Chick Flicks That Won't Kill Guys

I enjoy good movies. And in a departure from my usual "what fun thing I did today" format, I'm going to review a few movies.

When I was a teenager movies were just an excuse to do something, anything on a Friday or Saturday night and we'd see whatever was out - I wasn't very discerning. In my 20s I became a little more selective, but not much. But in the 30s as my free time became more precious I didn't have much tolerance for wasting 2 hours of it on a dud movie. Yet deciding which movie to see still isn't an exact science even with all the internet resources at my fingertips. See, there's still the allure of the diamond in the rough movie. Maybe you were forced to watch it because the movie you went to see is sold out, or you liked the premise even though the critics hated it, or your friends dragged you to it. I'm sure you've all experienced the pleasure of coming across a movie you really enjoy by accident. So for this slim chance I'm occasionally willing to just jump into a movie with the hope it will be good. Of course I'm usually disappointed, but that's the price you pay for not always going for the sure-bet movie (which strategy also has it's share of disappointments).

So with that semi-related introduction, I present to you some films that I liked even though I shouldn't have. Movies that were advertised to appeal to the chick flick market but were surprisingly good - good enough that most guys with any appreciation for quality and an ability to venture from a steady diet of action films will probably enjoy (remember, this is not an exact science).

Dan In Real Life

Steve Carell (yes, Michael from The Office) stars in this real (OK, more real than most) relationship comedy. I really wondered if Steve could pull of a starring role (his track record hasn't been so good) and I was impressed that he gave a deep and fairly broad-ranging performance, only occasionally falling back on his Michael chops. The supporting cast was also excellent - you know it's working when you can't tell they're acting. I especially liked Juliette Binoche - she has such a bubbly and joyful presence on the screen she elevates pretty much any movie she's in (see Chocolate below). The dialog was smart, real and funny. The story isn't new and you'll probably see the twists coming, but it's executed so well I didn't care. The cinematography was solid, but the music got old for me. This is a great couples movie that won't have the guys running for the door. In this same vein we also liked Something's Gotta Give.


My wife and I both like this film. It's a fun story with quirky characters set in an idyllic French town. Juliette Binoche creates the lead character with her energy and passion. The supporting cast is rock solid - Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, and Alfred Molina (even Carrie-Anne Moss carries her weight). Some viewers may find it slow in parts, but I liked it's pacing. There's a message here, but they don't beat you over the head with it - it's just a natural part of the story.

The Princess Bride

Yeah, yeah, this one's a cult classic (is that an oxymoron?) but we both adore this movie. Sure it's cheesy, but it's so fun and playful - to hate it would be like hating kittens. No one has done a fractured fairytale better (Shrek is just a hack by comparison). The wacky twists and turns are delightful. The lines are a part of our family. So while trite, I have to include it. If you've never seen it and find yourself in the mood for something light and fun, I think you'll enjoy it.


Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver have some pretty good chemistry in the Presidential comedy. Not perfect, but definitely worth a watch. If you like Kevin Kline, we also enjoyed In and Out

Amazing Grace

Not really a chick flick, more a historical drama, but we saw it recently and I thought it was good so I'm including it. When I first heard about this movie - a story about the abolition of slavery in England, I had no interest in seeing it. Such a weighty topic would be hard to pull off in a movie, and few make these work. But guess what, they made it work! It's very much an actor's movie with lots of emphasis on the players, but they play their parts well and are engaging to watch. The period cinematography is excellent and a treat for the eyes. The story is a bit on the drab side, but it's largely true which makes it more interesting to me. This is a top-notch movie that I fear many people overlooked, just like I almost did.

About A Boy

This Hugh Grant movie came recommended, and it was OK, but it didn't do enough for me. A good performance by Hugh, and the screenplay tries to have substance, but I found it fell short. Most people will probably like this movie more than I did.



We Watched this film two days ago. It stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Sienna Miller, and even a cameo by Peter O'Toole. The lead is a relatively unknown actor, Charlie Cox, who does a good job as the awkward boy Tristan who finds himself through his adventures. Good special effects and a fun, quirky story, but for some reason this movie didn't wow me like it should. Maybe I'll watch it again to see if it sticks with me or is just another one of those god, but forgettable movies.

How about you? What are your favorite relationship movies that have some meat to them?


Eat Sleep MTB said...

Sometimes you frighten me Kris.

KanyonKris said...

Thanks, Todd. Just payback for all the food frightening you've given me. I don't know hat to eat anymore and I'm afraid to go in the grocery store. :-)

Come on, go out and rent one of these movies and show your wife you have a sensitive side. And I added a bonus review this morning, just for you! :-)

Eat Sleep MTB said...

First of all, last time I was in the bathroom I couldn't help but notice I was man. Besides, my wife doesn't like films like that anyway.

KanyonKris said...

I guess you feel the need to conform to some nebulous male code of conduct. I refuse to be confined by such notions. So I like a few relationship movies. The common thread for me is not the subject matter, but that they are well crafted - that is what I appreciate above all. Beyond that I have my quirks about what I like and don't like in films, but if the reports are that a film is well-done, I won't reject it just because it's a love story.

If you're wife doesn't like these kind of films, that's cool. I'm guessing there are a few genres of movies you enjoy together - that's a good thing - fun to enjoy a good movie together. But maybe your wife is suffering the affects of long-term testosterone poisoning being the lone female in the house. ;-)

Eat Sleep MTB said...

You take me too seriously. I think my wife's favorite movie is Underworld with Kate Beckinsale. There is a love story in there somewhere I think. My wife also loves watching NBA and NFL, which I would just as soon stare at a wall. So taking her to a Jazz game is kind of like me giving in to a chick flick, right!

KanyonKris said...

OK, I guess I got a little carried away here. But the banter is fun.

If watching sports works for you guys, go with it.

I hope you enjoyed the movie post and discussion. Now back to the regularly scheduled programming...