Saturday, September 12, 2009

Five Fantastic Chick Flicks

I wouldn't ordinarily describe myself as a "chick flick" kinda gal. When I get the occasional urge to see something like Bride Wars I tend to sneak off to the movies or the video store solo. However, there are a few films that, while some wouldn't necessarily classify them in that genre, I consider to be my perfect chick flicks: to watch when feeling lonely, wronged, or absolutely fabulous, and I'm never, ever ashamed to share them with other people.

5. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
Starring Madonna (arguably as herself), this romantic comedy of mistaken identity is bursting with style. Rosanna Arquette is a repressed Jersey housewife whose life becomes entangled with that of the elusive Susan (Madonna) after being struck with amnesia. Love (with Aidan Quinn) and miscellaneous craziness (Magic shows! Hot-tub salesmen! Jimi Hendrix's jacket!) ensue. Virtually any girl who grew up in the 80s considers Madonna a goddess and an icon, and here she is at her mesh and lace best.

4. Say Anything (1989)
There are movies John Cusack is in (The Grifters, Con Air, Being John Malkovich), and then there are John Cusack Movies (Grosse Pointe Blank, High Fidelity, Serendipity). The latter genre is usually a dialogue-driven romantic comedy starring Cusack as the self-deprecating every-guy chasing the object of his affection (who incidentally, is so charming he has ruined dating for all real-life every-guys since, just ask Chuck Klosterman). This film by Cameron Crowe (Singles, Jerry Maguire) started it all: not only is prim valedictorian Diane Court (Ione Skye) about to fall for rambling, aspiring kick-boxer Lloyd Dobbler, but so are we. In a really, really big way.

3. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Obvious? Sure, but when a film is this iconic, this fantastic, who cares? Based on the novella by Truman Capote, this film has been crticized for sugarcoating the original and downplaying the fact that Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) is essentially a call-girl. Regardless, the characters are flawed, but have tremendous heart... and unparallelled style. The film, like Hepburn's celebrated style, is a timeless classic, rendering it forever relevant. Does anybody else think Carrie Bradshaw could possibly be the love child of Holly Golightly and Paul Varjack?
2. Splendor (1999)When Gregg Araki (Nowhere, The Doom Generation) makes a romantic comedy, expect the unexpected. This film was a departure for the usually warped Araki, whose hommage to 1940s screwball romantic comedies offered a little twist. Meet Veronica (Kathleen Robertson), a struggling L.A. actress whose romantic dry spell comes to a screeching halt one Halloween night when she meets two very different love interests: sex-god drummer Zed (Matt Keeslar), and Prince Charming music critic Abel (Johnathon Schaech). Rather than choose between them, Veronica manages to convince her suitors to join her as a triple instead of a couple. There's definitely someone to fall for in this film, whether you're a Zed girl or an Abel girl (or an Ernest girl? Really?).
1. Deathproof (2007)
I first saw Quentin Tarantino's Deathproof as it was meant to be seen: in a movie theatre as part of the Grindouse Double Feature with Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror. While Planet Terror definitely had its merits, I felt they saved the best for last. When one thinks Tarantino, the concept of the chick flick doesn't immediately come to mind, however, I would argue that this is the perfect romance-free chick flick: fueled by brilliantly scripted girl talk and incredible female characters getting down to some very serious ass-kicking to a fantastic soundtrack. Dive-bar lapdances, 70s muscle cars, Italian Vogue... perfection.

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