Marrying the wrong person! Oh, this is such a perennial theme in chick flicks. It's impossible to get away from. Sometimes it feels so cliche. And sometimes I still love it, even when I want to hate it.
The chick flicks:
This is witty and smart and a little unpredictable. Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant. A WASP-y family. Gorgeous clothes. How can you go wrong?
My Favorite Wife
Another classic starring Cary Grant, who just married the wrong woman. He's got a small problem. He already has a wife, played by Irene Dunne (who I just love) who was presumed dead, but she's suddenly reappeared. Now the question is which one is his favorite wife?
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers classic. I can't say I like every instance of Fred and Ginger, but this early entry is still fresh and inspired.
This movie is mostly about female bonding and how friendship can turn into war. But there's also some love mischief afoot. If you've ever flipped out over your wedding, or know how competitive women can be, you'll enjoy this one. I also found myself relating to the way I look forward to big milestones in life (like having kids, getting married, etc), blowing them way out of proportion, comparing myself to others... only to find I'm missing all the little moments along the way.
I just watched this again recently. It had been a long time. Since it was released in 1994, I was afraid it wouldn't stand the test of time - that I would watch it and it would feel like a bad flashback. But it held up - proving that it's all about the characters. It's a little unbelievable at times, and sometimes I want to slap Maris Tomei's character, but Robert Downey jr. and Bonnie Hunt really make the movie for me. And I actually found myself enjoying the 90s fashion...
The Family Stone
This is not cheesy and that I can appreciate. It's got that element of quirky clannishness (with a great cast!) that I often enjoy in a movie, and it's fun seeing the uptight Sarah Jessica Parker unravel.
See the house in the movie on Hooked on Houses
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Ah, a quirky British cast, lots and lots of hats, a charming, bumbling male lead in Hugh Grant and a mysterious, confident Southern woman in Andie MacDowell. We so desperately want them to end up together, but the clever story structure makes us, like the characters, wait for the right moment.
My Best Friend's Wedding
This wedding-premised tale, starring Julia Roberts and a perky young Cameron Diaz, takes you on the usual manic rom-com ride, but you don't end up at the destination you expected. I like that, because it says "Hey, maybe a happy ending isn't all about boy meets girl - perhaps it's about getting things right in your soul". Those who expected a cookie-cutter ending may not be pleased, however.
Walk, don't run
Three things I like about this movie - exotic setting (Tokyo), bizarre premise (built around the Olympics), and 1960s style. It's weird to see an aged Cary Grant in a fatherly role though.
Julia Roberts, of course. This wasn't my favorite one of hers (you cannot take this film seriously), but how could I leave this out of this category? It's still fun when you're in the mood for something light (and cheesy)...
A Guy Thing
Julia Stiles, Jason Lee, and Selma Blair in this wacky love triangle. A little on the cheesy side, but light fun.
Made of Honor
Nice to see a movie from a guy's perspective on occasion. This still has a little cheese factor, but it's all-over fun. It was kinda-sorta a retelling of My Best Friend's Wedding, but not exactly. They took the premise as a starting point, switched the gender roles and make other changes.
The Wedding Planner
I loved this when I first saw it, but I'm not sure Matthew McConaughey's highlights stand the test of time. Still if you like cheesified chick flicks, you may like this one! Haven't you always wanted to know what it would be like to have J-Lo as your wedding planner? And I have to give it points for such an outrageous premise - one that I won't reveal if you haven't seen the film.
(I can't give this one stars as I need to watch this one again to star it - it's been too long!) Philadelphia Story gets made over in the 1950s as a musical starring Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra - hello! Talk about your all-star cast.
Recommended double features:
- WASPY Wit: Philadelphia Story and The Family Stone
- Extra cheese: Runaway Bride and Made of Honor
- Make mine vintage: My Favorite Wife and Swing Time
- 90s flashback: Only You and My Best Friend's Wedding
p.s. For the purposes of simplicity, I'm using Netflix's star system. 3 stars means I liked it. 4 stars means I really liked it. And 5 stars means I loved it.
p.s.s. I'm pretty sure I missed some obvious entries in this category. If I did miss one that you like, please tell me so I can add it to the list!