Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chick Flick Fever

Looks like it's Tamilyn Tomita month at Mr. Mike's! It's The Joy Luck Club. So Sad, So Warm. Give me a hug, damn you!

With the release of Quantum of Solace I've been watching many of the old Bond movies in my spare time. In watching these films, I must have felt a need to offset all that action with something else because I watched a few "chick flicks" too. Everyone knows these types of movies, women talking about their feelings, probably some dancing while putting something together, a mildly tragic happening followed by a warm happy ending. In my attempt to experience some new things in media, I decided to take a dive into a gaggle or warm fuzzies.

Juno may be more of a teen movie than a chick flick but either way it is well written, deftly performed and directed with energy and warmth. Ellen Page excels as the know it all teen who becomes pregnant and wants to give her baby up for adoption. She brings a razor sharp intelligence and wit to her characterization of the title teenager. All of the characters come across as slightly realistic including Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman as adoptive parents and Michael Cera as the quietly stable teen that happens to be the father of the child. Mildly quirky, Juno is more an exaggerated slice of life than an after school special. Good stuff.

Enchanted stars Amy Adams as a fairy tale Princess who is sent out of a Disney cartoon into the real world by an evil Queen just minutes before her pre destined marriage to a Prince. The first 40 minutes effectively sends up Disney archetypes and Adams's zippy fish out of water keeps things moving until the film runs into its mechanical Disney cartoon plot complete with big production song and dance numbers, poison apples and magical witches. James Marsden does well as the vain, empty headed Prince. Probably great for kids and tweens, I lost interest quickly after the start.

The most stereotypical of the chick flicks I saw is The Jane Austen Bookclub. An ensemble piece with seasoned veteran actresses like Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman and Kathy Baker, the story follows a book reading group who are inspired by and live in parallel ways to Jane Austen's novels. They laugh, they love, they cry, they hug. Bookclub can't be faulted, it plays it safe and hits all of its marks. But it doesn't do much more than that either.

Thankfully that movie killed off any remaining impulse to watch these movies. I know they have their target audience and a sizable one at that. It's a good time to kick the habit, if I do too much more I'll have to watch a Jason Stratham movie marathon to get it out of my system completely. I'm starting to feel the need to watch one of those Transporter movies now.

In the end, it's just not my bag baby. Except for the Joy Luck Club, that was a good chick flick. As Peter Griffin of Family Guy says at the end of his homemade chick flick Steel Vaginas, Fin.


Arsenette said...

I'm VERY particular about my chic flicks.. and things that are supposed to be "ooooooh aaaaaaaah" I go ... wtf..

That given I liked Joy Luck Club and although very much a tear jerker I'd recommend it. I haven't ventured into trying out anything else on your list unless it's on Netflix and I can see it through my Xbox.. even then.. I have to see it with someone else LOL.

Mr. Mike said...

Yeah, the only movie I can really recommend out of this list is Juno. A chick flick has to be really well made to appeal to me, otherwise it can get a little tough to sit through. Particularly when the inevitable lip syncing / silly dancing to a Motown song while cooking, cleaning or what have you occurs.

Arsenette said...

Omg.. I hate those scenes.. the only time I manage to watch something with that much singing it has to be based on something else not just a spontaneous thing.. so for me "Beaches" is the only place where it's allowed and even then it was A cappella :p

Mr. Mike said...

I haven't seen Beaches, so I'm guessing Wind Beneath My Wings a capella?

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

I take exception to the whole "chick flick" phrase, genre, set-up, whatever... I don't like the movies generally, and I most certainly find the term offensive. Then again... my mom always did tell me I wasn't "girly" enough. :) When I watch those type movies I always go "huh?" who actually lives like that/acts like that/looks like that? Know what I mean?

Mr. Mike said...

I know what you mean, though there is an audience for this stuff. I remember being in a media class and this girl was really offended that anyone could have a negative opinion about Pretty Woman. Glamorize prostitution? Perish the thought.