Favorite Chick Flicks
I love romantic comedies, that I admit. Guys hate it, some women hate it as well but I love it. However, today’s chick flicks just don’t hold a candle to certain others made only a few years ago. These days, most RomCom plots are recycled, remade, overhyped, (Valentine’s Day, He’s Just Not That Into You) or are simply made to milk more money out of the fame of its predecessor (Bridget Jones’ Diary 2). They lack substance, imagination, and are totally out of touch with reality (Bridget Jones’ Diary 2, The Wedding Planner, The Wedding Date and all chick flicks starring Jennifer Aniston). Essentially, chick flicks aren’t meant to make the audience think, they are meant to make people feel good. If it makes people laugh, even better. Here’s my top five favorite RomCom (This is not a film review, in any way):
My Best Friend’s Wedding
Julianne Potter: “ I had the strangest dream. I dreamt that some psychopath was trying to break the two of you up. Luckily, I woke up and I see that the world is just as it should be. For my best friend has won the best woman. I didn’t buy you a gift. But this is on loan until you two find your song… (the wedding band plays Julianne and Michael’s song, The Way You Look Tonight)”
A neurotic, conniving food critic (Julia Roberts as the delicious Julianne Potter) took a break from her fast-paced life in the big city to stop an old flame’s wedding, who happens to be her best friend (Dermot Mulroney).
We are all used to see Julia play the gorgeous redhead with a heart of gold in most of her movies, heck, she even made hookers look endearing in her mammoth hit, “Pretty Woman”, but in this movie, she is anything but. She schemes her way to break the happy couple and bitch came close. Very close. The whole movie was all wit and claws up until the end. Personally, I think George Downes (Rupert Everett), Julianne’s gay best friend, stole the show with his sharp and funny one-liners.
Memorable Exchange Between Julianne Potter and Kimmy Wallace(Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz, respectively)
Julianne Potter:”Crème brûlée can never be Jell-O. YOU could never be Jell-O”
Kimmy Wallace: “I have to be Jell-O!”
Julianne Potter: “You’re never gonna be Jell-O!!!”
Pride and Prejudice
Mr. Darcy: “You must know… surely, you must know, it was all for you. You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I’d scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”
I know there are a lot of film and movie adaptations of this classic book written by Jane Austen. One, I think, was made in the ‘40s starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier and a TV adaptation in 1995 starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. I love Pride and Prejudice for two reasons, one, I love period (preferably set in the 19th century) films, two, I’m a sucker for the ol’ poor girl-meets –rich-boy plot, I have to say. I have a massive crush on Mr. Darcy!
The film tells the love story of Elizabeth Bennet (Kiera Knightley), a poor but headstrong girl who won’t marry if not for love and Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen), a haughty, anti-social, insanely rich man cursed with good looks. It also tackles proper English society and how the rich and the poor roll in early 19th century England.
Memorable Exchange Between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, First Proposal (Kiera Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen, respectively)
Mr. Darcy: “So this is your opinion of me. Thank you for explaining so fully. Perhaps these offences might have been overlooked had not your pride been hurt by my honesty…”
Elizabeth Bennet: “My pride?”
Mr. Darcy: ”…in admitting scruples about our relationship. Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your circumstances?”
Elizabeth Bennet:” And those are the words of a gentleman. From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry.”
[Look at each other for a long time as though about to kiss]
Mr. Darcy:” Forgive me, madam… for taking up so much of your time.”
Bridget Jones’ Diary
Bridget: (Answering the phone) “Bridget Jones, wanton sex goddess, with a very bad man between her thighs. Oh. Hi, mum.”
Personally, I love movies or chick flicks I can relate to (don’t we all?). This is basically the reason why I love Bridget Jones’ Diary 1. Not only can I relate to her, her story is actually my story. Being single at such a late age, weird people all around, being constantly set up with guys to date, being fat and pining for a bad boy (in which case, her boss). I’m that girl, man.
