Chick flick is a slang term, sometimes used pejoratively, for the film genre that generally tends to appeal more to a younger female audience and deals mainly with love and romance.Although many types of films may be directed towards a female audience, the term "chick flick" is typically used only in reference to films that contain personal drama and emotion or themes that are relationship-based (although not necessarily romantic, as films may focus on parent-child or friend relationships). Chick flicks often are released en masse around Valentine's Day. Feminists such as Gloria Steinem have objected to terms such as "chick flick" and the related genre term "chick lit", and a film critic has called it derogatory.
Generally, a chick flick is a film designed to have an innate appeal to women, typically young women.Defining a chick flick is, as The New York Times has stated, more of a parlor game than a science. These films are generally held in popular culture as having formulaic, paint-by-numbers plot lines and characters. This makes usage of the term "problematic" for implying "frivolity, artlessness, and utter commercialism", according to ReelzChannel. However, several chick flicks have received high critical acclaim for their stories and performances. For example, the 1983 film Terms of Endearment received Academy Awards for Best Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role. More recently, the film La La Land (called a chick flick in some circles), featuring both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, won Best Actress at the Academy Awards. Both of these actors were well known for their roles in chick flicks before jumping to the academy level.
Some frequent elements of chick flicks include having a female protagonist,thematic use of the color pink (along with metaphorical allusions of the color), and romance and/or dating-based storylines. Longtime producer Jerry Bruckheimer has remarked about the plots, "How do you cope with money and love?"
Women are typically portrayed in chick flicks as sassy, noble victims, or klutzy twentysomethings. Romantic comedies are considered a subgenre of the chick flick. However, romantic comedies are typically respected more than chick flicks because they are designed to appeal to men and women.
Female MSN.com commentator Kim Morgan has written,
[C]inema just wouldn't be the same without movies for and about women. And we don't just mean movies about pretty women, but all women and their issues – something many guys don't usually have the patience for in real life. That's what sisters are for, right? Right... sisters or movies.
The term "chick flick" was not widely used until the 1980s and 1990s but is reported to have been coined by Brian Callaghan of Montreal, Canada in the mid-1970s while discussing movies with a friend in a schoolyard. It has its roots in the "women's pictures" of the early twentieth century, which portrays the woman as a victim and housewife, and later the film noir of the 1940s and early 1950s, which portrays the threat of sexualized women.In the 1950s, many women who were in the workforce during World War II faced the transition back into the home. Brandon French notes that the women's films of the 1950s "shed light on a different cluster of issues and situations women faced in their transition from the forties to the sixties: romance, courtship, work, marriage, sex, motherhood, divorce, loneliness, adultery, alcoholism, widowhood, heroism, madness, and ambition."
The 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's , commonly known as one of the "classic" films from the golden age of cinema, is sometimes considered an early chick flick due to common elements such as dealing with loneliness, obsessive materialism, and happy endings. [ citation needed ]Author Molly Haskell has suggested that chick flicks are very different from the women's films of the 1940s and 1950s in that they now "sing a different tune." She feels that they are "more defiant and upbeat, post-modern and post-feminist."
In the U.S. in the 1980s, a succession of teenage drama pictures also labeled as chick flicks were released, many by director John Hughes. These often had a different and more realistic tone than previous chick flicks, with dramatic elements such as abortion and personal alienation being included.
Several chick flicks have been patterned after the story of Cinderella and other fairy tales (e.g. A Cinderella Story , Ever After , and Pretty Woman ), or even Shakespeare in the case of She's the Man and 10 Things I Hate About You . In addition, a large number are adapted from popular novels (e.g. The Princess Diaries , The Devil Wears Prada ) and literary classics (e.g. Little Women ). While most films that are considered chick flicks are lighthearted, some suspense films also fall under this category, such as What Lies Beneath .
After the blockbuster success of the 2008 drama/romance film Twilight , Paul Dergarabedian of Media By Numbers remarked, "[t]he word 'chick flick' is going to have to be replaced by big box-office girl-power flick" and that "[t]he box-office clout of the female audience is just astounding, and it's been an underserved audience for way too long". He also said, "they have no trouble finding money for the things they're passionate about." According to Fandango.com, more than 75% of Twilight's opening-weekend audience was female.
