Chick Flicks: A Male Perspective

DIRTY DANCINGEditor’s Note: This article was originally published in July of 2009.

It’s a term that no self-respecting man wants to hear. The dreaded “chick flick” can strike trepidation in the hearts of guys preparing for date night more than any classic horror film. However, does it have to be so scary? Maybe the reason dudes are so opposed to such a movie is simply in the terminology itself. After all, a chick flick automatically suggests that the material isn’t anything that would interest a man.

Without generalizing too much, many men would probably prefer to stick to movies that involve action, sports, crime, etc. Most celluloid geared towards women deals with relationships, family crisis, and emotions. However, if one digs a little deeper, beyond all the stereotypical nonsense, it’s evident that there can be plenty for a man to enjoy when taking on such a film endeavor.

A very rudimentary survey of favorite chick flicks among females yielded a handful of popular picks. The top vote-getters were Dirty Dancing, Love Actually, An Affair to Remember, and The Notebook. Upon reviewing these selections, it’s easy to see that they all have merit… even for a man.

Can anyone really have a problem with Dirty Dancing? It’s a true classic with guys and gals grinding on one another suggestively. What man would complain about that? Additionally, who hasn’t worked the line, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” into a conversation? This case is closed.

LOVE ACTUALLYAlright, from a man’s perspective Love Actually isn’t a perfect film. It’s perhaps a little too light and fluffy, and it would help to be a romantic to fully enjoy it. It also suffers from trying to cram a few too many characters into the narrative about the relationship successes and tribulations of various couples and singles. However, as a film fan there’s no denying that there are some good performances from great actors such as Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson. Furthermore, it would be wrong to assume that men will be unaffected by the film’s take on love. There’s a sneaking suspicion most guys will relate to some aspect of the production. There are a few really fun cameos, too.

AFFAIR TO REMEMBERIt’s not going out on a limb to state that 1957’s An Affair to Remember is classic old Hollywood. The story is a simple, yet effective, one about two ill-fated lovers and the performances of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr as the tragic couple are brilliant. There’s no denying that Grant was one smooth operator, and men should view the film for his performance alone.

Notebook 3The Notebook (the resounding winner of the survey, by the way) is perhaps the sappiest of this bunch and will be the most challenging for some of the more hardened men to get through. The plot basically centers on the obstacles two lovers from different sides of the tracks face throughout the years. On the bright side, the material is handled skillfully without completely beating the viewer over the head with affected tenderness. Also, Rachel McAdams is beautiful, so the guys won’t have any qualms about staring at her for two hours. And, for the film fanatics, the cinematography is as lush and stunning as anything in recent memory.

In closing, some advice for all the guys being cajoled by the ladies to view a particular film would be to try to relax and open the mind. And to the women: When it comes to date night… maybe don’t call it a “chick flick.”