Chick flick is a slang term, sometimes used pejoratively, for the film genre dealing mainly with love and romance which is targeted to a female audience. Although many types of films may be directed toward the female gender, "chick flick" is typically used only in reference to films that contain personal drama and emotion or themes that are relationship-based (although not necessarily romantic as films may focus on parent-child or friend relationships). Chick flicks often are released en masse around Valentine's Day. Feminists such as Gloria Steinem have objected to terms such as "chick flick" and the related genre term "chick lit", and a film critic has called it derogatory.
Generally, a chick flick is a film designed to have an innate appeal to women, typically young women. Defining a chick flick is, as The New York Times has stated, more of a parlor game than a science. These films are generally held in popular culture as having formulaic, paint-by-numbers plot lines and characters. This makes usage of the term "problematic" for implying "frivolity, artlessness, and utter commercialism", according to ReelzChannel. However, several chick flicks have received high critical acclaim for their stories and performances. For example, the 1983 film Terms of Endearment received Academy Awards for Best Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role. More recently, the film La La Land (called a chick flick in some circles), featuring both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, won Best Actress at the Academy Awards. Both of these actors were well known for their roles in chick flicks before jumping to the academy level.
Some frequent elements of chick flicks include having a female protagonist, thematic use of the color pink (along with metaphorical allusions of the color), and romance and/or dating-based storylines. Longtime producer Jerry Bruckheimer has remarked about the plots, "How do you cope with money and love?"
Women are typically portrayed in chick flicks as sassy, noble victims, or klutzy twentysomethings. Romantic comedies are considered a subgenre of the chick flick. However, romantic comedies are typically respected more than chick flicks because they are designed to appeal to men and women.
Female MSN.com commentator Kim Morgan has written,
[C]inema just wouldn't be the same without movies for and about women. And we don't just mean movies about pretty women, but all women and their issues – something many guys don't usually have the patience for in real life. That's what sisters are for, right? Right... sisters or movies.
The term "chick flick" was not widely used until the 1980s and 1990s but is reported to have been coined by Brian Callaghan of Montreal, Canada in the mid-1970s while discussing movies with a friend in a schoolyard. It has its roots in the "women's pictures" of the early twentieth century, which portrays the woman as a victim and housewife, and later the film noir of the 1940s and early 1950s, which portrays the threat of sexualized women. In the 1950s, many women who were in the workforce during World War II faced the transition back into the home. Brandon French notes that the women's films of the 1950s "shed light on a different cluster of issues and situations women faced in their transition from the forties to the sixties: romance, courtship, work, marriage, sex, motherhood, divorce, loneliness, adultery, alcoholism, widowhood, heroism, madness, and ambition."
The 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's, commonly known as one of the "classic" films from the golden age of cinema, is sometimes considered an early chick flick due to common elements such as dealing with loneliness, obsessive materialism, and happy endings. Author Molly Haskell has suggested that chick flicks are very different from the women's films of the 1940s and 1950s in that they now "sing a different tune." She feels that they are "more defiant and upbeat, post-modern and post-feminist."
In the U.S. in the 1980s, a succession of teenage drama pictures also labeled as chick flicks were released, many by director John Hughes. These often had a different and more realistic tone than previous chick flicks, with dramatic elements such as abortion and personal alienation being included.
Several chick flicks have been patterned after the story of Cinderella and other fairy tales (e.g. A Cinderella Story, Ever After, and Pretty Woman), or even Shakespeare in the case of She's the Man and 10 Things I Hate About You. In addition, a large number are adapted from popular novels (e.g. The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada) and literary classics (e.g. Little Women). While most films that are considered chick flicks are lighthearted, some suspense films also fall under this category, such as What Lies Beneath.
After the blockbuster success of the 2008 drama/romance film Twilight, Paul Dergarabedian of Media By Numbers remarked, "[t]he word 'chick flick' is going to have to be replaced by big box-office girl-power flick" and that "[t]he box-office clout of the female audience is just astounding, and it's been an underserved audience for way too long". He also said, "they have no trouble finding money for the things they're passionate about." According to Fandango.com, more than 75% of Twilight's opening-weekend audience was female.
The term “chick flick” has generated several negative responses from the modern feminist community. Most criticisms of the genre concentrate on the negative consequences that arise from gendering certain interests, in this case film. Author of The Chick Flick Paradox: Derogatory? Feminist? or Both?, Natalia Thompson, states that chick flicks are “an attempt to lump together an entire gender’s interests into one genre.” While the tailoring of interests may seem helpful and natural, many critics argue that unnecessary gendering can have negative consequences on many different social groups. In fact, there is evidence from Russian social scientist Natal'ia Rimashevskaia that gender stereotypes further perpetuated by the media can lead to discrimination against women and limit their “human and intellectual potential.” More criticisms of the term arise from actual content of the films in the chick flick genre and how the content affects society's perception of women. Some say that chick flicks are micro-aggressions. Micro-aggressions are actions or exchanges that degrade a person based on his or her membership in a "race, gender, age, and ability."
