The 8-Ball 12.10.13: Top 8 Chick Flicks For Guys
Posted by Scott Rutherford on 12.10.2013
From 500 Days of Summer and Footloose to Punch Drunk Love and more, 411's Scott Rutherford counts down the top 8 Chick Flicks for Guys!
Greetings pilgrims, I'm NOT Jeremy Thomas and welcome to this week's 8-Ball! Jeremy is out of action this week but shall be back on deck next week. This week you have the pleasure of my company. For those that don't know, I'm Scott Rutherford, long time 411mania vet that has been bouncing around these parts for nearly 9 years. In that time I've done a bit of everything including Editor of the Movie Zone. Obviously I don't have a full time gig at 411 these days but I do like pinch-hitting every now and then.
DISCLAIMER – As always with this column, it's all about personal opinion. With topics like this there really is no wrong answer, just preference. If you disagree with my picks feel free to let us know your choices. If you don't like what I say, have a Snickers and move on.
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Top 8 Chick Flicks For Guys
When Jeremy said I had open reign in what topic I could write about this week I instantly thought of Chick Flicks. At this point I'm gathering that almost everything with an ounce of testosterone has now navigated to copious amounts of half-naked ladies that AJ Grey posts on a regular basis and that's OK. There hasn't been such an estrogen friendly topic around 411mania for a long time.
My dirty little secret in this world is a love of chick flicks. While I can't stand the teen angsty Twilight-like fair, a good, well-written romcom can be an enjoyable experience. So if you are looking to entertain a lady friend and show your sensitive side, the following is a list of movies you can watch without losing your lunch.
Just Missing The Cut
• Love Actually
• My Big Fat Greek Wedding
• While You Were Sleeping
#8: The Notebook (2004)
So, yeah. This is a VERY chicky flick. Not really enjoyable on a manly level. So why is it here? Quite simply, if you put this movie on for a woman, you will have sex at the other end. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING gets a lady in the mood quicker than the story of old-timer Duke, who everyday sits down with Alzheimer's patient Allie and tells her an epic tale of forbidden love found, lost and then reclaimed again. Why does he do this? Everyday he hopes that she remembers that the story he tells is about the both of them. We come to learn that this is nearly a lost cause but right at the very end, by god Allie remembers and the old couple spends one last night together before they both pass away in their sleep. It's extremely romantic and it's as much about eternal love and loving the person you're with no matter what as it does about them as a young couple overcoming the ever-present obstacles to be together to begin with. You may hate it but the end result will meet your approval. Warning…if you play it for a chick covered in tattoos and loves roller derby, she may think you're batting for the other team.
#7: Sixteen Candles (1984)
Ahh, John Hughes. If you were a child of the 80's you were into John Hughes. Most of his movies straddled a comfortable divide between the sexes but this film definitely appealed more to the fairer sex upon release. Since this is John Hughes though, there's oodles of off-the-wall irreverence mostly thanks to Anthony Michael Hall and his spot on portrayal of the uber-geeky Farmer Ted. However, if you want to look for deeper meaning you could do worse than to focus on the fact that all the main characters are needing acceptance. Whether it's the geek, the average girls, the good looking jock, the fish-out-of-water foreign exchange student or even the vapid hot babe… they all just want to be loved in some way. Of course this being the 80's everyone gets what they want but the journey is pretty fun.
#6: Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
The start of this movie contains a scene that is almost entirely made up of the word "fuck" and little else. Somewhere around 20 times. Hardly your typical chick flick opening. The premise is dead simple: couple falls in love over the course of about a year with each get together invariably at a wedding or a funeral. Hugh Grant plays the quintessential fop almost letter perfect and his band of misfit friends are fantastically funny. For those of little faith, the director of this film, Mike Newell, also directed Donnie Brasco and Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire, so you know the guy knows how to put an edge onto his subject matter. Four Weddings and a Funeral is no different. Hugh Grant's character is literally a man lost and forever trying to find his fairytale ending before realizing you don't need one to get what you want.
