CC2K

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All Chick Flicks Are the Same: A Public Service Announcement From CC2K

Written by: Rob Van Winkle, CC2K Staff Writer


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This could be the poster for every single movie made for women.

I am well aware that men and women see and hear things very differently. The proof of this can be found by examining the color palate of each gender; for every color a man can recognize, there are actually dozens of iterations discernible to women that are completely invisible to the naked male eye. This is not a criticism, but merely an observation that has held up as nearly constant through my entire life.

The world of movies offers another glimpse into the disparate ways that men and women see things.

 

There is a genre of films called “Romantic Comedies,” which along with the “Tearjerker” is a subset of a larger class of movies known as “Chick Flicks.” The reason for this name is quite obvious; these films are made with women in mind, and in the vast majority of cases, the only men who see them have been coerced by the woman in their life.  It is in these movies where the words “sappy” or “sad” are synonymous with “good.” (In other words, whether they be out of misery or joy, a good “chick flick” will result in tears.) Characters always say either the EXACT right thing, or the EXACT wrong thing, and they make decisions that, while applauded in the theater, would HORRIFY real family and friends. In short, the only thing “real” about these movies are the sets.

{jgibox title:=[Important Note about the Preceding Paragraph (click to read)] style:=[width:550px;]}What I just wrote is far more of an educated guess than an actual studied observation. These films MIGHT, to fans of this genre, each be as different as a snowflake. To those who love them, they might differ so greatly from one to the other, with subtle shades and tones, that each must be studied on its own to fully grasp all there is to get from them. However, for those of us who only see the occasional chick flick, and always under duress, I can tell you that NONE of this registers. To us, they are painted in the broadest possible strokes, and each bleeds into the next until they are one homogenous tear-fest. {/jgibox}

Like most men, I avoid “chick flicks” whenever possible. In fact, the last time I can remember  actually setting out to see such a movie, was on the first date with the woman who would become my wife, over seven years ago. That is, until last night.

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Little known internet fact: the way to get millions of jeans-creaming chicks to flock to your site: PHOTOS OF KEVIN BACON!

Yesterday, you see, was my wedding anniversary. (Thank you, thank you). However, after spending the entire three-day weekend, doing “couply” things like hiking and visiting friends, and since yesterday was, after all, a workday, my wife and I decided to sit at home and watch movies. We scanned through the available On-Demand options, and found nothing that either of us were dying to see. After a bit of discussion, combined with a realization that it would be unwise to start a fight with her on this particular evening, we decided to watch not one, but TWO romantic comedies: Picture Perfect and The Wedding Date.

The two movies we chose were made eight years apart, and were made by different directors, different writers, and different studios. In fact, I could not find a single person who was involved with both films. And yet, somehow, these two movies were almost EXACTLY the same.  Consider the elements that were similar:

1. Incredibly sexy TV starlet pretending to have no luck with men

Picture Perfect – Jennifer Anniston, at the HEIGHT of her Friends popularity, stars as a career woman on the rise who has no time for love. The one guy she wants doesn’t seem to want her, and the only guys who want her are drips or losers. Right.

The Wedding Date – Debra Messing, at the tail end of the height of Will and Grace’s popularity, stars as a career woman who can’t over getting dumped by her dorky, British, ex-boyfriend. Things are so bad for her that she can’t even find a guy to go with her to her sister’s wedding. Sure.

2. Creepy leading man with crinkled face that all the women want to sleep with

Picture Perfect – The man who Jennifer Anniston lusts after, and who won’t sleep with her despite her practically asking him to do so, is Kevin Bacon. More specifically, Kevin Bacon with long hair. I’m sorry…what?

The Wedding Date – Debra Messing takes Dermot Mulroney to the wedding. Dermot Mulroney, complete with a weird scar on his face and a complete lack of any personality or charisma, is the absolute hands-down object of lust for every single woman who appears on frame.

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Just as A = A…

3. Wacky, unpredictable parents

Picture Perfect – Olympia Dukakis (the woman who always plays eccentric, overbearing mothers) plays an eccentric, overbearing mother. She calls Anniston constantly, panics over her daughter’s health, and even breaks into her house to hassle her. HA!

The Wedding Date
– Holland Taylor (the woman who always plays catty, probably alcoholic mothers) plays a catty, probably alcoholic mother. She states how surprised she is that Debra Messing isn’t married while toasting her other daughter’s upcoming wedding, and is openly hostile to Messing’s ex-boyfriend while in public. HA again!

4. Stupid plot twist involving guys hiding their true identity

Picture Perfect – Jennifer Anniston’s boss will not promote her because she is single (really). Thus, when she is turned down for a big project, her friend shows him a picture of Anniston with a random guy she met at a wedding, and tells him that this man is her fiancé.  When her boss asks to meet him, she has to track him down, and convince him to pretend to be her boyfriend long enough so they can break up in front of the boss.