The film is an adaptation of Helen Fielding’s novel of the same name. Renée Zellweger breathes life to the quintessentially British heroine, Bridget Jones, an independent, close to middle age woman, who drinks like a fish and had issues ranging from the men she dated, her weight, her family and her attraction to her boss, Daniel Cleaver played by Hugh Grant. Realizing that she needs to get herself together, she kept a diary to chronicle her everyday progress at self-reinvention. Colin Firth plays Mark Darcy the dashing, somewhat snobbish attorney extraordinaire. The film is peppered with outrageous lines, hilarious circumstances and a fistfight between Darcy and Cleaver. Hugh was a pleasant surprise on this one, taking on the role of caddish, Daniel Cleaver with relative ease.
Memorable Exchange Between Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy (Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth, respectively)
Mark Darcy: “I like you, very much.”
Bridget: “Ah, apart from the smoking and the drinking, the vulgar mother and… ah, the verbal diarrhea.”
Mark Darcy: “No, I like you very much. Just as you are.”
Chris: (Looks at the knitted Christmas vest, khaki pants, shirt, and retainers spread out on his bed) “It’s like the Michael Bolton starter kit.”
Don’t you just love Christmas films? I watched While You Were Sleeping a hundred times on HBO and/or DVD as a kid. One of my favorite Christmas RomCom is Just Friends, starring Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart. It’s a story about Chris Brander (Ryan Reynolds), an obese high school kid who can’t get out of the “Friend Zone”, and pining for the popular girl, Jamie Palamino (Amy Smart), who happens to be her best friend. An incident lead to Chris failing miserably at professing his love, which left him scarred, maybe forever.
He left his hometown and 10 years later, he is a successful record producer and a flaming womanizer with an ass that could crack walnuts. A technical problem caused by a popular pop star Samantha James (Anna Faris) led them back to Chris’ hometown where he was forced to face his humiliating past and deal with his unrequited love for Jamie. I loved Anna Faris in this movie; she looked a lot like Britney Spears too! Chris Klein was awesome as the dork-turned-jerk Dusty Dinkleman.
Memorable Exchange Between Chris Brander and Jamie Palamino (Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart, respectively)
Chris: “Look Jamie. I said a lot of crappy things the other night and I’m sorry about that. The truth is, I’m scared to be your friend, because I’m always going to want more. But then I got to thinking that I would rather have you in my life as a friend than not at all.”
Jamie Palamino: “Why are you back here?”
Chris: “Because I want to take you on a date. And I don’t care if it’s in the day, or at night, or whenever, as long as it’s a real date. And I wanna tell you how beautiful I think you are. Inside and out. And I wanna have babies with you, and I wanna marry you, and I love you Jamie. I always have.”
Troy Dyer: (Answering the phone) “Hello, you’ve reached the winter of our discontent.”
Reality Bites is one of the best RomCom of the 90’s, man. I watched it several times and it always reminded me how fucking awesome the 90’s was. These days, everything’s shit. But in the 90’s where pagers meant you were someone important/rich and Batibot/Eraserheads/Sound Garden/Aqua were still on, it was glorious.
The story revolves around four friends from Houston. Troy (Ethan Hawke) as a slacker/grunge rock musician with a three digit IQ, Lelaina (Winona Ryder), a budding filmmaker, Vickie Milner (Janeane Garofalo) a sales associate at the Gap and Sammy Gray (Steve Zahn), a closeted gay. Ben Stiller directed Reality Bites and starred as Michael Grates, an MTV-like cable channel TV executive.
Essentially, the movie is about Lelaina and the project she’s working on, a documentary titled, Reality Bites, which is a documentation of her and her friends’ lives after graduation. There is more to the movie than just the obvious sexual tension and romantic possibilities between Lelaina and Troy. In fact, several issues were also tackled in the movie, like the consequences of promiscuous (Vickie thought she contracted AIDS), homosexuality, ( Zahn coming out to his mother) stuff that really exemplified the lifestyle and career choices faced by GenX.
Memorable Exchange Between Lelaina and Troy (Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke, respectively)
Lelaina Pierce: “I was really going to be somebody by the time I was 23.”
Troy Dyer: “Honey, all you have to be by the time you’re 23 is yourself.”
Lelaina Pierce: “I don’t know who that is anymore.”
Troy Dyer: “I do. And we all love her. I love her. She breaks my heart again and again, but I love her.”
House of Mirth
While You Were Sleeping
Sense and Sensibility
Never Been Kissed
She’s All That
No Strings Attached
Love and other Drugs