The Other Movie Genre: The Chick Flick Isn't Dead (Yet)Joanna Mazewski
The “chick flick” is still alive and kicking, my dear lady friends.
Despite less than stellar reviews, The Other Woman, starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton managed to take the top spot at the box office this past weekend. The revenge comedy surprisingly did better than expected, bringing in $24.7 million in its first weekend in theaters.
So what does this mean for the chick flick market? Hopefully, Hollywood will realize that if they make more substantial and entertaining movies with strong and funny female leads, audiences will buy tickets and money will be made. It’s just unfortunate that there hasn’t been many female-driven comedies for the 18-40 demographic who are wanting to escape for a night out with their girlfriends or a mom’s night out while leaving their husbands behind and at home with the kids. With successful box office movies such as 2011’s Bridesmaids and last year’s The Heat, you’d think Hollywood would give us more of a reason to call the babysitter, but alas, no. While there’s plenty of titles for the partners and kids to see, the femme-fueled movies have been few and far between.
The Office alumni and funny woman Mindy Kaling noted in a special piece for The New Yorker a few years back that even though women secretly love to see romantic comedies, it’s getting more difficult to pitch the chick flick genre to Hollywood producers in fancy upper-crust Beverly Hills boardrooms. She explains:
“After I finished pitching one of my ideas for a low-budget romantic comedy, I was met with silence. One of the execs sheepishly looked at the other execs. He finally said, ‘Yeah, but we’re really trying to focus on movies about board games. People really seem to respond to those.’
But what I’d really like to write is a romantic comedy. This is my favorite kind of movie. I feel almost embarrassed revealing this, because the genre has been so degraded in the past twenty years that saying you like romantic comedies is essentially an admission of mild stupidity. But that has not stopped me from enjoying them.
Needless to say, Mindy is dead on with the fact that yes, we women do love to watch other women get themselves tangled in a web of messy love and lust scenes. Yes, we mothers have a little disposable income left out of our Chuck E. Cheese change and want to spend it on a mindless comedy that will allow us to unplug and laugh for 120 minutes.
Truth be told, with everything that I juggle in my life with my kids, my house and my work, I deserve two hours of zoning out from my real life and just enjoying a light, laugh-out-loud comedy with my girlfriends on my right and a glass of wine on my left. Now, does that make me feel “stupid” for liking a movie that doesn’t have a riveting subplot or historical context behind it? Absolutely not. Whereas a movie like The Wolf of Wall Street was pretty intense when I first watched it earlier this year, I just want a movie where I can fist pump in the air and laugh with the female character leads, and not at them.
Photos via PacificCoastNews.com
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