#5: Punch Drunk Love (2002)
Paul Thomas Anderson has a knack for storytelling that borders on the grandiose. In between the masterful Magnolia and the epic There Will Be Blood, PTA surprisingly downshifted into telling a simple story of an emotionally stunted man, who acts out in violent rage to express himself. Things turn interesting when he manages to find love but is unable to understand these new feelings he's experiencing. Case in point, when main character Barry Egan follows his new love Lena to Hawaii and they're making love for the first time, the only way he can express himself in terms of violent imagery. He declares…
Barry: I'm lookin' at your face and I just wanna smash it. I just wanna fuckin' smash it with a sledgehammer and squeeze it. You're so pretty.
…cool huh? The single stroke of genius was casting Adam Sandler as Egan. We all know Sandler has his own special brand of rage and you can see him start to coil of with anger just waiting for it to be released when his new life is threatened. It's really f'n good.
#4: Footloose (Original) (1984)
While this was squarely aimed at the teen girl market you cannot escape the underlying tone and feel. There's an angst that seeps through that's more than the sum of its parts. Call it what you will…a fish out of water story. Maybe a persons right to express themself however they want, no matter what anyone else thinks? How about the unflinching hand of the church trying to protect those that don't need protecting? My take? You can't censor how a person feels. While you can take away the music, the literature and the freedom to express yourself, you can never make someone believe what they don't want to believe. It's very much a universal message. While the storytelling is all terribly 80's, anyone who can't identify with Ren McCormack trying not to confirm to small-minded values and to do what he wants…you're not looking hard enough.
#3: When Harry Met Sally (1989)
O ye of little faith. This movie is as much about men and their issues than it's about two people falling in love. A large part of the film focuses on Billy Crystal's character trying to get over the breakdown of his marriage. Sure it's wrapped up in some silly laughs but Crystals Harry Burns walks down some dark places before he figures out his issues. Any guy that's tried to start up a relationship after being through hell should see some of himself in here and when Harry's best friends suddenly finds love himself it adds a subtle tension to the whole thing. It also answers the age-old question; can men and woman just be friends? Hint, according to this movie...no!
#2: Sleepless In Seattle (1993)
This is a total chick flick and I like it. It's something about Tom Hanks damaged widower that just cuts through the typical B.S and lets you see the wounded man inside. The interplay with his son is just as effecting as both are trying to figure out a way forward without the main woman in their lives. Like any Romcom, you have to expect some level of cuteness and with Meg Ryan playing the potential love interest you're going to get your fill. Even then her character is just as unsure as she's faced with settling down with someone she loves but not necessarily the person she wants to spend the rest of her life with. There are layers to this movie you normally don't get with this type of film. The contrivance in getting the two characters together is one of those "believe the unbelievable" scenarios but when Hanks and Ryan meet at the end, you feel the sparks.
#1: 500 Days of Summer (2009)
For a movie that says it's not a love story, it certainly goes out of its way to be one. Albeit in a different way than you would expect. This is a story of someone falling in love with a girl named Summer and the rollercoaster of emotion at the eventual break-up and his post break-up depression over the course of 500 days. The movies timeline is non-linear as you get the tale of his recovery told at the same time as the story of the get together and it's really well done. The scene after our man Tom finally spends the night with Summer is hilarious. So happy at his good fortune, he dances down main street with the strains of Hall & Oats "You Make My Dreams" in the background as passerby's join in. Double points as he checks his reflection in a car window and he see's Hans Solo looking back.
On the flip side, after the break up images of being blinded by love are plentiful. Tom examines the same events and realizing he didn't pick up the cues of the impending demise of his relationship with Summer are very true to life. Perhaps the most affecting moment is when both plotlines converge as Tom goes to Summers apartment for a party and he thinks things are going to result in them getting back together Let's just say the split-screen between reality vs. expectation cuts deep.