I love chick flicks. If you don’t, I suggest you look away now, because this post is dedicated to my favourite cheesy rom-coms with their cliched declarations of love and predictable boy-gets-the-girl endings.
I’ve seen plenty of click flicks in my time and I also have a habit of re-watching my favourites over and over until I know each line from memory. When I’m sick in bed I like nothing better than to curl up with a cup of tea and watch a girl meet a boy and fall in love against the odds. Either that or have a Downton Abbey marathon, but I’ll leave that for another post…
So, without further ado, here are my top 10 favourite chick flicks!
Note: All these movies have happy endings 🙂
#10 – The Vow (2012)
Inspired by true events, this movie has it all – romance, gorgeous lead actors, comic moments and plenty more moving ones. After Paige (Rachel McAdams) is injured in a car accident she wakes from a coma to find she cannot remember the last few years of her life – including her relationship and marriage to Leo (Channing Tatum). As Leo struggles with his wife not knowing who he is, Paige struggles with being married to a stranger and her life not looking at all like she expected it to. Leo works to rekindle their romance and help Paige regain her memory, but it’s not plain sailing. But that is why we love chick flicks – if it was all easy and straightforward it would be a very boring movie!
#9 – While You Were Sleeping (1995)
I promise this is the last movie on my list that involves people in comas!!
This loveable rom-com is considered one of the films that launched Sandra Bullock into stardom, and it’s not hard to see why! She makes her character, Lucy, seem like a real, genuine, kind person – even though she pretends to be a stranger’s fiance and lies to his family! Lucy’s life seems to be a lonely one. She works as a fare token collector at a Chicago train station, but her life turns around when falls in love at first sight with Peter Callahan (played by Peter Gallagher), even though they’ve never actually spoken. When Peter accidentally falls into the train tracks on Christmas Day, Lucy rushes to his rescue and saves his life. When she accompanies him to the hospital there is a misunderstanding and a nurse introduces Lucy to Peter’s family – as his fiance. Lucy panics and doesn’t know how to tell them the truth, but then once she gets to know the family it gets even harder. Especially when she meets Peter’s brother Jack… The supporting cast in this movie are fantastic – especially Glynis Johns playing Peter’s grandmother – and watching the gorgeous Sandra Bullock help her character navigate a tangled web brings this movie to life.
Honourable Mentions: If you enjoy Sandra Bullock in chick flicks roles, I can highly recommend 2002’s Two Weeks Notice (co-starring Hugh Grant) and The Proposal (made in 2009 with Ryan Reynolds). Bullock has a real talent for making eccentric characters believable and likeable.
#8 – Love Actually (2003)
If you haven’t seen Love Actually in the last 13 years, you’ve probably been living under a rock. With a stellar cast, this movie follows ten different stories which intertwine as the movie progresses. There’s weddings, breakups, new romances, inconvenient romances and everything in between. My favourite parts of the film include Hugh Grant’s dance scene, the Claudia Schiffer moment, and the whole plotline of 8 year old Sam who has fallen in love for the first time. Set in the lead-up to Christmas this is one of my favourite holiday movies, but I’m happy to watch it any time of year. I also love the ending of this film – never failing to make me smile, this is definitely a feel-good film!
Honourable Mention: This format of ensemble cast and multiple intertwining plot lines was reused in the American rom-com Valentines Day (2010). I only watched that film because Taylor Swift was in it, but found it to be enjoyable enough to watch again. If you like these ensemble films you might enjoy Valentines Day too, although I reckon Love Actually is far superior.
#7 – The Holiday (2006)
I’m just going to come right out and say it – this is one of my all time favourite movies. It’s full of everything I love and I’ve watched it too many times to count. Watching this movie is like wrapping yourself in your favourite warm blanket. I know how it all ends, but a little part of me still wants to see how it all turns out. And just when I thought I couldn’t love it any more, I watch the trailer and discover they used a song by The Corrs as the ‘trailer theme song’. I’m well and truly sold now… Anyway, this movie is about finding love when you least expect it. Two women (both recently single) switch houses for the Christmas holidays. Amanda (Cameron Diaz) lives in LA and Iris (Kate Winslet) lives in the English countryside. We watch them adjust to different countries and houses, and then we watch as they each meet a new man. There is sub-plot of Iris developing a friendship with Amanda’s elderly neighbour, a retired screenwriter, and he gets all the best lines of the film. There’s lots of laughs and plenty of heart, so it’s no wonder this is my favourite Christmas film.
#6 – Letters to Juliet (2010)
When I first saw the trailer for this I knew it was going to be my kind of movie. Mainly because the ‘trailer theme song’ was Love Story by Taylor Swift. But when I saw the movie I was blown away by how charming the story is. When aspiring journalist Sophie (the gorgeous Amanda Seyfried) travels to Verona with her fiance for a ‘pre-wedding honeymoon’, she discovers the place where the heartbroken leave letters for Shakespeare’s heroine, Juliet, and the women who answer them as ‘the secretaries of Juliet’. Sophie finds a letter from 1957 hidden in the wall and is so touched by its contents she decides to write back to the woman who wrote it all those years ago. Within the week the now elderly Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) arrives in Verona with her handsome but irritable grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan). Charlie and Sophie take an instant dislike to each other, but the lovely Claire and her story get under Sophie’s skin. So much so that when Claire announces she has come to find her childhood sweetheart, Lorenzo, (that she wrote to Juliet about 50 years before) Sophie decides to tag along and starts writing about their journey. There are happy endings all round, after a few bumps along the way for everybody, and by the end of the movie Sophie has found out what really matters in her life. This film has gorgeous scenery, being almost entirely filmed in Italy, combined with a great soundtrack of Italian music and Colbie Caillat pop numbers – what’s not to love?!
