Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sing Along With "Chick Flick" Musicals

The "chick flick" musical is probably one of the sub groups that receives the worst comments from people who do not appreciate "chick flick" movies. I think they automatically assume it is some sappy story line with some corny musical numbers. But that is just not true. Don't be hating the musicals! Unless it's any of the High School Musicals which contain nothing but corny songs and awful acting. Musical offer something a little different from the average chick flick: singing and dancing. So here they are, the top five "chick flick" musicals.

Number 5: Moulin Rouge
A fun musical about a young poet (played by Ewan McGregor) who falls in love with the star courtesan, Satine, at the night club Moulin Rouge. A complication arises when The Duke also becomes interested in Satine ( Academy Award winner, Nicole Kidman).

Moulin Rouge has won two Academy Awards, has been nominated for 83 other awards and has won another 65 awards! Illustrating that this is one awesome musical. So what makes it great? It stands out from all other musicals; there is not another out there like it. The music is fun and interesting and the costumes and sets light up the film. They "created three hundred costumes and, at one point, eighty people were employed for this task."

The only reason I would put it at number 5 and not closer to number one is because there are a few parts I think needed to be reworked and I was not a huge fan of the ending. But I will not judge the entire movie on the ending. Other than that, it is a movie well worth watching.

Number 4: Hairspray
What can you say about Hairspray? It is a film that will make you want to get up and dance along. Robert Ebert says that "Hairspray is just plain fun. Or maybe not so plain. There's a lot of craft and slyness lurking beneath the circa-1960s goofiness." He means not only is the singing and dancing fun and exciting but the crafty they put into designing the sets and custumes is just amazing. It is almost worth watching the movie just to see what it was like to live in the 1960s.

Hairspray is about Tracy Turnblad who seizes an opportunity to appear on her favourite show, The Corny Collins show. The show's star, Corny Collins ,likes Tracy, but the show's manager does not. The film stars Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes, John Travolta, and many more well known actors. Hairspray is not just about ones girl's dream of dancing on her favourite show, it also deals with issues of race and appearance. Making the issue a little more deeper.

It is an excellent "chick flick" musical to watch because it is good for the entire family. It is a movie that a wide audience will enjoy.

Number 3: Grease
I wont say a lot on Grease because I already did an entire post on it at an early time. However, I couldn't leave it out of this list because it is a great "chick flick" musical.

I include it in this list because it is a movie that all ages have loved for many years and still remains popular today. It appeals to a wide audience and the songs are legendary; songs that anyone can sing along to, as I have witnessed many times.

So if my last post didn't persuade you to go watch this movie (that is if you haven't already seen it) then hopefully this one does.

Number 2: Mamma Mia

Who doesn't love a good Abba song? If you love them, or even if you have never heard of them before, believe me you will enjoy Mamma Mia. When I first watched this film I never had given Abba a chance. Then, after watching it I loved them!

The film is about Sophie, a young women getting ready for her wedding. She wishes for her entire family to be together for this day so invites her dad. The only problem, she doesn't know which of 3 men is her father. So she invites all three. Her mother, played by Meryl Streep, is not aware of this. The film also stars Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Stellan Skarsgard as the three potential fathers.

Momma Mia can be considered one of the best musical "chick flicks" because of it's well known songs that are great to sing along to(even if you haven't seen the movie, you may still have heard the songs before), its appeal to a wide range of women and its great actors. I love to just sit down and put on Mamma Mia. I wish I had the chance to see it live.

Number 1: Phantom of the Opera

A musical that offers something different: opera. The ability the actors have to hit the notes they do is, in itself, worth watching. Andrew Loyd Webber is a beautiful composer (you may also know him for Cats) and makes you fall in love with the music and the characters. Even though the Phantom is supposed to be a ruthless character, you can't help feeling sorry for him because his singing seems beautiful and sweet. Well at least I feel sorry for him, others may disagree.

One reason I absolutely adore this movie, besides the amazing songs, is because the actors are perfect. There is no one better than Gerard Butler as the Phantom and Emmy Rossum as Christine.

For anyone that may not know, the film is about a young women, Christine, who sings/acts in an Opera house that is said to be haunted by a phantom. The Phantom coaches Christine in singing, allowing her to become an amazing opera singer. When young Raoul comes along, falling in love with Christine, the Phantom becomes jealous. How amazing is that story line? How many other musicals do you know with a beautifully singing jealous Phantom?

Just writing this post makes me want to go listen to the sound track. So as I go off to put the CD on, watch the movie's trailer and see if it's right for you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Nobody puts baby in the corner..." Dirty Dancing

One of the classic "chick flick" films that has remained popular throughout time. It doesn't matter if it is the first time you're watching it, or the 20th, Dirty Dancing still makes your heart flutter. Why is the movie so popular? Because of its appeal to a wide audience, the heart capturing story line and the dancing that makes you smile. It is a film that will truely make you have the time of your life.

