Chick Flick Therapy

One of my guilty pleasures in life is spending the day watching chick flicks, and I am pretty sure that I am not the only one who does so.  There is something about chick flicks that boggles the mind.  They are often cheesy, have very mushy lines and sometimes don’t really make sense, and yet, women all over the world watch them. They aren’t just watched by silly girls but also professional, high flying women.  There are the classics such as Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Pretty Women as well as more recent ones including Sex in the City, In Her Shoes, The Notebook, and Valentine’s Day, to name a few.  Chick flicks can be classed as its own million dollar genre within the film industry.

But what is it about these movies that we can’t get enough of?  They are the DVDs we put on during a girls’ night in, the movies we go to on a girls’ night out, and for some of us, the lines we quote during appropriate(or un-appropriate) moments.  In fact, when I was heartbroken, my beautiful friend Christina prescribed a dose of Sex in the City, and for a while, I forgot about my troubles as I drowned in the relationship between Big and Carrie.  Then I watched Something Borrowed, then What’s Your Number, and before I knew it, I had almost gone through all the chick flicks that had been released in 2011, along with a few tubs of ice-cream.

Generally, the story line doesn’t vary very much.  There is often always a horrible guy who breaks some girl’s heart. She then hits rock bottom.  There is often a tough time where she cries for days and doesn’t get out of bed until her girlfriends find her and haul her out of her misery.  Slowly she learns to live again, and in comes the man.  This man could either be horrible guy from above or a completely new guy. They become friends and somewhere along the way fall in love but neither of them realise of want to admit it because often they are damaged.  This is then followed by some big conflict where she ends up in tears.  At the end there is always a big gesture where he wins her heart again, and the audience is in tears.

It is often said that movies depict real life, and I wonder about chick flicks.  Have these movies taken place of the fairy tales that were read to us when we were children?  My aunt used to say that although she loves her husband, watching chick flicks and reading romance novels were her way of having some romance in her life.  He wasn’t very romantic, well, maybe not romantic at all.  No matter how practical, logical and career driven we are, do we really crave romance that much? And is it so lacking that we are looking for it in a movie?

Personally, I am not a very high maintenance girlfriend.  I’m pretty laid back, very practical and generally tolerate a lot of nonsense (and I do mean A LOT), and yet, a good chick flick can still make me laugh and cry.  They are like the love stories I read.  When every man who has been in my life has been a disappointment, and I have a new broken heart to put in a frame and hang on the wall, on days when I can’t face the world, chick flicks give me an escape.  More than that, they give me some hope.  Especially now, as most of them depict strong, down-to-earth, intelligent career  women, who often have major character flaws and find someone great who does give them the grand gesture they deserve, it makes me believe that love is not impossible.

Maybe it’s what the grand gesture represents; someone who is willing admit his or her mistake, and say the hardest words to say – I’m sorry.  Someone who thinks you are worth making a fool of himself for.  Someone who thinks that you, with your baggage, crazy temperament, moodiness, absolute inability to wrap gifts or figure out technology, is worth fighting for and giving his all to.

If there is any pleasure you should not feel guilty for, this is definitely one of them.  After all, especially if your twenties are behind you and your kindly great-aunt keeps reminding you that you are no spring chicken, you need to be able to come home, maybe get your friends over, put on a chick flick and start hoping and believing again.  Therapy comes in all shapes, and if chick flicks lift you up or can get you to start feeling again, they enjoy them without guilt.  Hey, Meryl Streep makes chick flicks a credible genre.

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