Chick flick schmick schlock

Sunday 18 May 2008

I guess I'm a bit of a movie snob. I usually head straight for the arthouse section in the video library. I just find the formula of Hollywoodised stuff so thin that I'm bored within 4 minutes, knowing exactly what is going to go on. Yawn.

Still, having said that, I can go the occasional chick flicky-type movie. Indeed, I have watched the BBC four-hour version of Jane Eyre twice in the past couple of weeks. And could quote Mr Darcy lines. I loved The Big Chill, Thelma and Louise, Sense and Sensibility, Lovely and Amazing. Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are deliciously romantic and chicky flicky and make me swoon and I think I shall put them on the list to give another whirl this winter.

Tonight, I felt like something a bit lighter than my usual serious fare, a bit of romance, a bit of unreality, a bit of girly stuff to spice up and wind down the evening. And so when I saw Pay It Forward sitting on the shelf I thought, why not? Good actors, and the whole pay it forward thing has gone into the general wordage of the culture, so let's give it a whirl.

Sheesh. What a load of trite schlock (in my opinion). Seriously, even though I did shed a tear at the end almost despite myself, it was so saccharine syrupy sweet I feel like I need to go brush my teeth. Blergh! If you're going to do that sort of movie, with a heartwarming kind of focus, with an idealistic young man (aw, don't you want to just squeeze Haley Joel Osmont? He's so cute!) who is wanting to make everything better, you've gotta have some sort of chutzpah about it to make it work. It needs to be laid on light, with big doses of irony and realism thrown in to make it palatable. But even throwing in a few smackheads and a chick about to jump off a bridge and wounded abused drunkards and homeless mothers and yada yada just really don't do anything to stop this movie from being fatal for diabetics. It felt like even with all the realism, the drug addict in the end was probably only shooting up dissolved sugar. Blergh.

Some people seem to like their saccharine piled on six feet high with a trowel. I feel like I've just eaten an entire cake with a cream-filled centre.

I think I'll go and watch Pulp Fiction :)


  1. Chick flicks make me nauseous. If my friends make me watch one more stupid Matthew McConaughey or Jennifer Aniston help me.

    Anyhow, I always go to the Sundance winners or foreign films or the dark and brooding ones. I hate candy coated, gooey-schmooey crap. I also hate horror. WTF?

    I often judge by how many copies are on the shelf. If there are 25, chances are I won't like it because most of America will. If there are two copies I'll often like it.

    I mean, I've seen lots of crap I would rather not because it's often not up to me, but if it is....

  2. I love the movies you listed, but I haven't seen Pulp Fiction for the same reason Erin mentioned avoiding the stacks...everyone loved it and I figured it was another Hollywood formula so I resisted it. I may watch it now that you gave it your stamp of approval. I just posted about Message In A Bottle which is not the average chick flick. It is predictable in parts, but it has it's twists and elements that make it unusual and very romantic. Or maybe you'd have to be married to a man like my husband to think it's romantic! :) He's the "strong silent type", but like the adage goes...still waters run deep. It also has a unique ending that a lot of people don't like, but I did.

    What did you think of Monsoon Wedding? Or was it another..oh yah, Sister Sun, Brother Moon? I wasn't the one who recommended it, (I think it was Joy) but did you see it and like it?

  3. Transformers... now thats a movie.. oh, and the family guy starwars one... and who could forget the rocks stellar performance in "Gridiron gang"

  4. Erin - I think I would go to the movies with you :) The 2:25 rule is a good one to live by in everything. Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me for not liking the big mainstream stuff, but then I come to my senses and realise that just because it's entertainment doesn't mean it has to be mindless pathetic tripe marketed to audiences with 12 year old mindsets (or Christian cultural ones - hey, did I say that?)

    Jennifer - I don't think Pulp Fiction was formulaic. It was a bit of a ride, but pretty damn violent. But yes, I give my approval for you to watch it heh :)

    Monsoon Wedding? I thought it was pretty syrupy, but it was still kinda sweet, you know? And unfortunately I just really didn't get into Brother Sun, Sister Moon. It just felt very dated, very 1972 hippy - which isn't a bad thing, but I dunno, it could be done so much better.

    MOnk - Gridiron Gang sounds like swilly schlock too, a dick flick. I think I would rather see Pay it Forward again than watch Transformers, blergh (although I did watch Terminator 1 and 2 a couple of years ago for a class I was doing, and that was kinda fun, actually.

  5. argh! Id never lump Jane Eyre in the chicky flick genre! IMHO There's just as much pretencious crap arthouse stuff as there is schlocky Hollywood goo.

  6. argh! pretentious even

  7. Sue,
    I totally agree with you on Monsoon Wedding...I didn't get it. I expected it to be more Indian. I did like The Namesake though, very much.

    Haven't seen the Sister/Brother movie and totally got it wrong anyway so maybe I'll pass on that one.

    I like some sap. Mrs. Palfrey at the Clairmont and Once are relatively sappy, but I like em anyway. I'd like to ask Stu if Irish women would really walk down a street with a vacuum cleaner, but he's living his Real Balanced life (kudos to him!) and has left us bloggyheads to our vice.

  8. I rather liked Monsoon Wedding as did a friend of mine who is a big-time movie producer that I ran into after the viewing. Mind you, it is a pleasant soap opera set in the home of Bollywood and not an all-time great. Pulp Fiction is the perfect antidote for it, I must say.
    Being from those hippy flower power years, I consider Brother Sun, Sister Moon one of my guilty pleasures.
    What do you think of the Piano? If you are into art films, try a Shakespeare play turned movie like Othello, Henry V, or Kurosawa's Ran.

  9. Andi - yeah, I wasn't really so confident lumping Jane Eyre in chick flick either but I guess in a broad categorisation, because it is 'romantic' it gets classed as that. What would you call it?

    I reckon there is heaps of pretentious arthouse stuff too but Hollywood churns them out at a great rate of knots - at least they do at the Braybrook Blockbuster :)

    Jennifer - yeah, I thought The Namesake was pretty good too. My Mum loved Once so much she saw it twice :) Heh! Yeah, I like some sap too sometimes but lay it on too thick and I just choke and write opinionated blog posts.

    Barbara - I could go me some Shakespeare, actually. And thanks for the tip. Never heard of Kurosawa.

  10. Akira Kurasawa won the Oscar for Ran, a Japanese version of King Lear. There's not a lot of dialogue and the visuals are spectacular. He did the Seven Samurai a long time ago -- one of the best Westerns ever.


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