Starring Jennifer Grey as Baby, a young girl on vacation who meets the handsome dance instructor, Johnny (Patrick Swayze). The two have a chemistry between them that is easily seen on screen. You really believe in their characters. The story line is well known and a favourite among a wide range of audiences. I know it is a favourite among myself, my friends and my parents.

The music and, of course, the dancing are two of the main reasons people love the movie. As is seen in the winning of an Oscar and Goldon Globe for best song, as well as nominated for a Grammy; among other awards. The music allows for people to fall in love with the amazing dancing. The dance scenes are fun and makes you want to get up in your living room, grab a partner and dance the night away. Just take a look at the last dance scene and judge for yourself.
Dirty Dancing is a classic "chick flick" because it has the love story that has gone down in movie history. Girl meets boy who she should not be with, falls in love, over comes the odds. It has stayed a classic movie because of the universally liked story line and the ability it has to please a wide range of audiences, including men. The story line was reproduced again in the second Dirty Dancing movie, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights but was not as successful as the first. It basically copied the same idea but couldn't replicate the chemistry between the actors, the amazing music and fantastic dancing.

So if you're interested in seeing it for the first time, or if you just want to watch it again, here is the movie trailer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"I promise you you'll enjoy this next show..." The Illusionist

At first I wasn't sure if I should consider The Illusionist a "chick flick," but after thinking about it a little more (and seeing it on Yahoo's Top Chick Flick list) I made the final decision that it is. And what a great "chick flick" it is.

The film is based on the story "Eisenheim the Illusionist" by Steven Millhauser. The Illusionist is about two childhood friends, Eisenheim and Sophie, who are split up because they come from different classes. They meet again when they are adults, Eisenheim is building a name for himself as an illusionist and Sophie is engaged to Prince Leopold. We follow their battle to be together.

The Illusionist is starring Edward Norton as Eisenheim, Jessica Biel as Sophie, Refus Sewell as Prince Leopold, as well as Paul Giamatti, Inspector Uhl. The cast is just one of the reasons that make the movie great because I believe they work very well together.

Robert Ebert calls the film a "romantic heart" and "coolly entertaining." I have to agree with him. It is a movie that has you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens. Even after watching it once and knowing what happens, it is a movie that you can watch again and again.So why would I consider this movie a "chick flick?" Because it has a captivating love story, a powerful heroine that stands up for what she wants and the powerful story of friendship. I am not saying The Illusionist is ONLY a "chick flick" because it certainly is not. It could be considered a drama with a bit of fantasy, maybe a little suspense AND a "chick flick."

It is because of this multiple genres it could be included in that make The Illusionist a great movie for all, including you guys out there. Yes there is a love story but there is also suspense, magic, death, etc. So as always, watch the trailer, see if it's right for you and then watch the movie!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Go Grease Lightning....

The original high school musical, and might I add a hell of a lot better than the three new High School Musicals that are predictable and boring. I say: choose Grease over the others any day.

The classic story line is one almost everyone knows, but can be watched over and over again. The songs are fun, and make you feel as if you want to get up and sing along. Not only that, but you love the characters and really want to follow each of their stories. Basically, you want to get to know each character. It is funny, heart-warming and fun.

Grease stars a young John Travolta that plays bad boy Danny Zuko and Olivia Newton-John as Sandy Olssan. The young lovers who are split apart after a "summer loving" only to find each other again at good old Rydell High.

Not only is the movie great but the set and costumes are great. It takes you back to the 1950's, with the poodle skirts, the scarves, the hair, the cars etc. Grease makes you feel like you are actually there. What makes Grease a classic "Chick Flick?" The friendships and the romance. New comer Sandy is welcomed into the Pink Ladies where they have a rocky friendship to start but all is right in the end. The love between Sandy and Danny is tested quite a few times in the movie but triumphs, ending in one of my favourite songs in the movie, "You're The One That I Want."

I would definitely add Grease into the cannon of the best "chick flicks" because it is not just a movie where you watch a love story between two people but you also get the great singing and dancing along with it. Not only is it great for women but I know many guys that actually enjoy it. And why shouldn't they? It's great.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Life of a Teenager...The Top 5 Teenage "Chick Flicks"

We can't underestimate the teenage films when considering the cannon of the best "chick flicks." These are films directed at teens or young adults and usually star young girls as the main character(s). Although they may be directed from a younger female audience, there are teen movies that can be categorized as one of the best "chick flicks". So here are, in my opinion, the top five TCF's (Teenage "Chick Flicks"):

Number 5: John Tucker Must Die

For those who may not have seen this film, it is about four high school students (Britney Snow, Ashanti, Sophia Bush and Arielle Kebbel) that decide to get even with John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe)after they find out that he was dating all of them at the same time.

