Chick flicks: still flirty, still thriving

Federica Mantini, Contributing Writer

Picture this: you’re running up the stairs of the Murphy Center, late for class since your alarm didn’t ring and you live across campus, yet you still decided to stop at Starbucks to grab coffee. The steps are slippery under your feet, and your bag is coming off your shoulder- you might have dropped a stack of papers on the way. Everybody around you is moving as fast as you are and, at the same time, not fast enough. In the split second it takes you to take a turn for the second floor, you hear a crash. It takes you a few seconds to realize that you are what crashed, as you look horrified at the empty cup in your hand and the coffee dripping down the chest of the person in front of you. You don’t know it yet, but they are the love of your life. 

As improbable as that scenario sounds, we cannot help but admit that it is laced with familiarity. Running late to class, slipping on the stairs and dropping coffee are small tragedies most of us have experienced in our day-to-day life; the only difference between that and a cinematic script is the reward system the Universe reserves to heroines and heroes of the screen. A rom-com winning formula, in fact, seems to be the perfect balance between extraordinary and ordinary. Movies like “Mean Girls” and “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” do a great job at presenting their main characters as normal and relatable, and then they throw something at them that is very unlikely to happen in real life, yet still a possibility. The ability to create a world that almost feels within our grasp may be why we like chick flicks, but we end up loving them because of how unattainable they are.  

The appeal behind chick flicks can likely be explained by their comfort. Rooting for the character is a big part of it too, as well as enjoying the movie with friends and family. Most people consider watching rom-coms as a group activity. For those looking for a more emotional story, there are few titles that delve into deeper topics without losing their penchant for humor or underlying lightheartedness (“Love and Other Drugs,” “Me Before You,” etc.). 

Overall, chick flicks have been part of popular culture for a long time, and they seem to be here to stay. “Emma” and “The Taming of the Shrew” turned into “Clueless” and “10 Things I Hate About You” just like today’s rom coms are modernizing themselves, becoming more diverse and inclusive to be the voice of a generation that is more vocal than ever. Are they succeeding? You might want to head to Netflix to answer that. 


The Ionian Chick Flick Rec List: 

When you want to enjoy Fall in New York, but without living in your dorm: 

When Harry Met Sally 

When you feel sad and you want to feel better: 

Crazy, Stupid, Love 

When you feel sad and you want to feel sadder: 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 

When you want to laugh: 

Forgetting Sarah Marshall 

When you want to read something enemies to lovers, without the reading part: 

The Thing About Harry 

When you want to read something friends to lovers, without the reading part: 

Always Be My Maybe 

To watch with company: 

Someone Great 

To watch alone: 

Vicky Cristina Barcelona 

To navigate post- break up blues: 

The Incredible Jessica James 

Just a Really Good Chick Flick: 

Easy A 

Bonus! Anne Hathaway’s (queen of Genovia and rom-coms alike) favorite: Gone Girl