The term chick flick has generated several negative responses from the modern feminist community. Most criticisms of the genre concentrate on the negative consequences that arise from gendering certain interests, in this case film. Author of The Chick Flick Paradox: Derogatory? Feminist? or Both?, Natalia Thompson, states that chick flicks are "an attempt to lump together an entire gender’s interests into one genre."
While the tailoring of interests may seem helpful and natural, many critics argue that unnecessary gendering can have negative consequences on many different social groups.There is evidence from Russian social scientist Natal'ia Rimashevskaia that gender stereotypes further perpetuated by the media can lead to discrimination against women and limit their "human and intellectual potential."
More criticisms of the term arise from actual content of the films in the chick flick genre and how the content affects society's perception of women. Some say that chick flicks are micro-aggressions.Micro-aggressions are actions or exchanges that degrade a person based on his or her membership in a "race, gender, age, and ability."
Despite the genre's popular successes, some film critics take issue with the content most chick flicks have in common. Although the subcategories represent different plot lines, all five[ which? ] have several characteristics in common. Many chick flicks can have the "ironic, self-deprecating tone" which film theorist Hilary Radner associates with chick lit. This tone is one of the defining characteristics of the genre, and many[ quantify ] feel that it lacks substance compared to other genres. [ need quotation to verify ] Radner also goes on to say the genre is "incredibly heteronormative and white-washed." These common characteristics of the genre can lead to criticism from minority groups and social-justice activists. More issues with the genre emerge from the opinion that chick flicks play to every woman's "patriarchal unconscious".
In her article Structural Integrity, Historical Reversion, and the Post-9/11 Chick Flick, Diane Negra focuses on several romantic comedies, deemed to be chick flicks, set in New York City after the attacks on September 11th, 2001.She claims that the films "centralize female subjectivity but more compellingly undertake political work to stabilize national identity post-9/11." Political and social upheaval following the attacks led to a need for films that show the importance of protecting gender and family norms, or "ideological boundaries", as opposed to the emphasis on "survivalism" and "homeland security" used to protect national boundaries, seen in the action films at the time. Juxtaposed with the "politically innocent" genre of the pre-9/11 period, the films are rife with political undertones that are meant "to stabilize national identity post-9/11".
While the plot of a chick flick is typically expected[ by whom? ] to center around a romantic conquest, Alison Winch ("We Can Have It All") writes about films she calls "girlfriend flicks". These movies emphasize the relationships between friends instead of focusing on a love connection; examples include Bride Wars and Baby Mama .
According to Winch,
Girlfriend flicks often have savvy, "nervous," female voice-overs mirroring typical romantic comedies, but addressing female spectators in their assumption of the mutual minefield of negotiating relationships, body, work, family, depression—issues prevalent in conduct, diet, and self-help books marketed specifically to women.
Winch also states that girlfriend flicks are meant[ by whom? ] to criticize "second wave feminism's superficial understanding of female solidarity" by showing "conflict, pain, and betrayal acted out between women". By emphasizing the "complexities of women's relationships", the girlfriend flick breaks the mold for the usual chick flick and allows the genre to gain a bit of depth.
The following films have been characterized as chick flicks by some commentators:
Romantic comedy is a subgenre of comedy and slice-of-life fiction, focusing on lighthearted, humorous plot lines centered on romantic ideas, such as how true love is able to surmount most obstacles. One dictionary definition is "a funny movie, play, or television program about a love story that ends happily". Another definition suggests that its "primary distinguishing feature is a love plot in which two sympathetic and well-matched lovers are united or reconciled".
Kathryn Ann Bigelow is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. Covering a wide range of genres, her films include Near Dark (1987), Point Break (1991), Strange Days (1995), K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), The Hurt Locker (2008), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), and Detroit (2017).
Romance films or romance movies are romantic love stories recorded in visual media for broadcast in theaters and on TV that focus on passion, emotion, and the affectionate romantic involvement of the main characters and the journey that their love takes them through dating, courtship or marriage. Romance films make the romantic love story or the search for strong and pure love and romance the main plot focus. Occasionally, romance lovers face obstacles such as finances, physical illness, various forms of discrimination, psychological restraints or family that threaten to break their union of love. As in all quite strong, deep, and close romantic relationships, tensions of day-to-day life, temptations, and differences in compatibility enter into the plots of romantic films.