John Tucker Must Die is one of the best teenage "chick flick" because of its great actresses and actor, its very funny plot line and its originality. I believe that it is not only a movie that teenagers and young adults will enjoy. Any older audience could very well laugh at the things these four girls come up with to get back at their cheating boyfriend.

Number 4: Sydney White

I would consider Sydney White one of the cutest TCF's. Amanda Bynes as well as all the other actors, the story line etc, make it a feel good, cute movie. A film that is not only for teenagers (although it is directed towards them), but for pre-teens, young adults and adults. It reminds me of a Disney movie that everyone can enjoy.

Sydney White is about a young girl entering college with a dream to be in her mother's sorority. However, when she is kicked out of the sorority by the evil Rachel (Sara Paxton), Sydney takes refuge with seven geeks. Of course there is a love story, qualifying it in the "chick flick" category.

If you are looking for a sweet movie to watch with the family then this one is definitely right for you.

Number 3: Bring It On

Everyone secretly wants to be a Okay, well either way this still is one of the best TCF's. I am going to guess that most people have heard the story line of Bring It or have seen it so I wont go into any detail. I will say that I never knew cheer leading could be so exciting until I watched this movie. When Torrance visits the East Compton cheer leading squad I was scared there was going to be some show down or exciting. The film doesn't disappoint at the end with the face off between Rancho Carne and East Compton.

Bring It On stars Kirsten Dunst as Torrance Shipman, Eliza Dushku as Missy Pantone (from Rancho Carne) and Gabrielle Union as Isis (from East Compton) as well as many other really funny and great actors that make the movie what it is.

Number 2: Mean Girls
Welcome to girl world. The film that shows all the inside secrets of mean girls. Starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams, Mean Girls is definitely one of the most popular TCF's today. I have not heard of one teenage girl (and maybe even young adult) that has not seen this movie.

Mean Girls has won a Kid's Choice Award, an MTV Award and Teen Choice Award, as well as being nominated for others. Robert Ebert says: "In a wasteland of dumb movies about teenagers, "Mean Girls" is a smart and funny one." I believe he is totally right. It is a very original teenage movie, exploring a subject that has stayed hidden until now. It is not your average film about high school kids. It takes common problems and exaggerates them, making this film one of the funniest in the TCF categories.

I have to add the trailer for this movie because it is absolutely great.

Number 1: She's the Man
Absolutely the number one TCF out there (and not just because of Channing Tatum....I promise). This movie had me laughing the entire way through, I absolutely love it.

It is loosely based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, or What You Will, using some of the plot line, as well as character's names. If you haven't seen the movie it can be a bit hard to explain because of the hidden identities, but it goes something like this: "Duke wants Olivia who likes Sebastian who is really Viola whose brother is dating Monique so she hates Olivia who's with Duke to make Sebastian jealous who is really Viola who's crushing on Duke who thinks she's a guy..." Confused yet? That's because you should just watch the movie!

Robert Ebert says: "
The movie is good-natured and silly," making it fun for the whole family. Like Sydney White, it reminds me of a Disney movie for everyone to enjoy, even though it is directed at teenagers. Amanda Bynes does an amazing job at playing Viola who plays Sebastian who.....ok well you know what I mean. I seriously suggest you add this movie to your cannon of the best "chick flicks" or if you haven't seen it, watch the trailer (I laughed the whole way through the trailer as well) than as always, watch the movie.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Grab a Kleenex......Top 5 Tear-Jerker "Chick Flicks"

There are countless amounts of lists on the Internet about what movies make you cry and more specifically, what "chick flicks" make you cry. Seeing these gave me the idea to create my own list: The Top Five Tear-Jerker "Chick Flicks." These choices have been made by me (not any lists on the Internet) so I apologize if you do not agree or there is a movie that I did not include.

Number 5: Pearl Harbor
I must be honest, the only reason this movie is even on the list is because I couldn't think of another "chick flick" (that I have seen and could write an accurate review on) that made me cry. Although there are tons of movies I have cried on, none of them would be considered "chick clicks." I had to have a number 5 because you cannot have a top 4 list, it just sounds weird (who has a top 4 list?)

The film stars Ben Affleck as Rafe, Josh Harnett as Danny and Kate Beckinsale as Evelyn, the three that make up the complicated love triangle. You would think that with relatively good actors the film would be good, but sadly no. Robert Ebert says "The film has been directed without grace, vision, or originality, and although you may walk out quoting lines of dialog, it will not be because you admire them." Although the movie may not be that great, it is a film that will have your emotions on a roller coaster of happy, sad, happy, sad and will make you cry.

