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Wednesday, 3 March 2010

You had me at 'hello hot stuff!'

How the hell do us blokes ever manage to bag a girl?

I am asking this question because I have found myself watching a small selection of chick flicks over the past few evenings.

Yes I watch chick flicks. Sometimes out of choice. Some of them are quite good.

Stop judging me.

During my feminine film fest, I have noticed that there are two types of chick flicks.

The 'find Prince Charming and my life will be fantastic' chick flick and the 'unappreciated woman overcoming her peers and becoming a strong woman' chick flick.
Most of the time these get mixed together and you get the 'unappreciated women finding Prince Charming whilst overcoming her peers and becoming a strong woman whilst looking fabulous' chick flick.

Regardless of the title on the box, you can guarantee it's always going to be pretty much the same old tired story with the latest 'it' thespians filling in the roles of 'damsel in distress' and 'Prince Charming'.

Yes I know it's meant to be fictional, film is escapism etc but these films promote some insanely high requirements for any man attempting to 'woo' a woman.

Do men 'woo' anymore?

Do we even say 'woo' anymore?

Is the fact we aren't 'wooing' or saying 'woo' part of the problem?

Divorce rates are higher than ever and people aren't getting these 'happy endings' we were promised when we were younger.
Is this because life just doesn't worj out like that or because we are preconditioned to have these set standards that chick flicks tell us?

Looking at the chick flicks key demographic, the female gender, they have been raised with the ideals of the fairytale life from childhood.

Chick flicks are the logical graduation from classic Disney.

There is even a 150,000 member strong Facebook group titled 'I blame Disney for my high expectation of men'.

This ideal is the hunky, fantastically charming (and usually British or at least very well spoken) gentleman who sweeps the insanely 'perfect' or 'nerdy, unattractive looking who gets good looking, but extremely unsuccessful and overlooked female off her feet with a backdrop of a series of moderately comedic incidents, allowing her to get the man and the success all at once.

'Get hot and even you can succeed at life!'

Women should be outraged by this message, but for some insane reason they love it!

Women always seem to want to watch these films about the young, plain (well, plain in Movieland) girl who gets the perfect guy by completley changing who she is and I just don't get why women want to watch this.
Is the fact that the protagonist changes herself to get the guy overlooked because she gets this 'perfect' man?

Maybe studios are catching on though as there are some small victories for the 'everyman' occurring within the genre.

I recently watched 'The Holiday' and with the exception of Jude Law and Kate Winslet being forced to read the Americans version of 'British' dialogue (ie 'Oh bugger it. It's all gone frightfully wrong'. It's not bloody Merry Poppins!), I enjoyed it.

This is primarily due to Jack Black's character.

Here is a short, not fantastic looking guy who is funny and charming and ends up being the object of desire for Kate Winselt's character, and it's not done in a matter of 'oh, she's settling for the funny little chubby man' but as 'heartfelt' a story as the relationship development between Cameron Diaz and Jude Law, who spent the majority of the movie humping each other and feeling 'frightfully awful' about the 'sticky wicket' they had found themselves in.

Chubby man and the Winslet's relationship has more substance. Interesting.

We need more realistic characters in chick flicks.

The world is not full of these 21st century Prince Charmings and Cinderellas yet we are encouraged to look for these people and not settle for anything less.
Even the female protagonists in these films have the same problem.
We all remember the sofa and ice cream scene from Bridget Jones...and any other generic chick flick.
But it all works out for the better once they get the man, once again reiterating that this is what they should be aspiring to.

'Shallow Hal' is one of my favourite films of all time.
It's not brilliantly written or beautifully shot, but what a story!

We have this male character who is filled with the typical chick flick ideals of the 'perfect girl' and we see how much of a jerk he comes across as for spending all his efforts trying to get the 'hot' girls.
After some psychic jiggey pokery he can only see the inner beauty of women and falls insanely in love with a rather, quite overdone, plus size woman and they have their 'happy ever after' even after he see's her for how she really is.

We need more Jack Black's in chick flicks!

Why can't we have 'normal' looking people in these films?

I am fortunate enough to have found the special gal I want to spend the rest of my days annoying and I am quite obviously not fitting the archetypal 'hunk', more of a 'chunk', that all these films are telling women that they should be chasing after so what are us blokes doing right or have women just given up the dream?

Steph loves Disney and still watches the flicks at 22 so what is it that girls love about these films?

Girls, let me know what you think.
Do women still have this idea of the fairytale ending?
Are you still after their Prince Charming or have you sculpted your own?
Are you settling for 'chunk' rather than 'hunk'?

Guys, does watching these films make you change who you are?

Leave me a comment below!


  1. I too have a "chunk" and in my eyes he is my prince charming. I do not buy into all the Disney fairy tail endings. No one can live up to the movie version of life/relationships not even our so called "celebs". Life is hard and so are relationships. But, if you have someone that loves you for who you are and is not trying to change you and vice versa, then maybe you can enjoy the journey that is life together.

  2. I make no secret of the fact that I love chick flicks, but I really really hate the inane ones where everyone is perfect and it all ends happily ever after. Even if the film ends happily ever after, there are always going to be problems that present themselves further down the storyline, and whenever I finish watching one of those, I'm always wondering to myself if those perfect, polished characters are going to have the integrity to be able to do battle with life and still be as 'perfect' as they are portrayed.

    Take 'The Notebook', considered one of 00's best chick flicks. The main couple are forever bickering, they have things they disagree over, but what the film really shows is that despite all these so-called imperfections, they work well as a couple.

    As to the whole perfect image thing, it's a load of bullshit. Hollywood are gradually bringing in people who aren't stereotypically good-looking but it's too slow a process. Looks are a massive part of being attracted to someone, yes, but not everyone likes that clean-cut, cookie cutter, chiseled jaw type look.

    (500) Days of Summer is my new favourite chick flick, if it can even be called that, because it's the first film of its kind that I've seen that shows an accurate portrayal of how one-sided love can be, and that it's no disaster, it's just part of life's journey to have these screw-ups and to move on.

  3. I don't think i'm a proper girl, i'm not the biggest fan of chick ficks, although i watch the holiday at least once a month (great film, <3 jack black).
    Like stephy, i love disney movies with a passion, snow white being my favortie, but from i young age i found myself asking why these girls went off with complete strangers? and as i've got older i disagree with the whole 'you shouldn't have to work at a relationship if you love each other' statement, because thats wrong, relationships require trust and communication as well as love, and disney doesnt teach children that. Fortunatly i've been set what i see to be an excellent example of a successfull relationship by my parents.
    However, i think we love going back to watching disney films because it takes us back to our childhood and brings back that feeling of life being much more simple and care free. But i think the people use disney and relate it to real life, haven't been set a good example of a functioning relationship, and have nothing else to go by.
    And as for the whole "get hot and you can be successful at life" thingy, its wrong, but at times the world works in that superficial way that if you're nice to look at you're more likely to get what you want. I have been told, in many not very nice ways, that this is the only way i will succeed in life. My mum even aggrees hat the fact that i'm not a beast will get me things in i want in life. I'm not sure thats something anyone should really tell their daughter, but unfortunately i've found fluttering my eyelashes at someone does work.
    Lastly, (sorry for the hench post) i don't feel my expectations in men are that high, i dont have a set definition of what is perfect, but the way they treat me matters more, but my psychological knowledge tells me most of the problems with high expectations in a partner stems from life experiences and the examples they have been set.