Happy (Day After) Valentine’s Day!

As I mentioned in my review of The Vow, Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. So it’s completely understandable that today, after I’ve used up the last of my red pancake batter and only have the gross strawberry nougats left in my box of chocolates, I’m struck with post-holiday blues. To help me combat them, I’ve given myself the very difficult task of narrowing down my favorite chick flicks to a top 10 list…

Before you read, this is not to be confused with a list of the 10 Best Chick Flicks. That would be an entirely different list, and would include movies like Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Notebook (no, The Notebook is not on this top 10 list. Read #6 to see why). This is a list of My 10 Favorite Chick Flicks, based on the number of times I’ve watched them, the memories I have from watching them, and the happiness I feel when watching them.

Drumroll please…


#10 – Pretty in Pink
The Pretty in Pink vs. Sixteen Candles debate is a tricky one, with an equal amount of support waging war from both sides. For me, Pretty in Pink always takes the cake (see what I did there?). Even though Blane is a complete tool and Jake Ryan could kick his wimpy ass, Andie is a way better heroine than Sam. In high school, I was Sam, but I wanted to be Andie. That scene where Andie throws Blane against a locker and rips him a new one over prom says it all – Sam/high-school-me would never do that. But there were plenty of times where we should have! Plus, Pretty in Pink has Duckie♥ and all of his mistaking-tampons-for-candy glory. ‘Nuff said.

#9 – Jerry Maguire
“You complete me.” Not only was this one of the greatest lines uttered in any romance movie EVER, but it was uttered by Tom Cruise when he was not only still in the Sexy Men Top 10 – he was right at the top of it. And not only was this one of the greatest lines uttered in any romance movie EVER, but it prompted Renee Zellweger’s character to say THE greatest line uttered in any romance movie EVER: “You had me at hello.” That line right there created a whole new level of hopelessness for hopeless romantics like myself. And since I am 99% certain that this movie is why I am currently dating an aspiring sports agent, it had to go in the top 10.


#8 – 10 Things I Hate About You
You will soon enough realize that I am a Shakespeare freak. So the fact that someone cleverly turned The Taming of The Shrew into an angsty teen romcom that starred Alex Mack and had Heath Ledger singing Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” is sheer genius. Plus, this movie helped prevent me from dating any unworthy guys in high school. If he wasn’t willing to hire the school marching band to woo me or wasn’t going to buy me a guitar every time he screwed up, then no thanks.

                                                                 
#7 – 500 Days of Summer
I first fell in love with 500 Days of Summer, when I was visiting the Mud Truck in Astor Place one summer afternoon and got a free iced coffee as part of Fox Searchlight’s brilliant “500 Treats of Summer” marketing campaign. Having just found out that my hipster roommate was leaving me to live with other hipsters, I was very bitter towards the whole hipster race and had no intention of seeing this hipster movie. But after the free iced coffee, I figured – why not? I ended up seeing it 3 times in theaters, and I watch it every single time I have a bad day. It’s not for everyone because, as it states upfront, it’s not a love story. It’s just a story about love, and that’s what I find so charming about it.


#6 – A Walk To Remember
I fully recognize how incredibly amazing The Notebook is. And when it comes down to it, The Notebook is absolutely a better movie. But I personally like A Walk To Remember more. Maybe it’s because I read both books before the movies, and A Walk To Remember was hands down the better book so I cared more about it. Maybe it’s because I was Jamie, not Allie, in high school. Maybe it’s because the soundtrack had FOUR Mandy Moore originals. Maybe it’s because Shane West is sexier than Ryan Gosling (Yep, I said it). All I know is after watching A Walk To Remember, I made a bucket list and put the pressure on my boyfriend                                                        at the time to make it happen. I never wanted him                                                         to build me a house.


#5 – Titanic
To say I am excited for the 3-D re-release in April is an understatement. I freaking did a back flip from my office chair when I heard the news. Titanic came out when I was in the 3rd grade. It was the first PG-13 movie my parents ever took me to and they didn’t even make me close my eyes during the “naked kissing” scenes. Right after it, I told my Dad that I wanted to go to “movie school” and he told me I should go to NYU (which I did). Years later, my best friend and I still take a “King of the World” picture every time we are on a boat and write “You jump, I jump” in every birthday card we give each other.


#4 – Love Actually
I watch this movie a minimum of 5 times during Christmas – once while I’m baking cookies, once while I’m decorating the house, once during the first snow, and twice when wrapping presents. Like the poster says, it is the ULTIMATE romantic comedy. You think you love Jamie and Aurelia the most because they’re true soulmates, but then Hugh Grant dances to The Pointer Sisters, and Carl takes his shirt off, and Mark does that whole cute thing with the signs, and Daniel & Sam re-enact the Titanic, and Billy Mack strips down on camera and… actually, you love every character equally! Except Professor Snape. He’s horrible.