Number 4: The Notebook

Some of you may be shouting at your computer, trying to figure out why the hell The Notebook is only spot number 4, and before you give yourself a complex know that there are reasons. One, I haven't seen the movie in forever and honestly cant remember that much of it except that I cried and two, I like the other three movies better. Not saying that The Notebook is not one of the greatest "chick flicks."

That being said, this film is a great love story that will have you weeping and feeling all mushy. Ryan Gosling (as Noah Calhoun) and Rachel McAdams (as Allie Hamilton) have great chemistry, making you believe in the characters that much more. You will truly feel joy when the characters feel joy and feel sad when they are feeling sad. The ending is a heart wrenching scene where you know that the two can finally be together forever. Sigh.

Number 3: Titanic

Although I already did a review on Titanic, I absolutely had to add it to my list of the top tear-jerkers. I won't go over the movie because I already did a full review in an earlier post, but I will say that the ending of this movie will have you weeping like a baby. The fact that Jack sacrifices himself in the cold water for the women he loves just tares your heart out, and Rose's desperate plea for him to "come back" is like the foot that stomps on it.

It is so sad to watch how these two young lovers have to fight to stay alive on a sinking ship when they finally have a chance to be happy, only then to have one of them die.

Number 2: A Walk to Remember

Is there anything that will make you cry more than watching two people fall in love only to find out that one is dying? I don't think so. A Walk to Remember follows this story line and will have you crying like a baby.

The film is about bad boy Landon Carter (Shane West) who is changed when he meets the sweet Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore). Jamie forces Landon to realize what is important in life and the two fall in love. We find out a little bit later, that Jamie has
leukemia and is dying.

Believe me, you will need some major Kleenex when watching this film. The scene where Landon visits his father, a doctor, and begs for his help gets me every time. It is an absolutely amazing movie and not only one of the greatest tear-jerkers but also one of the best "chick flicks" ever made.

Number 1: P.S I Love You
The absolute, hands down, number one tear-jerker ever! Believe me when I say: this movie will have you crying from beginning to end. You will not just need a few kleenex but the entire box. When I went to see it in theaters all you could hear was a room full of sniffling women.

The film is about a married couple, Holly (Hilary Swank) and Gerry (Gerard Butler), who are deeply in love and seem to have everything going for them. When Gerry dies, Holly is devastated and goes into depression. Gerry seems to predict this and in order to help her through the recovery period he has sends her 10 letters (obviously written before he died, there are no poltergeist in this movie).

Although incredibly sad the movie is also quite funny, has a good plot line and amazing actors. If the movie is not one of your particular favourites, you have to agree when I say the movie is definitely the number 1 tear-jerker.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Your Heart Will Go on......Titanic.

The sinking of the Titanic is a story that has been told over and over and a scene that has been researched for many years. The movie puts a spin on the famous ship by telling the captivating love story between Jack Dawson and Rose Bukater.

The film stars the handsome Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack and the beautiful Kate Winslet as Rose. Rose is a wealthy young women and Jack, a man with barely enough money; winning the ticket onto the Titanic in a poker hand. The two unlikely pair meet when Rose appears to be committing suicide. They fall in love even though they are not supposed to be together (as Rose is engaged and Jack is of a "lower class"). Their love develops stronger as they fight to stay alive on a sinking ship.

This film is absolutely amazing, winning 11 Oscars and nominated for 3 more! Not to mention the Golden Globe and Grammy award (as well as winning 76 other awards and nominated for 46 more). Robert Ebert says the "film of the tragic voyage is in the tradition of the great Hollywood epics. It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted and spellbinding." One definitely has to agree with Ebert. Titanic will be known as one of the greatest Hollywood epics, and I believe will go down in history as one of the best "chick flicks" ever made. Probably one of the most expensive ever made as well....just throwing that out there. (Costing $200 million to make the movie) Luckily it is the highest grossing movie of all time, making $600 million in the U.S and over $1.2 billion worldwide.

It is not hard to understand why Titanic is one of the greatest "chick flicks." It is a tragic love story where two people of different social classes fall in love. They have to fight the idea of social standards, Rose's fiance and the sinking of a "unsinkable" ship. The ending illustrates the strength of their love when Jack sacrifices himself for Rose (I know what you're thinking...."Why couldn't you share the raft!!!"). Rose is a powerful female heroin that decides what she wants and she takes it. She doesn't listen to her snob of a mother or fiance.So would a guy enjoy this movie? OF COURSE! Should I even have to ask? What is not to like about the Titanic? If you are not a fan of the incredible, tear-jerker of a love story then you have to like the idea behind the movie (i.e the sinking ship). The movie is action packed and fun, with great special effects and even a great history lesson. If you can sit through the three hour movie then I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy it.

So again, watch the trailer (if you haven't seen the movie, or if you would like to be reminded of how great it is) and then go watch the movie! Enjoy.