Chick lit or chick literature is genre fiction, which "consists of heroine-centered narratives that focus on the trials and tribulations of their individual protagonists". The genre often addresses issues of modern womanhood – from romantic relationships to female friendships to matters in the workplace – in humorous and lighthearted ways. At its onset, chick lit's protagonists tended to be "single, white, heterosexual, British and American women in their late twenties and early thirties, living in metropolitan areas". The genre became popular in the late 1990s, with chick lit titles topping bestseller lists and the creation of imprints devoted entirely to chick lit. Chick lit critics generally agreed that British author Catherine Alliott's The Old Girl Network (1994) was the start of the chick lit genre and the inspiration for Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary (1996) which was wildly popular and is the "ur-text" of chick lit.
The term postfeminism is used to describe reactions against contradictions and absences in feminism, especially second-wave feminism and third-wave feminism. The term postfeminism is sometimes confused with subsequent feminisms such as 4th wave-feminism, and "women of color feminism".
The buddy film is a film genre in which two people—often both men—are put together and on an adventure, a quest, or a road trip. The two often contrast in personality, which creates a different dynamic onscreen than a pairing of two people of the opposite gender. The contrast is sometimes accentuated by an ethnic difference between the two. The buddy film is commonplace in American cinema; unlike some other film genres, it endured through the 20th century with different pairings and different themes.
Lesbian erotica deals with depictions in the visual arts of lesbianism, which is the expression of female-on-female sexuality. Lesbianism has been a theme in erotic art since at least the time of ancient Rome, and many regard depictions of lesbianism to be erotic.
A video vixen is a female model who appears in hip-hop-oriented music videos. The video vixen image has become a staple and a nuanced form of sex work within popular music, especially within the genre of hip-hop. Many video vixens are aspiring actors, singers, dancers, or professional models. Women from various cultures have been portrayed either as fragile, manipulative, fetishistic, or submissive within contemporary music lyrics, videos, concert and movie soundtracks, although this is not universal, as demonstrated by the archetypal ride-or-die chick.
Bride Wars is a 2009 American romantic comedy film directed by Gary Winick and written by Greg DePaul, June Diane Raphael, and Casey Wilson. The film stars Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Kristen Johnston, Bryan Greenberg, and Candice Bergen.
The portrayal of women warriors in literature and popular culture is a subject of study in history, literary studies, film studies, folklore history, and mythology. The archetypal figure of the woman warrior is an example of a normal thing that happens in some cultures, while also being a counter stereotype, opposing the normal construction of war, violence and aggression as masculine. This convention-defying position makes the female warrior a prominent site of investigation for discourses surrounding female power and gender roles in society.
In film and television, drama is a genre of narrative fiction intended to be more serious than humorous in tone. Drama of this kind is usually qualified with additional terms that specify its particular subgenre, such as "police crime drama", "political drama", "legal drama", "historical drama", "domestic drama", "teen drama" or "comedy-drama". These terms tend to indicate a particular setting or subject-matter, or else they qualify the otherwise serious tone of a drama with elements that encourage a broader range of moods.
Feminism has affected culture in many ways, and has famously been theorized in relation to culture by Angela McRobbie, Laura Mulvey and others. Timothy Laurie and Jessica Kean have argued that "one of [feminism's] most important innovations has been to seriously examine the ways women receive popular culture, given that so much pop culture is made by and for men." This is reflected in a variety of forms, including literature, music, film and other screen cultures.
The woman's film is a film genre which includes women-centered narratives, female protagonists and is designed to appeal to a female audience. Woman's films usually portray "women's concerns" such as problems revolving around domestic life, the family, motherhood, self-sacrifice, and romance. These films were produced from the silent era through the 1950s and early 1960s, but were most popular in the 1930s and 1940s, reaching their zenith during World War II. Although Hollywood continued to make films characterized by some of the elements of the traditional woman's film in the second half of the 20th century, the term itself disappeared in the 1960s. The work of directors George Cukor, Douglas Sirk, Max Ophüls, and Josef von Sternberg has been associated with the woman's film genre. Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Barbara Stanwyck were some of the genre's most prolific stars.
