Tales of Rejection and Complication: The Seminal Chick Flicks of 2009

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Let’s be honest here: 2009 wasn’t the greatest year for chick flicks. But the true aficionado can appreciate even the less classic of her genre. Nonetheless, choosing a top 5 was easy. Let’s review, shall we?

5 The Princess and the Frog

Come on, you know this is actually the best movie on this list. We put it in the last spot in acknowledgement of the fact that officially it is an animated kid’s movie rather than a romantic comedy. However, if you take out the voodoo and dancing alligators, it’s actually an awesome chick flick with a romantic and satisfying ending. This is a traditional Disney Princess movie only, unlike many of the golden oldies, it is the heroine who has to physically rescue the prince while he teaches her about the meaning of love. A role reversal of which we heartily approve. And even better: (Spoiler Alert!) in the end, she doesn’t even have to give up any of her dreams from before she got that lesson. Score one for girl power!

4 Confessions of a Shopaholic

This is the movie based on the best-selling epitome of Chick-Lit by the same name. This goes beyond chick flick to general silliness of mistaken identities, prat-falls and the adorable quirkiness of debilitating debt. Our heroine is Rebecca Brown, a talented writer whose dream is to write for a fashion magazine. Due to an unexpected twist of fate, she instead gets a job writing a column for a finance magazine despite having money management skills sent from hell. But fear not! The heroine does manage to prove herself and her abilities to be an independent and functional member of society before she and the hero finally get together.

3 It’s Complicated

Finally we’ve got a rom-com that is not about the young and beautiful. Although we can’t give it too much credit for being progressive since it’s instead about the middle-aged and beautiful. Meryl Streep and Alex Baldwin play a divorced couple who meet up again at their sons’ graduation and start sleeping together. But Baldwin’s character has remarried a younger woman, thus making Streep’s character her ex-husband’s mistress. Fortunately there’s another middle-aged hero waiting in the wings for the moment just before the movie loses all its viewers for being too awkwardly uncomfortable.

2 The Proposal

This follows the classic “guy and girl hate each other but have to pretend to be a couple and then fall in love” rom-com format. This one involves an unlikely deportation to Canada, a complicated and ridiculous ruse followed by a dramatic reveal and then an even more ridiculous ruse. It may not sound great so far but did we mention that it stars Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds? As we saw in 2000’s Miss Congeniality, Bullock is great at playing essentially independent and socially awkward people, so she plays the character well and comes off believably less smooth when interacting with others. Whether or not that was on purpose is up for debate however. Of course the real redeeming factor for this mediocre chick flick is that we get to see Ryan Reynolds without a shirt.

1 He’s Just Not That Into You

How many chick flicks can you think of that are based on self-help books? Actually, there are a few but this is the most obvious. The main character is a young woman with a bad tendency to misjudge signals from eligible men. She meets up with a handsome and friendly young bartender who stands in for the original self-help book and lectures her about it. I bet you can guess already where that’s going. The story also follows a number of other relationships between her friends and co-workers and their friends and co-workers. Those nice guys and gals who deserve to end up happy do so, while the assholes end up alone where they started — which is exactly as it should be in a chick flick.

Honorable Mention

This animated movie is not a chick flick. It is a whimsical adventure about finding friendship in unexpected places. However, the back-story, which provides the motivation for the action is possibly the sweetest, most romantic ten minutes in all of movie-dom. We can think of no more genuine and straightforward portrayal of everyday true-love between everyday people and so we feel that it deserves to some recognition.

Think you know of a chick flick that can bring 2009 some credit? Let‘s hear it!

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