I love chick-flicks. I’ll admit loud, I’ll admit it proud–I love me a good romance movie. I know it’s all Hollywood, and those kinds of things don’t necessarily happen in real life, but that’s why they’re there! For saps like me to live vicariously through them! I just love hearing love stories or how people got together. I think it’s the most awesome thing. Have you ever sat down and talked to an old married couple, and asked them how they met? It’s the best. They usually tell you a really long story, but I find it so sweet and endearing. I want to have a really long sweet love story to tell my grandkids someday. Those are the kinds of stories that make me happy, that give me hope that there is love and kindness and goodness in the world. I’d rather hear a love story over a war story any day.
When watching romantic movies and romantic comedies, I judge how good of a movie it is by how strong I think the love is between the two, how convincingly the actors portrayed their love for one another, and of course if the movie had a compelling and enriching plot–but it’s mostly about the connection and believability of the actors. Because if the actors don’t convince you that what they have is real and special, then you won’t feel attached to the characters and you won’t care if they end up together in the end or not. So with that as my criteria for what makes a good chick flick, here is my list. (Warning: Explanations may contain spoilers!)
1. The Notebook This is my favorite movie. Has been for years, and so far nothing has knocked it off its spot at number one, so that’s where I’m placing it. I’ve seen that movie probably two dozen times now, but it still somehow makes me cry at the end, when they’re old and they’re dancing one minute, and then the next she doesn’t remember him and ahhh. Tears. Streaming down my face. Everytime. I love how this movie showed their entire love story. From beginning to end. That their love never died; not after 7 years of zero communication, and not after however many odd years of marriage, their love for one another never died, never diminished. I think everyone leaves that movie wanting to find a love like theirs, and thinking that the best way to go is with the one you love. Ah when she said “Do you think our love can take us away together?” and then it did, omg. Sobbing. If that movie doesn’t make you at the very least tear up or if you never cry feel an ache in your chest, then you have no soul. That’s the only explanation.
2. P.S. I Love You This is another movie you need tissues for. After Allie and Noah I think the bond between Holly and Gerry (played by Hilary Swank and Gerald Butler) is the deepest. It’s a sad movie, but you can see through her grief, and her daydreams of him being with her, just how much she loved him. I think this movie does a great job of showing what it’s really like to lose someone. Grief consumes you. It’s not something you can get over or shake off in a month or a few months. Since her husband knew he was going to die (he had brain cancer), he was able to plan a few letters to be sent to her after his death, in the hopes of helping her get over him. If he hadn’t written her a letter that told her to get out of her apartment and go sing karaoke for her 30th birthday, I don’t think she would have, or any of the other things he told her to do. It’s a bittersweet movie because you can feel how much he loves her, and it’s because he loves her that he wants her to move on with her life and find love again. Selfless, pure love. Makes you weep, but man is it touching.
3. A Walk to Remember I know, I know, why do I keep picking the sad ones? I’m sorry! But the ones that make you tear up prove that it’s a good movie and really moved you. This movie isn’t all that sad though, at least not in the beginning. It’s really about a teenage boy’s struggle to figure out his life–when we meet him his life isn’t going in the best of directions. Then he meets Jamie. She’s “weird”, but Landon admires the fact that she doesn’t care what other people think of her. At first he judges her just like everybody else. That’s why I love this love story. Because to me true love doesn’t happen at first sight. It happens gradually, over time, after you’ve gotten to know a person. One of the best movies there is.
4. When Harry Met Sally This is a classic. It’s a story about how two unlikely friends become best friends, and even though they never meant to, they fell in love. It also kind of proves that men and women really can’t be “just friends.” I absolutely adore this movie, the acting is impeccable, the characters are quirky and hilarious, and it’s just overall a great chick-flick.
5. You’ve Got Mail This movie is a little dated, it’s about the online dating scene in the late ’90s when people had dial-up connections and AOL emails. It follows the story of two people who met on an online chat room, and decided to not tell each other any personal information, and just got to know each other by talking about random things in their life, completely oblivious to the fact that they already knew each other in real life. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should. Personally I like this movie much better than Sleepless in Seattle (another Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie), which although is romantic, I find a little slow-paced.
6. Sweet Home Alabama This is a heart-warming story about how you really never do forget your first love, and that sometimes “you never get your heart back.” I also liked how when she came home her southern accent returned, a distinct indicator that leaving home changes you, but that you can always come back and make things right. I wouldn’t watch this if you are about to marry someone and you aren’t quite over your first love. Or I don’t know, maybe you should. It could be a good test.
7. Pretty Woman I didn’t expect to fall in love with this movie as much as I did since it’s main character is a hooker, but again it’s one of those “don’t judge people before you get to know them” stories. Vivian, the hooker, and Edward, a ruthless businessman, come to realize that they’re more alike than they could’ve possibly guessed–they both screw people over for money. This is definitely an interesting love story with, I’m happy to say a happy ending, no tissues required.
8. The Moulin Rouge The Moulin Rouge was also featured in a previous blog post of mine called List of Musicals Your Boyfriend Will (Most Likely) Like. It’s such a good movie it gets to be featured twice. It’s not only a movie-musical, it’s a terrific love story that inspires you to open yourself up to love and know that you are deserving of it, and that you’re not only worth “what someone will pay for you.” One of the best movies and love stories of all time, if you haven’t seen it please go watch it now!!
9. 10 Things I Hate About You This is a terrific rendition of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, whose main character, Kate, is a woman who pretty much hates all men, or rather, hates being told what to do and having things be expected of her. Kate is a strong individual but falls victim to love just like any other girl, her worst fear. So in a way she “hates” that she’s in love. A very cute romantic comedy, but it earned it’s top 10 spot because of the connection between the actors, and also because of the secondary love story going on between her sister Bianca and another boy. Both couples have to overcome inner struggles so that they can be happy and in love. Plus it’s a really funny movie.
10. 50 First Dates I love this movie because Henry, played by Adam Sandler, never gave up on Lucy, played by Drew Barrymore. He knew that every morning when she woke up she would forget who he is, and he’d have to get her to fall in love with him all over again. He only stopped trying once because her family thought it would be best for her to not see him anymore, so he respected their wishes. But it turned out she didn’t forget him. She loved him back and when you love someone, their memory is never truly erased. This has one of the weirdest yet happiest endings ever, and I think it’s amazing that someone will do so much for one person. Because to him, she was the only one. A very amusing and light-hearted, yet at the same time, incredibly touching love story.
I know there are plenty of good chick-flicks that I did not include in this list. That doesn’t make them bad movies by any means. There are so many more that I like that I had to fight with myself to keep off. I made the cut at Top 10, but there are plenty more. Some couldn’t make the list because I decided my criteria for the best chick-flicks would mainly be the connection between the actors and how believable their love was, which is why I couldn’t include a lot of the movies where they met for a day or two and then were all of a sudden madly in love. Those are great movies, but they just weren’t for this list. Just so some other favorites don’t feel left out, I will give honorable mentions to: The Princess Bride, Pride & Prejudice, 27 Dresses, How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, Leap Year, Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner, The Wedding Singer, Wedding Crashers, Love Actually, and Enchanted.
I hope you enjoyed my list, please feel free to let me know what you think! Now go have a chick-flick marathon!