As a cinephile, I have always been an anti-chick flick advocate. It’s not because I am cynical about love or have something against Jennifer Aniston (though both of those statements are true). I do it because every time someone watches a chick flick, part of our society disintegrates further into chaos.
My argument is twofold. First, the plots of chick flicks are all the same plot. Pick any chick flick and I can tell you how the movie will go: guy meets girl, guy falls for girl, they enjoy their love, something happens that is blown out of proportion and can be solved by communicating but they never do, guy and girl break up, guy or girl (though it’s almost always the guy) comes to his or her senses and makes an epic display of affection/love, the other person forgives them, they live happily ever after.
Why is this so harmful to society? It’s the simplicity of the story. These films imply that we as consumers cannot handle complex plots. Therefore, they stick to what we know and (supposedly) love. The more we consume these insultingly simple plots, the more we will be incapable of handling complex plots (why do you think so many people had a problem with “Inception”?) Chick flicks are essentially dumbing us down when it comes to screenplays.
The next reason, and the most destructive reason, is the precedent that is set up regarding relationships. People (albeit stupid people) watch chick flicks, watch how they are fuelled by drama, miscommunication and epic displays of affection and they begin to believe this is how relationships are supposed to function. Relationships must have problems that are blown out of proportion. Relationships must have perfect speeches said in the rain. Relationships must have that happy ending.
I’ll admit I’m no expert on relationships (the last one I had was over two years ago), but this is not how healthy relationships work. If people believe that chick flicks exhibit what a normal relationship should be, we’re all doomed. Relationships are hard, yes, but if there is communication and trust (two things that are completely absent in most chick flicks), things should be slightly effortless. If you go into a relationship thinking things are going to be like chick flicks, you are in for a world of hurt.
So this Valentine’s Day, when you’re snuggled up to your sweetie to watch a movie, do your civic duty and say no to the chick flick. Say no to the continued dumbing of screenplay plots and the ridiculous standard of relationships. Do the right thing and reach for an action movie. Might I suggest “The Godfather”?
By Kelly Cannon