Despite the genre's popular successes, some film critics take issue with the content most chick flicks have in common. Although the subcategories represent different plot lines, all five have several characteristics in common. Many chick flicks can have the "ironic, self-deprecating tone" which film theorist Hilary Radner associates with chick lit. This tone is one of the defining characteristics of the genre, and many feel that it lacks substance compared to other genres. Radner also goes on to say the genre is "incredibly heteronormative and white-washed." These common characteristics of the genre can lead to criticism from minority groups and social-justice activists. More issues with the genre emerge from the opinion that chick flicks play to every woman's "patriarchal unconscious".
In her article Structural Integrity, Historical Reversion, and the Post-9/11 Chick Flick, Diane Negra focuses on several romantic comedies, deemed to be chick flicks, set in New York City after the attacks on September 11th, 2001. She claims that the films "centralize female subjectivity but more compellingly undertake political work to stabilize national identity post-9/11." Political and social upheaval following the attacks led to a need for films that show the importance of protecting gender and family norms, or "ideological boundaries", as opposed to the emphasis on "survivalism" and "homeland security" used to protect national boundaries, seen in the action films at the time. Juxtaposed with the "politically innocent" genre of the pre-9/11 period, the films are rife with political undertones that are meant "to stabilize national identity post-9/11".
While the plot of a chick flick is typically expected to center around a romantic conquest, Alison Winch ("We Can Have It All") writes about films she calls "girlfriend flicks". These movies emphasize the relationships between friends instead of focusing on a love connection; examples include Bride Wars and Baby Mama.
According to Winch,
Girlfriend flicks often have savvy, "nervous," female voice-overs mirroring typical romantic comedies, but addressing female spectators in their assumption of the mutual minefield of negotiating relationships, body, work, family, depression—issues prevalent in conduct, diet, and self-help books marketed specifically to women.
Winch also states that girlfriend flicks are meant to criticize "second wave feminism's superficial understanding of female solidarity" by showing "conflict, pain, and betrayal acted out between women". By emphasizing the "complexities of women's relationships", the girlfriend flick breaks the mold for the usual chick flick and allows the genre to gain a bit of depth.
Terms of Endearment shares with films Beaches, Steel Magnolias, and One True Thing the popular status of melodramatic 'chick-flick'.
As 'chick lit,' both novels have in common - unlike other genres directed at women readers, such as format romances - an ironic, self-deprecating tone [...].
Officer manages to be one of those rare films that deftly treads the line between guy movie and “chick-flick”.
No doubt about it -- this is a "women's movie" (or, as it's alternatively referred to, a "chick-flick")
The menopausal chick-flick "The First Wives Club" (1996), based on the novel by Olivia Goldsmith, primarily demonstrated that mediocrity needn't preclude boxoffice success
The Notebook is a chick-flick. Not just any kind of chick-flick, but the kind of chick-flick your parents would like.
this is a chick-flick so Andrew’s choice and what yours might have been aren’t necessarily going to match up
(quote) there is something to be said for such a relentlessly by-the-numbers chick-flick programmer that is nonetheless a breezily enjoyable sit
Sex and the City 2 hits theaters on May 27, 2010, and already the news isn't good. TIME takes a look at some other not-so-great films that have been cruelly pitched at female audiences
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"Chick Cancer" is the seventh episode of season five of Family Guy. The episode originally broadcast on November 26, 2006. In the episode, Stewie's old friend and child actress, Olivia Fuller (voiced by Rachael MacFarlane) returns to Quahog. Stewie intends to sabotage what little is left of her career, but ends up falling in love with her, only for the relationship to end in ruins due to his personality. Meanwhile, Peter decides to make a chick flick after enjoying one he saw in the cinema with Lois.The episode was written by Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild and directed by Pete Michels. It received mostly positive reviews from critics for its storyline and many cultural references. According to Nielsen ratings, it was viewed in 9.49 million homes in its original airing. The episode featured guest performances by Drew Barrymore, Jeff Bergman, Dave Boat, Lizzy Caplan, Rachael MacFarlane and Stacey Scowley, along with several recurring guest voice actors for the series.Female gaze
The female gaze is a feminist film theoretical term representing the gaze of the female viewer. It is a response to feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey's term, "the male gaze", which represents not only the gaze of the male viewer but also the gaze of the male character and the male creator of the film. In contemporary usage, the female gaze has been used to refer to the perspective a female filmmaker (screenwriter/director/producer) brings to a film that would be different from a male view of the subject.Georgia Rule
Georgia Rule is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Garry Marshall. The film stars Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman and Lindsay Lohan, with supporting cast Dermot Mulroney, Garrett Hedlund and Cary Elwes. The original music score was composed by John Debney. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, but the lead cast was praised for their performances.Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha, (born 10 January 1960) is an English film director of Kenyan Asian origin. Most of her films explore the lives of Indians living in England. The common theme among her work showcases the trials of Indian women living in England and how they must reconcile their converging traditional and modern cultures. Although many of her films seem like simple quirky comedies about Indian women, they actually address many social and emotional issues, especially ones faced by immigrants caught between two worlds.
