Chick Flicks: Mistaken Identity

And now my Chick Flicks guide turns to a classic plot device. Many a movie's been made with a mistaken identity-based plot.  It's just so very useful and entertaining... it results in comic situations and usually people fall in love, not knowing quite who they're falling in love with, and the tension arises as we wonder what will they do when they find out?

The Chick Flicks:

My Man Godfrey
4 stars
A quirky classic.  Carole Lombard is the goofy, emotional, eccentric little rich girl who stumbles across Godfrey (played by William Powell, who I swear is the most attractive non-typical attractive man - it's the personality), a hobo living on the streets, and decides to bring him home to be the family butler.  But Godfrey isn't exactly who she thinks he is.

Much ado about nothing
4 stars
Hey!  This mistaken identity theme has roots - way, way, back.  All the way to Shakespeare. I like this movie adaptation. Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, and (ahem) Keanu Reeves star.  Antics ensue.  Love blossoms.

Shakespeare in Love
4 stars
Not to be outdone, by the real Shakespeare, here we get to see an actor playing Shakespeare and see the fictionalized story behind the story. And we get to see Gwynnie in disguise as a man in this gender-bending form of mistaken identity.

Roman Holiday
4 stars
In an offshoot of the Prince and the Pauper, Audrey is a princess who gets loose for one night in Rome, pretending to be a commoner.  Resulting in utterly iconic moments and eternal Vespa obsessions. Her pixie haircut is so cu-ute.  I wish I could pull off a pixie cut.

Never Been Kissed
4 stars
Not only do we all get to feel Drew Barrymoore's pain as a gawky journalist (the brownie scene cracks me up), but we get to go along as she pretends to be a high school student, who ends up being hot for teacher who is hot for her too, but he thinks she's a high school student. Unfortunately this movie has a "monologue" a sure sign of a cheesy rom-com, so expect a dose of queso with this one.  But it still holds a soft spot in my heart.

While You Were Sleeping
4 stars
A mistaken identity classic. Somehow a bump on the head leads to a fiasco, starring Sandra Bullock as the subway worker mistaken for the fiancee.

3 stars
Audrey Tautou is a little bit more skanky and a little harder to like than her usual incarnation in this film as a gold-digger who mistakes a hotel servant for a rich man.  The poor guy, he falls hard for her, and pretends to be something he isn't.  She has gorgeous clothes, the settings are beautiful, and it's en Francais!

Chasing Liberty
3 stars
I liked this movie, even though it's a little teeny-bopper and unbelievable.  Mandy Moore is the president's teenage daughter and she's on the loose in Europe, somehow having escaped her security detail.  She meets a handsome young Brit in the form of Matthew Goode and they hang - she just doesn't realize he's actually an agent who's supposed to be minding her.  Complication forms when they start to fall for each other.

That Funny Feeling
3 stars
Don't ask me why I like Sandra Dee, I just do, she's such a cutie.  In this fun early sixties flick (love the style and sets), she's a maid, pretending she's not a maid (much like Maid in Manhattan) to impress Mr. Playboy played by Bobby Darin.

Maid in Manhattan
3 stars
Can't say I lurved this movie, but I had to include it in the category because it fits so well! 

3 stars
I don't know why I love this movie, but I do.  It's an 80s flashback. And something about seeing socialite Goldie Hawn get her comeuppance  is just so enjoyable.  I need to watch this again.  I have heard they are making a remake of this starring JLo.  Heavens help us.

Importance of Being Earnest
3 stars
I love the casting of this remake movie take on the classic play. Once again, proving the ancient roots of mistaken identity plots.

Daddy Long Legs
3 stars
There's something a wee bit pervy about Fred Astaire as the older man macking on the orphaned girl whose education he's been paying for.  But it's still a good movie.

Recommended double features:
Quirky Blondes: My Man Godfrey and Never Been Kissed
Good Audrey and Naughty Audrey: Roman Holiday and Priceless
Flashback to High School English: Much Ado About Nothing and The Importance of Being Earnest
Maids on the Make: That Funny Feeling and Maid in Manhattan

p.s. Anyone ever have a real life mistaken identity incident? I haven't!


  1. Shakespeare in Love is one of the all time best!! and strangely enough I really liked Chasing Liberty also. And do they even make movies like While You Were Sleeping where people look that normal any more?

  2. Yes, movies with normal looking people get extra points from me! And on a total side note, man, I'm so glad I'm not a teenage girl anymore. I've finally come to terms with normality and the beauty in it. Some of the most beautiful people are just interesting looking and not perfect looking, and what's beautiful about them is a soul thing, instead of the golden mean.