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Chick flicks. There are some good ones, but most are the bane of man’s existence. Rather than wrestle with the reality of relationships, they often present an inaccurate portrayal and give audiences a false sense of what love should look like. If women aren’t careful, these movies can become little more than emotional pornography, causing the viewer to look at his or her significant other through a lens of unfair expectations.
So how can you know when you’re watching a really bad chick flick? A good sign is when it resorts to every single unoriginal cliche that you have seen in approximately 78 similar movies. I reserve the right to add to this list at any time, but here are five chick flick cliches to watch for that stick out worse than Lady Gaga at a church social.
5. Throwaway Stereotypes.
These are the characters that our lead actor/actress briefly dates just to demonstrate how desperate his or her situation is. For example, a girl – no matter how drop-dead gorgeous she might be – somehow cannot find anybody to date other than a guy who possesses a deadly combination of Andrew Dice Clay’s charm, DJ Qualls’ looks, and Josh Hartnett’s personality, or lack thereof.
As the audience watches the troll belch his way through dinner and subject the poor damsel to a distressing he-centered conversation, they get worked up into a frenzy, eagerly awaiting the arrival of our heroine’s Prince Charming.
4. Exaggerated, Over-the-Top
Reactions to Every Day Circumstances.
What happens when an older woman is on the computer and accidentally comes across a dirty website? She panics and starts hitting the computer, of course! Plus, it is inevitable that a family member will call her at the most inopportune time and overhear embarrassing sounds coming from said computer.
The character inexplicably loses all ability to function like a normal human being and becomes incapable of simply turning the volume down or turning off the computer. No sir, in our world of bad chick flick clichés, the only possible solution is to douse the keyboard with a conveniently close bucket of water or take a baseball bat to the monitor.
3. Pets with Human, Emotional
Reactions and the Cameras that
You know a screenwriter is scraping the bottom of the barrel when the script calls for the camera to pan over to an animal making an emotional response to human interaction. Multiple times.
For example, a guy and a girl will start to smooch and the camera will hurriedly pan over to a dog putting its paws on its eyes and making an embarrassed noise. Or, in an effort to show us how a dog can be just as confused as a human regarding a specific situation, the camera may showcase the dog raising an eyebrow and making a little doggy “Huuuuh?” sound.
Audiences usually howl with laughter and discuss how cute the animal is, but I typically look at my watch and start praying that the reels will mess up and force the movie to end early.
2. The Boyfriend Discrepancy.
Boyfriend A is rich, good-looking, and seemingly the perfect guy. However, he possesses a major character flaw. He’s either a complete jerk, puts his work ahead of his relationships, or he just doesn’t know how to appreciate the small things.
Boyfriend B, however, is the true romantic. He might not have as much money as Boyfriend A, and he may be a little rougher around the edges, but what he lacks in refinement and material goods, he makes up for in matters of the heart. Plus, he’s willing to let the female protagonist change him, as opposed to Boyfriend A whose ways are set in stone.
On the surface, Boyfriend A looks like he’d make the best husband, and that’s usually who the girl’s mother is rooting for, but the audience can tell within 10 seconds that Boyfriend B is truly the one who is perfect for our female lead.
Anybody over the age of three can predict who she’ll end up with.
1. The Pre-Closing Credit Declaration of Love.
Every bad chick flick must contain a scene prior to the closing credits where the guy finally comes to his senses and makes a huge profession of love. The dialogue is usually filled with eye-rolling lines such as “You complete me” or “you had me at hello.”
Things get really bad when the guy starts comparing the love of his life to God’s creations. Drawing parallels between her scent and that of a dew-covered flower in the morning, or explaining how the main course of a dinner in Heaven would taste like a mere appetizer when compared to the taste of her lips are some examples you might expect. Props (a jambox hoisted above the head, for example) might be used, and you can typically expect an edge-of-your-seat will-he-get-to-her-before-she-boards-the-plane-or-bus-or-train climax.
A strange combination of sounds can be heard throughout the theater during such moments. A mixture of women aww-ing and guys vomiting is the best way to describe it.
What about you? Do you have any bad clichés to add to the list? Please feel free to do so in the comments section below.