have two girls who have been friends since forever and have always played a certain role in one another’s lives, and lo and behold the day comes when those roles actually end up changing. People don’t like changes, especially within relationships where they’ve gotten comfortable. While the situations are overblown, the psychology they used with the friends was a lot more realistic. We all compete with our friends; it’s whether or not it’s healthy or harmful competition that draws the distinction between the sorts of friendships you have. This movie also delves, rather brilliantly I thought, into an area willing soon-to-be brides and grooms to give a hard look at the person they’re marrying. When planning a wedding most times the person gets caught up in the notion that it’s too late to back out, when in fact it’s the perfect time to back out before you waste your time, your significant other’s time, and the time of your guests. Beyond all the fluff and tomfoolery of this film there are some weighty issues--and I’m not just talking about Liv’s (for those who’ve seen the film, I’m sure you got what I meant by that). When you find a good friend, work out the issues you have if you can because good friends, the kind that stick by you and love you no matter what, are truly hard to find. Oh yeah, and this movie has some of the best costume and set designs and lighting next to that of Something Borrowed--it’s just so friggin’ pretty.
8. Fried Green Tomatoes
This movie is pretty long, but it’s worth watching. I actually went to sleep on apart of it, not because it was boring in the least, but because I’d had a really long day the day before and earlier the same day, and by the time I started watching the movie I was beyond tired. I’ve always vowed that I would go back and watch it again when I have the time, I just haven’t gotten around to it; but I will say that between the first part of the movie that I did see and the remainder that I caught, it was enough for me to give it 4 out of 5 stars on the review I gave on Netflix. That’s what I call a good film if you can actually miss a good chunk of it and come back and still get into it. For those who haven’t seen this film, I’m not going to ruin it by telling you anything except Kathy Bates stars. There, that was sufficient.
7. Monte Carlo
I don’t care how you judge me, I love this movie. A lot of people look at the fact that Selena Gomez is in this, think of those corny shows on the Disney Channel, and pass it over. This movie is so much better than that. If you haven’t figured it out yet from all the other reviews I give, I don’t give the same synopsis you can get off the back of the movie cover or on a website trying to sell the film. I try to give reasons you should or shouldn’t see a movie while attempting to not give spoilers (if I’m going to give major plot spoilers, I at least have the decency to warn readers), and this film is no different. This is a lovely film and the mix up doesn’t come off as immensely contrived either and they give a plausible reason (or reasons) why it would’ve worked. The ending is a little over the top, but with this movie it works, and I ended up liking it. Katie Cassidy is actually one of my favorite actresses so I was happy to see her, and I thought both Leighton Meester and Selena Gomez did a wonderful job of brining their characters to life. So why did I even pick up this film? It was rather shallow of me, but I’ll be honest: The fact that the title was Monte Carlo caught my attention and the cover was just absolutely beautiful. There, I said it, so sue me. I’m happy I got it because it’s now one of my favorite Friday/Saturday night go-to films that I enjoy with a bowl of ice cream or popcorn. Damn movie makes me fat…but it makes me smile, too.
6. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
An oldie but a goodie. I believe the first time I saw this movie was when I was a teen and I still love it now. This is one of my all-time favorite chick flicks not only because it’s absolutely hilarious, but because it’s well written, well acted, and just an all around good movie from beginning to end. And it’s friggin’ silly. These 2 best friends are what every girl hopes will end up happening in their lives. Yes, they had a fight, but it’s only after a fight that you can appreciate the good times that you have and also the fighting is when you get to know a person. Like I’ve said before, good friendships are worth the fighting that happens occasionally because they’re worth fighting for and maintaining. This is a throwback film, but it’s still funny and there’s no reason why an 18 year old girl couldn’t enjoy it today the same as an 18 year old enjoyed over a decade ago.
5. Now and Then
This isn’t one of my favorite movies at all, but it’s a good solid film and to put it any lower on this list or not have it on here at all would’ve been totally criminal on my part. I watched it once and while I don’t even have a desire to see it again, I can see why so many women love this movie and I can definitely appreciate it. This is about a promise, a pact, that these women made to one another as girls and even though they all live totally different lives as adults, they want to honor that promise. This is kind of like the female version of Stand By Me in a way, but a much happier ending. I think both girls and women should check this out. Maybe you’ll fall in love with it, maybe you won’t, but I think you’ll at least enjoy it.