#3 – Ghost
It is easy to decide whether you are a Ghost person or a Dirty Dancing person. You just have to watch both sex scenes (which both include a shirtless Patrick Swayze, a record player, and an element of dance) and decide – if you were given the opportunity, would you rather be in Demi Moore or Jennifer Grey’s scene? For me, it’s Ghost. Patrick Swayze makes the first move, Righteous Brothers are on, they’re in a sexy New York loft, and there’s something so erotic about them being covered in clay. But if you’d rather make the first move and do it in a twin bed in a cabin somewhere to a song no one’s ever head of – you’re a Dirty Dancing person.


#2 – When Harry Met Sally
When Harry Met Sally is the perfect example of a romantic comedy because it is just as romantic as it is comedic. It also was completely ahead of its time, setting out to prove that friends with benefits never works before friends with benefits was even a term. If you thought that last year’s Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis and/or Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman movies were good, then do yourself a favor and re-watch this 80s gem. It’s way better and you’ll be quoting it for days.

               

               
#1 – Shakespeare in Love
I told you already that I am a Shakespeare freak – so a movie that ties in elements of Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, and multiple other Shakespearean plays is right up my alley. But even if it wasn’t, I still think Shakespeare in Love would be at the top of my list. After all, what is more romantic than a story about the King of Love falling in love? Especially when the Shakespeare in this particular story looks nothing like the receding hairline, mustached man we know from that portrait, but instead has a full head of hair, a chiseled body, and wears eyeliner. And we haven’t even gotten to Ben Affleck’s or Colin Firth’s parts!

So that’s my list. Like I said, it’s missing a lot of good ones – i.e. The Notebook, Pretty Woman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Dirty Dancing, Say Anything, The Princess Bride, Ever After, Moulin Rouge, and ton of others. But you gotta draw the line somewhere. What’s your top 10?

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These Movies Are What I Live For

The Vow (2012)
Chick Flick Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (5/5)
Film Rating: ★ ★ ★ (3/5)
Boyfriend friendly: As if he has a choice?

You know that sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach during a movie you really like because the camera tilts up to the sky, the screen gets wide, the music gets louder, and you’re just overcome with this complete sadness because you know that it’s going to end? The same kind of feeling you get going down a big drop on a roller coaster? It’s been awhile since a chick flick has made me feel that way. And tonight, I finally got that feeling back.

Valentine’s Day is bigger than Christmas to me, because Valentine’s Day weekend means all the artsy films have been released and nominated for Oscars, and theaters can now make room for the cheesy, feel-good romance movies that proudly make up 95% of my DVD collection. Unfortunately, the past four V-day weekends have been total duds with box office toppers like: Just Go With It (Just Don’t With It), Valentine’s Day (According To Every Single Living Celebrity), Dear John (Dear John, You’re Cute But I’m Going To Marry A Creepy Old Man), He’s Just Not That Into You (And I Can See Why), and Fool’s Gold (The Money The Producers Made From Any Sucker Who Paid To Watch). But ALAS! Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum have come to save the (holi)day!

The Vow is based off of the true life events of newlyweds Krickett and Kim Carpenter – upgraded in the film as the sexier Paige (McAdams) and Leo (Tatum) Collins. After a severe car accident puts Paige in a coma, she wakes up to realize the last five years of her life are completely wiped from memory. In her mind, Obama is still Senator and she is still a preppy law student who lives with her conservative parents (Sam Neill, Jessica Lange) and is engaged to a yuppie named Jeremy (Ben from Felicity). Why would she ever give all that up to become an artist living in a hip, bohemian loft with a musician husband and no medical benefits? Well, that’s the problem. She can’t remember, so Leo has to figure out how to make his wife re-fall in love with him.

To be honest, Channing Tatum and I never really had chemistry before this movie (gasp!). Sure, his body looks like it was sculpted by Michelangelo, but I questioned his acting ability and his dance moves have nothing on Patrick Swayze’s. So I am surprising myself when I say that he carries the film, not McAdams. It is heartbreaking (in a good way) to watch him believably play the unwavering husband who is hopelessly in love with the woman he married and desperate to get back. At times, I even found myself angry at Paige for not remembering him! Astonishingly, despite her non-reciprocated feelings and his frustration because of it, Tatum’s dedication to Leo’s unfaltering devotion keeps the on-screen chemistry alive. Tatum also has a series of clever one-liners, which he delivers with perfection. (Never did I ever think a fart scene could be cute).

In response to the complaints I’m reading regarding the ending well, I won’t spoil it here, but I will say two things:
         1) That’s the way it went down in real life
         2) Doesn’t that prove even further that they truly are soulmates?
I personally LOVED the ending. My only complaint is that it felt like Paige and Leo were apart longer than they were together, which I guess is the case in every chick flick. No one gets together till the end, do they? But here, it stuck out. They started off married in the movie, and I loved those happy moments, so I wanted to see more of them.

Leo expresses my exact feelings, in a scene where he tries to excite Paige about falling in love again: “You know how when you read a great book,” he explains, “And you loan it to a friend, but are so jealous that they get to experience it for the first time, and you’ll never get another chance? Well, now you will.” Even if there’s nothing like the first time, I’ll be sure to experience The Vow over and over again. (Although I’m pretty sure if I lost my memory, my boyfriend would deem it a blessing from God and run for the hills).

P.S. How did I fail to mention the shot of Tatum’s nude butt?