The Chick Flick Moment

The term “chick flick” is slang, sometimes slightly derisive, for a movie which is designed or considered to appeal mainly to women, and generally displaying more of a focus on romance or relationships. Many romantic comedies or films with a lots of female characters are likely to be put in this category. — (Google Query: “Define: Chick Flick”)

Ladies: Ever wonder why it is that guys don’t like romantic movies like The Lake House and romantic comedies like You’ve Got Mail? Why it is that your man would do just about anything to get out of watching one of those obviously sophisticated, romantic Meg Ryan movies?

Wonder no more. The reason we men don’t like that type of movie (aside from the fact that no one has ever laughed during a romantic “comedy”) is because of what I like to call the “chick flick moment”.

A chick flick moment in film is one of those (copious) moments during a movie when something almost absurdly stupid happens which delays the resolution of the film for another 45 embarrassingly pain-staking minutes. Basically, these are the “OH MY GOD!” moments when you ladies have your fingers outstretched, your hands waving madly and narrowly in the air, and your voices become super-high pitched whines consisting of yells, squeals, and “OH MY GOD HE’S GONNA KISS HER! NO NO NO, DON”T GO THERE! TURN RIGHT! TURN RIGHT! AHHHHHHHHH!” statements.

The reason guys hate this moment — and by extension every moment leading up to and proceeding it — is because, frankly, we don’t know what to do. We don’t want to get excited, because getting excited over something like that is just plain stupid, and we don’t want to get up and walk away, because… well, do I really have to explain this? Chick flick moments are the moments where we guys are actually embarrassed to be watching this film, not because it’s bad (though this is also usually the case), but because we realize that the only reason we’re even looking at the screen is because you’ve forced us to be there. I’m sure you know as well as we do (even though you might not understand why we fell this way) that we guys would rather be just about anywhere else at that point and time.

Hatred of the uncomfortable chick flick moment aside, I’ve always wondered what it would be like if the Wachowski brothers had decided to make The Matrix into a chick flick. How would it feel to be watching this awesome philosophical epic and suddenly find yourself yelling “OH MY GOD!!! NEO, TURN AROUND! TRINITY IS RIGHT THERE! RIGHT THERE! KISS HER!!!!” Then, as Neo is about to tell Trinity how he feels about her (and how they should kiss, question reality, then kill a few more agents), Cypher, who is trying to woo Trinity and who doesn’t like Neo, walks into the room.

“Hey, Trin,” says Cypher.

“Oh, Hi… Cypher,” answers Trinity uncomfortably. It is about this time that every woman in the audience yells “NOOOOOOOOO!” and starts laughing nervously while every guy squirms out of his seat, thinking to himself “I missed the Bucs/Dolphins game for this?!

Case and point: a few nights ago, The Wife decided to rent the movie The Lake House. (WARNING: SPOLERS AHEAD!) The movie features Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves as two people who develop a romantic relationship — arguments and all — using a rip in the fabric of the space/time continuum conveniently located inside their mailbox. The movie ends when the law of cause and effect is thrown out the window entirely and the very event by which the two characters met is prevented, causing the two characters to meet. (Trust me, it makes even less sense than what I just described.)

While watching the movie, The Wife pointed out one of the copious chick flick moments featured in that film and tells me “See, this is why I love this kind of movie.”

“See,” I replied, “this is EXACTLY why I hate this kind of movie. I don’t know whether to scream, laugh… mostly I’m just embarrassed to be watching it.”

Again, this moment, right here, is what defines chick flicks. What’s worse, the chick flick moments really don’t do anything to move the usually way-too-predictable story line forward, they’re just… painful.

Halfway through watching the film, I already have the whole thing figured out (chick flicks tend to be about as opaque and mysterious as clear glass on a bright, sunny day).

“Watch,” I tell The Wife. “The guy was the one killed by the bus.”

“Stop,” she snaps back. “You’re spoiling the movie.”

“I’m not spoiling the movie!” I retort. “It’s just so BLATANTLY OBVIOUS!”

“Most chick flicks ARE obvious,” she admits. “They’re supposed to be fun!”

“They’re embarrassing,” I point out. “Embarrassing AND not fun. And painful. Embarrassing, not fun, and painful.”

By the way, if you haven’t seen the movie, let me save you some time: the guy struck by the bus at the beginning of the movie is the guy the lady falls in love with. Because the movie is filled with tons of temporal paradoxes, the movie ends with he guy NOT dying, which means the guy would never have moved out of his (now her) house, which means the lady would have never taken that vacation where they met over the mailbox, which means that the film makes absolutely no sense because of various temporal paradoxes. Frankly, whoever made this film probably worked with Rick Berman on Star Trek, since they seemed to be so comfortable with paradoxes and temporal contradictions happening on a regular basis.

Anyway, the lesson here is that The Lake House is a horrible movie. You shouldn’t watch it. Ever. And if you’re forced to watch it guys, demand restitution: two hours of slave labor ought to do nicely.

(SPOILERS END HERE)

That aside, ladies, if you’re wondering why guys don’t like watching romances or romantic comedies, and why it seems the life force seeps out of us whenever we’re forced to watch this sort of movie, now you know: it’s not because chick flick suck — some of them are actually good — its because of the chick flick moment.

4 thoughts on “The Chick Flick Moment

  1. I hate those moments!!!!
    .
    Famous last words. “Come on, it’ll be fun! You’ll love it!”
    .
    You usually followed by.
    .
    “You’re such a typical guy you insensitive jerk. How you could not get emotional over….”
    .
    Is it just me, or are chick flicks just an extension of those teenage angst WB dramas?
    .
    There is just such a lack of substance it makes my mind hurt. Thast also why there has been such a huge lack of any decent action movies out now.
    .
    Men cant be simply bought with explosions, cars, and girls in a movie. (otherwise tokyo drift would have not been the terrible movie it was.) We need substance and a plot that makes sense.
    .
    We need teh guy of the story….to act like how we think a guy should act!
    .
    Thats my two and 15/17ths of a cent.

  2. LOL! Believe it or not, I’m not much into chick flicks, although the occasional fluff is great for when you don’t want to think too hard.

    I’d much rather watch my husband’s car-chase movies, like Ronin. Although I let on that I despise them, I actually find them very entertaining. Darn it – I want to be the girl who can kick a little butt and drive a mini!

  3. Hmm, thats an interesting view.

    Although i think most people would find it hard to believe anyone (man or woman) who drove a vehicle you could pick up and lift out of a parking space can kick butt. 😛

    I think movie genre has more to do with timing. Sometimes you want mindless fluff (like after finals when you have no more brain juice left) and other times you want something comedic.

    Either way, odds are if you are the guy, you will end up watching a movie you have no interest in most of the time (50.1% of the time) Thats just my experience at least.

  4. You know, that’s the funny thing: My wife actually really enjoys watching sci-fi and even super hero movies. But while my tastes stop at the “guy stuff”, hers go on and on. It’s like she poliglot of cinematic languages.

    As I said, for the most part, I don’t mind the chick flicks, even though most of them require me to scoop my brains out with a spoon. My problem is with the chick flick moment, that moment of inane embarasment which defines the chick flick as such.

    Finally, from what I read on your blog, with 3 kids and a husband, I’m guessing you *already* kick your fair share of butt. You just gotta get yourself a mini. And leather pants. And some karate.

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