4. Practical Magic
I know this film is on more than one of my lists and I know people are going to say I’m biased and the movie really isn’t that great, but to me it most certainly is. Not only is it 3 generations of (fictional) sisters onscreen, but it’s their bonds and camaraderie that make it so special. The older women, the Aunts, seem to be one halves of a whole; Sally and Gillian are polar opposites that seem like the least likeliest sisters to ever be able to get along, and yet they share something so extraordinary they seem to be able to read one another’s minds and moods; and Sally’s daughters, Kylie and Antonia, share that innocent quiet loyalty that you can almost always find in close-knit sisters that aren’t far apart in age. It’s not really seeing the special effects magic onscreen that make me love this movie, but it’s the way these women play off one another and the way those behind the scenes were able to pull together a script and plot to bring a beautiful story to life for us to see. Realistic or not, this movie is about strength and vulnerability among our female counterparts and whether we’re going to let rumors drive us apart or get to know one another for ourselves. Movie or not, this a kind of metaphoric symbol for what goes on in our real lives--we choose to either believe someone to be a "witch" from what we’ve heard or isolated incidents and talk badly of one another, but how about try seeing people for more than what they are sometimes. They could be worth the trouble of finding out.
3. 13 Going on 30
We all used to wish that we were older when we were younger just to see how it was to be a grownup. We wanted to know what was so good about growing up. And then we got here and found out it’s not all it’s cracked up to be most of the time. There are bills, there are headaches, there are jobs we hate, colleagues we hate, old friends we’ve lost, responsibilities that we wish we could shake but we can’t or our worlds fall to pieces. We all thought that since grownups set most of our rules that they were the ones that got to have all the fun when they wanted. Now we know that it couldn’t be the farthest thing from the truth. In 13 Going on 30 one thirteen year old actually gets her wish and wakes up 30 years old with the life she thought she was dreaming of all along. This movie is so much better than Big in my opinion. I thought Jennifer Garner conjured up her inner 13 year old girl better than Tom Hanks did in conjuring up his inner little boy--but again, that’s just what I think. This movie is not only fun to watch, but it makes sense aside from the whole wishing dust and time jumping thing. This isn’t just every 13 year old girl’s dream, this is most women’s dream right now to wake up the way Jenna Rink did. It has a real timeless quality to it and I think 10 years from now there will be young girls discovering it and it will become one of their favorite films as well. We dream big at any age, there is no limit, and this movie’s message is just telling us that sometimes it’s too late, but before it gets to that point you should try to change things for the better. If Big is for boys, then I guess this one is for girls--and I wouldn’t trade it.
2. The Sweetest Thing
It’s raunchiness at its sweetest, and some of the funniest and most unique (maybe unique is going a bit too far, but just go with it) bathroom humor I’ve seen on film. This is one of the few chick flicks I’ve seen where it’s something both men and women will easily find themselves laughing their heads off together, but it’s one of the most off the wall chick flicks I’ve seen--ever. An impromptu musical number, a glory hole and sex in the work place, and I’m not even scratching the surface. Those weren’t spoilers because you won’t even see them coming, and once you do see them you’ll know that just mentioning them didn’t do them any justice. Bridesmaids was funny, but to me, it’s nothing compared to this. And this movie isn’t even all that long.
1. Steel Magnolias
Southern women, southern town, an upcoming wedding, a few mishaps--and that’s just the movie’s intro. Nothing I say in this article will do this movie justice. This is one of those films that will touch your heart, make you cry, make you laugh, make you want to hug your mom, your best friend and your hair stylist. This is a dramatic feel good film, and I almost didn’t put it here because I don’t ever remember watching this without crying, but the ending is just so beautiful you can’t help but admit that even with its sad parts, you’ll probably watch it again and again if you enjoyed it as much as I did. This cast was world class, you seriously couldn’t get any better than these women when it comes to a chick flick. But this was so much more than just any old chick flick, this film exceeds what they usually have to offer us as women and makes us feel those rare things that not a lot of movies can do--love, anger, hope, and victory. (**SPOILER UP AHEAD**) Love for the women, anger because one of them had to go, hope for the future, and victory because one of them got to feel something special--she got what she wanted in the end. I fell in love with this movie years ago and I’ve never fallen out of love with it. It’s one of those films that rooted itself in my head and heart and stayed there and I hope I never forget it. It taught me that the bond we have as females will be there long after marriages, failures, heartache and pain, and those bonds will help us heal. If we’ll let them.
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