Since this blog has a very small readership, something I take full blame for, I will have to provide both the "Q's" and the "A's." I am picking chick flicks because in that last two weeks, I have seen 3 different but linked chick flicks, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Nights in Rodanthe, and The Reader.
Q. Why these three flicks?
A. The first two I saw with my girlfriend, the third I pulled a Don-Draper type of move by leaving work and going to an art flick.
Q. Why are they chick flicks?
A. Because chick flicks seems to have lead characters that are divided into two extremes: quirky, kooky, effervescent girls who demand that the world accepts them on their own terms (COAS) or women who seem to exist and be defined by how much pain they can stoically digest (NIR, TR).
Q. Can't it be argued that the chick in The Reader, by virtue of being an SS guard and her actions while being a guard, caused much more pain for people than the pain she stoically digested?
A. Of course it can, but since her actions are never shown onscreen, only mentioned in dialogue, you'd be missing what the filmmakers have chosen to show you. You get plenty of shots of Kate Winslet giving pained looks and struggling to read and write, but you get no shots of her days of doing shitty things to prisoners.
Q. Why do chick flicks go to these extremes?
A. I have no idea. Is this how women want to see themselves portrayed on screen? You could probably make an argument that men go to action movies because they want to be James Bond or Rambo, and they would love to spend their days shooting off guns, screwing a different chick every night, and getting the best of every situation. Do women go to movies because they want to relate to the idea of being either the most superficial or most sensitive person in the world?
Q. Wasn't that last A more of a Q?
A. It was, I'll try to do better in the future.
Q. Why is there a double standard in chick flicks, or flicks in general, when it comes to having sex with minors? Why are people repulsed when Kevin Spacey, in American Beauty, has lusty thoughts but an unconsummated relationship with underage Mena Suvari, but no one makes a stink when Kate Winslet repeatedly fucks a 15-year old in The Reader?
A. Because movie world perceives men as predators and women as nurturers. Therefore, even though Kevin never goes through with it, he's a disgusting predator and a bad person. But since Kate is a nurturing woman, she couldn't have ever had any bad intentions and must have felt actual love for the boy, so it was OK for her to have sex with him repeatedly. Of course, this view actually ignores the reality of what is happening, but people never seem to want for facts to get in the way of anything.
Q. Speaking of facts, isn't that woman in Nights in Rodanthe completely nuts for wanting to see the wild horses on the beach in Rodanthe? Shouldn't someone tell her that the wild horses are near Corolla, which is about 45 miles north of Rodanthe, and that the horses are never going to travel 45 miles down beaches filled with people to go and see her? Shouldn't someone just tell her to get in her car and drive to Corolla?
A. Of course someone should, but see previous digression on facts. And in the end, the horses do come to see her.
Q. Isn't The Reader typical of the type of movie where years of pointless pain and suffering between the main characters could have been avoided if these characters just had frank discussions with each other years earlier?
A. Yes (long sigh).
Q. Are we really supposed to believe that Kate Winslet is more ashamed that she couldn't read or write that by the fact that she was in the SS?
A. You are if you are going to buy into the movie.
Q. Why do chick flicks feed into the idea that the purest type of love is the type that is unsustainable do to external forces? Specifically, why does the chick in NIR fall in love with someone she spends very little time with, only to have him die in a freak accident before they can spend a life together? And, despite their age differences, couldn't the couple in TR have had a nice little life together if that whole Nazis-coming-to-power-before-he-was-born thing never happened?
A. Yes, but only truncated love can be pure because nothing can ever happen to mess it up. Richard Gere didn't stick around in NIR long enough to do something really stupid to Diane Lane (and let's be honest, the guys that manage to make it all the way through a chick flick without falling of a mountain while trying to save the orphanage always do something stupid or hurtful to the female lead). But on the other hand, if men never did anything stupid to the female characters in these movies, the female characters would never be able to demonstrate how sensitive, forgiving, and caring that, deep down, they really are.
OK, last question.
Q. Wasn't that little boy in Nights in Rodanthe in danger of dying from estrogen poisoning? Couldn't he have benefited from have a positive male role model in his life?
A. Yes, but in that movie all the men were either jerks or dead.