The Wedding Date – Depressed because her younger sister is getting married before her, still reeling from getting dumped by her ex-boyfriend, and aware that this same ex is going to be the best man at the wedding, Debra Messing hires a male escort she has never met to pretend to be her new boyfriend at a four-day family function overseas.

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So too does Picture Perfect = Wedding Date

5. Hackneyed plot twist

Picture Perfect – the man in Jennifer Anniston’s photograph is Jay Mohr, a drippy castrated wedding videographer. He agrees to the plan, comes to New York, studies up on the details of her life, and rehearses the fight they are to have. However, while at the key dinner, Mohr reveals that HE HAS FALLEN FOR ANNISTON! FOR REAL!! Then, when they are supposed to have their fight and “break up,” Mohr attempts to SABOTAGE THE PLAN!!!

The Wedding Date – The plan between Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney is for him to be wonderful and her to be doting, all to make her ex-boyfriend jealous and maybe want her back. On the first night, the ex and Dermot end up alone together, and the ex admits that he is miserable, because the woman he loves is there with someone else. The ex then tries several times to get Debra Messing alone to tell her something. Finally, when they are together in the wine cellar, he starts to speak, when Messing interrupts to tell him that SHE IS NOW OVER HIM! SHE HAS FALLEN FOR HER GIGOLO!! As she walks away, the ex reveals that he is ACTUALLY IN LOVE WITH HER SISTER! WITH WHOM HE CHEATED ON MESSING WHEN THEY WERE TOGETHER!! AND WHO IS NOW MARRYING HIS BEST FRIEND!!!!

6. Implausible and illogical change of heart

Picture Perfect – Anniston is clearly a soulless NYC career chick who goes for the assholes and disdains the “good guys,” and proves these things by jumping into bed with Kevin Bacon, and rebuffing all of Jay Mohr’s attempts to date her. However, when her mother calls and wants to talk to her fake fiancé, Mohr gets on the phone and is very charming. From this point forward, Anniston is now in love with Jay Mohr.

The Wedding Date – Debra Messing is clearly an emotional and mental basket case, and Dermot Mulroney is a charm-free male escort. There is no chemistry between them, and Messing even constructs a wall of pillows down the middle of their bed, to prevent their touching. The next day, after he says something nice to her, she gets drunk, withdraws as much money as she can for sex (he’s a gigolo, remember), and goes home and seduces him. From this point forward, they are completely in love with one another.

7. Stupid Deus ex Machina

Picture Perfect – When the company tells her that her job is now dependent on NOT being with her fake fiancé (again, don’t ask), she tells her boss the whole truth. Her boss forgives her, and advises her to go get Jay Mohr. She finds Mohr working at a church wedding, and interrupts the entire ceremony to try to win him back. With everyone in the church watching (including the bride, groom, and priest), they make up and start kissing. Everyone in the church applauds as the credits roll.

The Wedding Date
– Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney have a fight, and Mulroney leaves for home on the day of the wedding (after returning all of her money). Meanwhile, the secret fucking becomes public, and everyone is mad at everyone else. Messing and her dad have a serious moment, where he asks her if Mulroney is “the guy for her.” She says yes. As she goes after him, he turns his car around to go back to her. By the time they meet back up, the wedding is back on, and Mulroney is now the best man! During the party, we learn (via subtitles) that Mulroney quits “the business,” and they start dating when they return from the states. They dance together as the credits roll.

And there you have it: two ostensibly different movies have almost the same roster of characters, plot devices, and denouments.  The only conclusion I can draw from this, given my small sample size (and unwillingness to broaden it), is that all romantic comedies are, in fact, the same.

{jgibox title:=[A brief note about "Tearjerkers" (click to read)] style:=[width:550px;]} I have seen even fewer of these movies, and thus know even less about them. However, my minuscule exposure to them leads me to believe that they too are all the same. To wit: I don’t KNOW this, but I’m betting that every tearjerker includes a disease and/or death, as well as “the true meaning of love.” {/jgibox}

And men, we can use this to our advantage! Next time a prospective hookup starts talking about Notting Hill, or Something’s Gotta Give, or whatever, mention how much you like the crazy parents, or how sweet the ending was! I haven’t seen either movie, but something tells me that in either case, with either example, you’ll win some valuable points to be redeemed in the nearest bedroom!

In other words, we might not be able to get rid of these films, but at least we can make them work for us.   

Talk about chick flicks in the forums!  

Author: Rob Van Winkle, CC2K Staff Writer

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