Chick flicks: Marrying the wrong person

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:

Philadelphia Story
5 stars
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
4 stars
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?

Swing Time
4 stars
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.

Bride Wars
4 stars
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.

Only You
4 stars
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
4 stars
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
4 stars
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
3 stars
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
3 stars
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.

Runaway bride
3 stars
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
3 stars

Julia Stiles, Jason Lee, and Selma Blair in this wacky love triangle. A little on the cheesy side, but light fun.

Made of Honor
3 stars
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
3 stars
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.

High Society
(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!


  1. Great post. Love the combo of old and new movies.

  2. I loved this post! Does "The Graduate" count? I don't think it's a chick-flick, but it certainly has the theme...

  3. I love so many of those movies. I know this movie is uber cheesy but 13 Going on 30 has a marrying the wrong person theme in it and I really liked it. (I can't believe i just admitted that!)
    I've seen a lot of the movies on your list but I am going to have to check out some of the older ones i have never seen! Thanks for the recommendations!

  4. Oh man this was a nice post! I LOVE Bride Wars, Made of Honor, and The Wedding Planner!

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