For most guys, nothing causes more dread on a Friday night that the prospect of having to sit through a film that falls into the genre of “Chick Flick.” Often women will use this at the beginning of a relationship to gauge a man’s sensitivity and, by extension, what type of life-partner he might make. Many relationships have been broken by a man not crying (or worse, laughing) during a particularly emotional scene.
I think this is horribly unfair. If you want to see a man cry during a film, then sit with him during the scene in Old Yeller where Old Yeller gets shot, or when Sonny Corleone dies on the causeway in The Godfather. And no man can avoid getting a little misty-eyed at the end of Rudy or Remember the Titans.
I can only judge chick flicks from the perspective of a guy, and what films from this category I’ve been forced to watch over the years that may or may not have produced a tear or two (I still maintain that there was something in my eye). In the end, this isn’t so much a guide to the best chick flicks for guys as a guide to what you’re likely to endure. With that disclaimer, and in no particular order, here is a guy’s survival guide to some well-known chick flicks:
1. Titanic. The ultimate chick flick. Leonardo DeCaprio, fancy dresses, and the guy dies at the end. What more could a girl want?
2. Terms of Endearment. Had to watch this one as punishment for forgetting some significant event in a relationship, like the anniversary of the first time we ate curried shrimp together on an outdoor patio. I now keep a calendar of every possible significant event.
3. The Color Purple. There was crying and I didn’t like it much, so I guess that means it was a chick flick.
4. 300. Not a normal choice as a chick flick, but all the women I know flocked to it so they could see Gerard Butler run around with no shirt on. The only one on this list that a guy can tell his friends he saw.
5. Before Sunrise/Before Sunset. Two films that go together. They were good, but the entire time was spent talking about their feelings. A good car crash or bank robbery would have made them more commercially successful.
6. Any film with “Wedding” in the title. This includes movies like Four Weddings and a Funeral,The Wedding Planner, and My Best Friend’s Wedding; The Wedding Crashers is the only exception I can think of. These must be avoided at all costs, as all they will do is cause your date to leave the theater wondering why you haven’t proposed or if you are good husband material. No good can come from this.
7. Beaches. Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey were ok I guess, although I liked the little kid versions of them better. Lots of crying in this one; your girl will be a wreck for days afterward.
8. Ghost. If your girlfriend suggests getting this on DVD, fake an appendicitis, join the French Foreign Legion, and if necessary, offer to watch Beaches instead. Whatever you do, avoid this film; if you’re unlucky enough to have seen it, you understand what I mean.
9. When Harry Met Sally. This film is right on the edge of not being a chick flick, if only because Billy Crystal is so damn funny. It also features a great performance by the late Bruno Kirby; most men know him best as a young Clemenza in The Godfather, Part II.
10. Blade Runner. This is a ringer that you may be able to sneak in as a chick flick on an unsuspecting young lady. After all, it has a love story (between a cop and an female android, but a love story nonetheless). Emphasize the fact that it also has both a young Harrison Ford and a young Rutger Hauer.
If you’re forced to watch one of the films on this list (except for numbers 4 and 10, of course) and want to ensure the proper reaction, put a thumbtack in your shoe and press down on it every time your girlfriend starts to cry. At the very least it will provoke a pained expression, which is better than her looking over to see that you’ve fallen asleep. Good luck and happy viewing.