Film & TV Muse

5 Underrated Chick Flicks

Esther Okorocha shares her picks for romantic comedy's hidden gems

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Image Credit: Lionsgate UK

The term ‘chick flick’ has received a bad reputation over the years, for suggesting that films under this label lack substance merely for being geared towards younger, female audiences and centring around plots of love and romance. Furthermore, feminists have criticised the use of the term, saying that it negatively distorts society’s perception of women. Despite the issues surrounding them, I still think that ‘chick flicks’ are among the best types of movies to watch. There’s one for everyone, whether you need a good laugh or a good cry (or perhaps, in times like these, a bit of both). Not all chick flicks centre around romantic relationships, with many displaying strong friendships and family bonds, and notable entries live up to their reputations as just some of the greatest rom-coms of all time, such as When Harry Met Sally and Clueless, to name a few. Of course, I have to give honourable mentions to Mean Girls (2004) and The Notebook (2004) as noughties classics, however, this list looks at the more “underrated”, though still popular flicks. Sometimes, the cheesy, cringe-worthy films are the best ones.

5— 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, the film is easily a classic, with wonderful performances from Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles. It takes place in an American high school, following new boy Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he tries to date popular girl Bianca (Larisa Oleynik). In order to get around her father’s strict dating rules, Cameron enlists the help of Patrick Verona and asks him to date Bianca’s older sister, Kat. Stiles gives a strong performance of the teenage feminist whose attitudes and beliefs still resonate with audiences today. And we can’t forget Ledger’s rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, which might be one of the best scenes from the film. The film has a wonderful screenplay, with the right balance of hilarious tongue-in-cheek dialogue and emotional moments. It’s definitely a classic that you must see if you haven’t already.

4— 13 Going on 30 (2004)
When we were younger, I’m sure that many of us couldn’t wait to know what life would be like as an adult. And if we were watching this movie at 13, we’d get to find out vicariously through Jenna Rink. Rink (Christa B. Allen) wishes to be popular, and when humiliated on her 13th birthday party, she makes a wish to grow up. Magically her wish is granted and wakes up the next day as a 30-year-old woman, played by Jennifer Garner. The plot has its comedic moments, but it becomes quite predictable and, at times, leaves you wanting more. The saving grace, however, is Garner, who gives a radiant performance throughout.. Ultimately, 13 Going on 30 is funny, filled with nostalgia, and includes a dance break to “Thriller”. What’s not to love?

3— How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
If you’re looking for a film that will keep you laughing, then this rom-com is the one for you. Based on a short cartoon book of the same name, the film follows advice columnist Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) who’s writing a piece about – you guessed it – how to lose a guy in 10 days, using stereotypical mistakes that girlfriends make (like talking about marriage after the first few dates). The guy she tries her methods on is Ben (Matthew McConaughey), an advertising executive, but here’s where it gets interesting. In order to be a part of a major ad deal, Ben made a bet with his co-workers that he could make any woman fall deeply in love with him in 10 days, and he picks Andie to work his magic on. What follows is some must-see, golden rom-com moments.

2— Love, Rosie (2014)
Based on the 2004 novel “Where Rainbows End” by Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie follows the story of best friends Rosie Dunne (Lily Collins) and Alex Stewart (Sam Claflin). We watch as we see these best friends continuously make the wrong choices as they try to go through life, love and all the other complex things in between. No matter how many times they’re separated, they always find their way back to each other, keeping us guessing at whether they’ll ever be more than friends.  Yes, it might be a cliche storyline (the classic friends to lover’s trope is apparent) but the film has many genuinely funny and emotional moments. Paired with Collins and Claflin charming performances, there’s plenty to keep you watching till the end.

1— Wild Child (2008)
The first screenplay for writer Lucy Dahl (daughter of renowned British writer Roald Dahl), Wild Child completes my list at number one. I’ll be the first to admit that the story is prone to predictability, but it remains enjoyable all the same. Poppy Moore (Emma Roberts) is a rich, spoilt American teen living with her father (Aidan Quinn) and younger sister (Lexi Ainsworth), years after the death of her mother. Disliking her father’s new girlfriend, Poppy and her friends carry out a prank to ruin all of her belongings. This pushes Poppy’s father too far, and he sends her off to her mother’s old boarding school in England. What ensues is the formation of new friendships, wild pranks, and a love interest in the form of the headmistresses’ son Freddie (Alex Pettyfer). This movie is definitely a not-so-guilty pleasure, with fun scenes, comedic lines and wonderful performances from the cast. Wild Child is a feel-good favourite that never gets old.

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