#5 – 27 Dresses (2008)
What would a chick flick list be without Katherine Heigl? There are several of her films that I love (see Honourable Mentions) but this is by far my favourite. The story of Jane (Heigl), the perpetual bridesmaid who never sees her own dreams fulfilled, and how her life changes course when her younger sister gets engaged to Jane’s boss – who Jane is secretly in love with. Jane also meets Kevin (James Marsden), the sexy but cynical guy who is not at all what she had in mind. Things are complicated by the fact that Kevin is actually a journalist, who writes the wedding vow column that Jane is a big fan of – is he actually a cynic who “spins romantic crap” for girls like Jane? Or is all his cynicism about marriage just a smoke screen to protect a sensitive heart? You can probably work that one out for yourself but the movie is well worth watching to find out.
Honourable Mentions: Other Heigl chick flicks that are worth the watch include The Ugly Truth (2009) and Life As We Know It (2010). There is also Killers (2010), which has the romantic elements of a chick flick but plenty of action (fast car chases and people shooting at each other) to keep male audience members happy too.
#4 – My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Including this film on my list seemed particularly appropriate as My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was released earlier this year. I haven’t actually seen it yet, but I doubt it could be better than the original! The first movie started as Nia Vardalos’s one-woman show, until one night Rita Wilson was in the audience and she convinced her husband, none other than Tom Hanks, to see it…and the rest is history! This delightful movie follows the story of Toula (Vardalos) who shocks her large Greek family by dating handsome teacher, Ian (John Corbett), who is decidedly un-Greek. This is a story that proves love can conquer all, with lots of wonderful characters to meet along the way.
Honourable Mention: I love Nia Vardalos and if you enjoy her in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you’ll no doubt also enjoy her in My Life In Ruins (2009), in which another set of delightful characters help the main character find her way back to herself.
#3 – Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
What’s not to love about this movie? The three leads are wonderfully dynamic together and the script is clever and funny throughout. Hugh Grant’s role as Daniel Cleaver, the guy who doesn’t get the girl, is just as entertaining as his others, and you’ve got to chuckle about the use of the name Darcy used in connection with Colin Firth! Renee Zellweger is charming as Bridget, the slightly off the rails 30-something, who is desperately seeking love. This is another film that shows us it’s not always about love at first sight, but that love is out there for all of us. Except maybe Daniel Cleaver…
#2 – Sleepless In Seattle (1993)
We’re really getting into the good stuff now! I absolutely adore this movie (hence why it comes in at number 2) and I never get tired of wondering whether Annie (Meg Ryan) and Sam (Tom Hanks) will ever finally get their act together and meet each other properly!! The 1990’s saw the revival of the romantic comedy, after spending a few decades out of fashion (the last burst of rom coms being the pairing of Doris Day and Rock Hudson in the 1950s and 60s), and Sleepless certainly picks up the momentum of the chick flick train. This story of two people who have never met, but are destined to, is full of wonderful cinematic moments – alternatively humorous and touching. Ryan is adorable in this role, and Hanks is constantly charming – watch out for his hilarious Cary Grant impersonation! And the few minutes they actually share the screen for are magic.
Honourable Mentions: For another paring of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks (one where they actually appear on screen together for more than 10 seconds) is You’ve Got Mail (1998), (which might take some of you younger viewers a while to catch on to…) and there’s plenty more Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally (1989) which co-stars Billy Crystal.
Bonus Honourable Mention: Check out An Affair to Remember (1957), which is the movie Annie watches during Sleepless In Seattle. It’s a wonderful film, and is a nice introduction to the movies of that era if you’re not familiar with them. Keep an eye out on this blog too over the next little while, as I’m planning to post my favourite movies from the 1950s and 60s!
#1 – Notting Hill (1999)
And, last but not least, my favourite chick flick of all time – Notting Hill. The wonderful pairing of Hugh Grant as William Thacker, the owner of an unsuccessful travel book shop, and Julia Roberts as Anna Scott, the most successful actress in the world. Their worlds couldn’t be further apart, but with the magic of film these two worlds come together. Combine the great chemistry between Grant and Roberts, and the delightful supporting cast of Will Thacker’s friends (including a much younger Hugh Bonneville), with the charming setting of London’s Notting Hill – and this movie practically sparkles. Here’s a heads up for you Notting Hill fanatics – if you didn’t already know, the infamous ‘house with the blue door’ does actually exist although its door has since been painted black for camouflage purposes. Google it if you’re going to be in London and go hunting! Apart from blue doors, this movie has so many wonderful moments it’s difficult to pick a favourite. But I don’t think you can really go past the “a girl standing in front of a boy” scene!
Honourable Mentions: I am yet to see a Hugh Grant movie I didn’t like. However another particular favourite of mine is Music & Lyrics (2007), which will be of particular interest to any fellow songwriters out there! Julia Roberts is also ridiculously gorgeous in Pretty Woman (1990), which was her breakout role.
Well, folks, that about sums it up! Do we all have warm fuzzy feelings now? Do we believe in true love? Good. Excellent 🙂
Did I miss your favourite chick flick? Head on down to the comments and tell us what it is and why you love it!
Stay tuned for my next post about movies from the 1950s and 60s!