Feminist pornography is a genre of film developed by or for those dedicated to gender equality. It was created for the purposes of encouraging women in their pursuit of freedom through sexuality, equality, and pleasure. Many third-wave feminists are open to seeking freedom and rights of sexual equality through entering the adult entertainment workforce. However, many second-wave feminists believe that the oppression and/or sexual objectification of women is inherent in all pornography involving them. The conflict between the two waves causes many struggles between these different feminist views of pornography.
Neofeminism describes an emerging view of women as becoming empowered through the celebration of attributes perceived to be conventionally feminine, that is, it glorifies a womanly essence over claims to equality with men. It is a term that has come into use in the early 21st century to refer to a popular culture trend, what critics see as a type of "lipstick feminism" that confines women to stereotypical roles, while it erodes cultural freedoms women gained through the second-wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s in particular.
Media and gender refers to the relationship between media and gender, and how gender is represented within media platforms. These platforms include but are not limited to film, radio, television, advertisement, social media, and video games. Initiatives and resources exist to promote gender equality and reinforce women's empowerment in the media industry and representations. For example, UNESCO, in cooperation with the International Federation of Journalists, elaborated the Gender-sensitive Indicators for Media contributing to gender equality and women's empowerment in all forms of media.
Woman's rights is characterized as "the regulation supporting social, political, and every single other right of ladies equivalent to those of men". Women's activists go over an assortment of sexual orientations, races, ethnic foundations, and religions. Consistently, women's activists have utilized a wide assortment of media to spread their messages. This media incorporates however isn't restricted to daily paper, writing, radio communicates, TV, online networking, and web. Without media to circulate their thoughts, woman's rights developments would not have been conceivable and could have surrendered to potential misfortunes.
Women are involved in the film industry in all roles, including as film directors, actresses, cinematographers, film producers, film critics, and other film industry professions, though women have been underrepresented in creative positions.
The female gaze is a feminist film theoretical term representing the gaze of the female viewer. It is a response to feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey's term, "the male gaze", which represents not only the gaze of a heterosexual male viewer but also the gaze of the male character and the male creator of the film. In contemporary usage, the female gaze has been used to refer to the perspective a female filmmaker (screenwriter/director/producer) brings to a film that would be different from a male view of the subject.
Women in comedy refers to females who participate in comedic works as well as their experience within the social environment. While primarily dominated by men throughout history, women have been represented in the field of comedy since the mid 1700s. Comedy, or creative works with the intention of humor, is thought to have originated in ancient Greek theatre in 425 BCE. Some of the first figures to enter the field, however, were faced with resistance and discrimination. A sense of humor in women was previously thought to have meant the ability to laugh at a man's joke, rather than tell the joke herself. When women did finally enter comedy, it was seen as niche, thus making bookings hard to come by.
Terms of Endearment shares with films Beaches, Steel Magnolias, and One True Thing the popular status of melodramatic 'chick-flick'.
As 'chick lit,' both novels have in common - unlike other genres directed at women readers, such as format romances - an ironic, self-deprecating tone [...].
Officer manages to be one of those rare films that deftly treads the line between guy movie and “chick-flick”.
No doubt about it -- this is a "women's movie" (or, as it's alternatively referred to, a "chick-flick")
The menopausal chick-flick "The First Wives Club" (1996), based on the novel by Olivia Goldsmith, primarily demonstrated that mediocrity needn't preclude boxoffice success
The Notebook is a chick-flick. Not just any kind of chick-flick, but the kind of chick-flick your parents would like.
this is a chick-flick so Andrew’s choice and what yours might have been aren’t necessarily going to match up
(quote) there is something to be said for such a relentlessly by-the-numbers chick-flick programmer that is nonetheless a breezily enjoyable sit
Sex and the City 2 hits theaters on May 27, 2010, and already the news isn't good. TIME takes a look at some other not-so-great films that have been cruelly pitched at female audiences