After a pleasant weekend spent sleeping and watching movies, I have come – once again – to the conclusion that the “Chick Flick” is an unpleasant, and gross waste of time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy movies made about (and some would argue FOR) women, but the current onslaught of films referring to themselves as “Romantic Comedies” has me thinking.
It had been a while since I watched a romantic comedy mainly since every time I do I am angered and disappointed. I see a formulaic “career” woman who is gorgeous but sadly single. Then she meets a rude, whorish, Alpha Male – and hates him. You know how it goes, his manhood unravels her brain and they live happily ever after (yawn) In spite of this I decided to watch a bunch of them this weekend. Here is what I watched: Valentine’s Day, Bride Wars, Leap Year, Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Ugly Truth, He’s Just Not That Into You, Someone Like You and a few more older movies from the 80’s. (Yep, this post is about my slackitude)
Somewhere along the line, movies about women stopped being ABOUT women and started being about GETTING MARRIED. And worse, the two things (women and marriage) became synonymous. I remember when romantic comedies were smart and funny and the women had lives and thoughts and feelings about more than getting hitched. Films like Valentine’s Day and Love Actually are a smorgasbord of A-list celebrities trying to find love. There are no real characters here, and there is no real plot. The main point is: FIND A MATE AT ANY COST! GET MARRIED! Really? This is what we want?
He’s Just Not That Into You – successfully convinces you that all men are jerks and that they are just something that we women have to endure. I don’t like this angle much either. I hate to break it to you, but all men are not jerks – or dogs. They are people who are just as flawed as YOU are. And, ladies, we have to start taking responsibility for our own actions. Scarlette Johansen’s character KNOWINGLY gets into bed with a married man and then has the audacity to be upset when she finds out he is sleeping with his wife. The movie paints HIM as the bad guy and wants us to feel bad for her. (In the mean time SHE is leading on another poor sap) Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn seem to have a happy relationship until her friends convince her that the only way to be happy is to get married. Then there are the “Single” ladies in the film who make asses of themselves trying to get men to notice them, and then are surprised when men don’t want to date them. I wouldn’t want to date a desperate, whining woman either. Movies like this confuse me. One the one hand – finding a mate and getting married is the goal. On the other, the sanctity of marriage is not taken seriously.
Which brings me to Bride Wars, 27 Dresses, Made For Each other, and The Ugly Truth Etc.. Movies that focus on women settling for the wrong man just so that they can get married. And why do these women want to get married so badly? Well, in Bride Wars it is because as little girls, two best friends dreamed of expensive wedding that focus on the bride. The Ugly Truth tells us that we should be very choosy when picking a mate, that is until we realize that we can settle for the foul mouthed jack ass with a great bod. Made For Each Other is yet another in a long line of films that focuses on our inability to say how we really feel. UGH. Aren’t we tired of this yet?
I admire the women in Judd Apatow’s films a little more. At the very least, they are more realistic. I know this isn’t going to make me very popular in the feminist sewing circles, but such is life. In “Knocked Up” we see a beautiful woman who gets drunk and has a one night stand with an over weight, un-employed (and for lack of a better word) loser. What happens? Well, for once in a film, the guy does the changing for the girl. He realizes that there is more to life than getting stoned and cracking jokes with his friends.
And the girl likes him in spite of his…um…issues. Nobody is perfect, but you make it work. And I want more “Chick Flicks” about THAT. Making it work. I am tired of the “dream wedding” flicks, and I am tired of the Indie flicks like “500 Days of Summer” that make the woman a bitch and a user. More movies like “Rachel Getting Married” – a movie full of real people with real problems set against a mirror of the most LOVE FILLED wedding I have ever seen on screen. It wasn’t about the dress and the cake. It was about the couple. And that is what is missing from chick flicks.
So, listen up Hollywood! I am tired of movies teaching men and women to play games. I am tired of movies that show women how to “get the guy” and show men as weak minded sex addicts. I want movies that make me proud to be a woman and that make me believe in love. Stop making pointless, plotless movies designed for stupid people. Let it feature a girl who is smart and funny. A girl who is cute but not drop dead gorgeous – you know, someone who we can relate to on a real level. And the guy … well.. that’s easy.
Just make him perfect.