Much of her work also consists of adaptations from book to film, but with a different flair. She is best known for the hit films Bhaji on the Beach (1993), Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004), Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008), It's a Wonderful Afterlife (2010) and Viceroy's House (2017). Her latest feature is the biographical musical dramedy Blinded by the Light (2019).I See You (2006 film)
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Kathryn Stockett is an American novelist. She is known for her 2009 debut novel, The Help, which is about African-American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960s.Maxine Bahns
Maxine Lee Bahns (born February 28, 1971) is an American actress, triathlete, and model. She is best known for roles in the films The Brothers McMullen and She's the One, appearing in both as the love interest of her then-boyfriend, Edward Burns, who directed both films. She also appeared, uncredited, as the murdered wife of the protagonist of the television show The Mentalist.Nitrome
Nitrome Games Limited is a British independent video game developer based in London. The company makes Unity-based games (previously Flash-based) for Internet Browsers while they also release games for Mobile. Their games are recognizable by the pixel art design and cartoon like appearance, along with a jingle to the start of every game and the use of chiptune. Nitrome was started in 10 August 2004 by Matthew Annal and Heather Stancliffe, two graphic designers, intending to create games for mobile phones. Instead, the company began taking on commissions Internet-based flash games. Some of the games of Nitrome have characters which are inspired by other characters from video games, TV shows, and others. Nitrome's games are published on their website and are often available to license on other websites such as Miniclip, MTV Arcade and Friv.Opera film
An opera film is a recording of an opera on film.Reinvention (Superchick album)
Reinvention is the second remix album from Christian rock band Superchick. It was released on April 20, 2010 and peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart. A solo breakout from bassist Matt Dally entitled "Let It Roll", was the project's debut single. The second release was "Still Here".Romance film
Romance films or romance movies are romantic love stories recorded in visual media for broadcast in theaters and on TV that focus on passion, emotion, and the affectionate romantic involvement of the main characters and the journey that their genuinely strong, true and pure romantic love takes them through dating, courtship or marriage. Romance films make the romantic love story or the search for strong and pure love and romance the main plot focus. Occasionally, romance lovers face obstacles such as finances, physical illness, various forms of discrimination, psychological restraints or family that threaten to break their union of love. As in all quite strong, deep, and close romantic relationships, tensions of day-to-day life, temptations (of infidelity), and differences in compatibility enter into the plots of romantic films.Romantic films often explore the essential themes of love at first sight, young with older love, unrequited romantic love, obsessive love, sentimental love, spiritual love, forbidden love/romance, platonic love, sexual and passionate love, sacrificial love, explosive and destructive love, and tragic love. Romantic films serve as great escapes and fantasies for viewers, especially if the two people finally overcome their difficulties, declare their love, and experience life "happily ever after", implied by a reunion and final kiss. In romantic television series, the development of such romantic relationships may play out over many episodes, and different characters may become intertwined in different romantic arcs.She Spies
She Spies is an action-adventure television show that ran from July 20, 2002 until May 17, 2004 in two seasons. The show was sold into syndication but the first four episodes were premiered on the NBC network, whose syndication arm was one of the producers. Disappointing ratings during the show's second season led to its cancellation after season two ended. She Spies bore noticeable production and direction similarities with Charlie's Angels.Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie – Romance
The following is a list of Teen Choice Award winners and nominees for Choice Movie - Romance. It was formally awarded under different titles and separate categories: Choice Movie - Date Movie in 2004 and 2005, Choice Movie - Chick Flick from 2006 to 2008, Choice Movie - Bromantic Comedy in 2009 and Choice Movie - Romantic Comedy in 2008, 2010 and 2011 before being retitled to its current title from 2009 in 2012.The Holiday
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Distributed by Columbia Pictures domestically and by Universal Pictures overseas, The Holiday was first released on December 6, 2006, in Spain and on December 8, 2006, in North America and the United Kingdom. It grossed over $205 million worldwide against a budget of $85 million. Critics praised the film's visual aesthetic design and the cast's performances, though criticized its plot as predictable.What Them Girls Like
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Women in film describes the role of women as film directors, actresses, cinematographers, film producers, film critics, and other film industry professions. The work of women in film criticism and scholarship, including feminist film theorists, is also described.
Women have statistically underrepresented in creative positions in the film industry. Most English-language academic study and media coverage focuses on the issue within the US film industry (Hollywood), however inequalities exist in other countries. This underrepresentation has been called the "celluloid ceiling", a variant on the employment discrimination term "glass ceiling".
Women have always had a presence in film acting, but have consistently been underrepresented, and on average significantly less well paid. On the other hand, many key roles in filmmaking were for many decades done almost entirely by men, such as directors and cinematographers. In modern times, women have made inroads and made contributions to many of these fields.
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Women in media
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