Daily Archives: June 10, 2009

The Problem With Labels

My wife recently caught me watching Encore Love again on cable. Now before you get any funny ideas, Encore Love is not like the Spice network, but more like a movie channel that plays chick flicks, that brand of movies made to appeal to Hollywood’s notion of what a woman might want in a typical movie. The movie in question was the critically acclaimed action film, Ladyhawke. I have no idea why it was on Encore Love.

But that’s the problem with labels. One man’s action movie is another woman’s chick flick. Now, I’ve never actually completely seen any of the films on the following list, but I am told they are among the top chick flicks in recent history:

Mystic Pizza —A little homespun wisdom and a dynamite pizza recipe help Julia Roberts and co. through some rough times. I saw portions of this film while in college. I think I was on the way back from the gym and stopped by a friend’s house where it was on.

Pretty Woman –What is it with Julia Roberts and chick flicks? She seems to show up a lot. Anyway, in this one she plays a hooker with a heart of gold who falls in love with that dreamy Richard Gere. I remember seeing selected scenes from this one while killing time at a friend’s house before pushing my Geo Metro around a parking lot for extra exercise.

An Officer and a Gentleman I’m told by those with the experience of actually seeing this film that this might be the “ultimate” chick flick. I once saw a portion of it while killing time before watching a pay-per-view Evander Hollyfield boxing match.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants —This 2005 film represents a much more recent manifestation of the chick flick phenomenon. In it four young women focus their friendship around a single pair of pants. Fate dealt me a funny hand one day while recovering from a debilitating martial arts related injury that left me immobile. As I began flipping channels on the TV, I stopped to see if this movie might have any good fight scenes (it doesn’t), and the battery on my remote died.

When my wife arrived home to once again find me inexplicably watching Encore Love, I tried to explain my plight, but I don’t think she believed me.

I guess a fellow like me might feel more comfortable admitting to watching great films like these if they weren’t stratified into the “chick flick” sub-category. Why can’t a good movie just be a good movie?



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