Girls on Film
Snide Remarks #159
"Girls on Film"
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Daily Herald on April 4, 2001
Seeing a movie is the most popular thing to do on a date. This is probably because it allows you to sit in the dark with someone of the opposite sex without actually having to talk to them. At least, you shouldn't be talking to them. If you are talking, then, you know, shut up.
Because of this, we have a genre of movies called "date movies." Now, when we say "date movie," of course we mean "a movie women like." Most date activities are centered around whether the woman will enjoy herself, with little regard for whether the man has any fun. I would like to think this is out of chivalry, but I suspect it's more because men don't care what happens on the date, as long as there's some action at the end of it. A man would gladly endure a date that consisted of going to flower shows and reading magazines in a gynecologist's waiting room if he thought there were a chance of even a peck on the cheek at the end of it.
Date movies are films that have very little profanity or nudity, no strong violence, and not a single original thought in them. They are made from templates by factory workers.
A date movie is usually about a smart, pretty career woman with short hair who is successful in life but unlucky in love. She really wants a man -- but not in a pathetic, "I need to be validated" kind of way. She could totally do without a man altogether because she is self-sufficient, but she happens to WANT one, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Then, there's a guy who is kind of a womanizing jerk, but in a cute way. The woman hates him because he's a womanizing jerk, but then she starts to see his tender side because he's cute. By the end of the movie, they are together. It doesn't matter what happens in the middle, as long as they have sex (discreet, nudity-free sex) and as long as one or both of them walks in the rain at some point. A soundtrack featuring a love ballad by a popular rock band wouldn't hurt, either.
Date movies cannot contain any violence. The only exception is if the cute womanizing jerk has to punch a non-cute womanizing jerk in the face in defense of the career woman with short hair.
So what separates date movies, which couples allegedly enjoy together but which are actually only enjoyed by women, from full-blown "chick flicks," which men actively despise? Here's what:
â€¢ In a date movie, the couple winds up together at the end. In a chick flick, one of them dies.
â€¢ A date-movie protagonist should have one wacky friend who offers sardonic advice and is not prettier than the protagonist. (This friend may be a gay man instead.) The male lead may also have friends, but they should not be better-looking than the lead (though they may be funnier) (but not more charming). A chick-flick protagonist can have an entire beauty parlor full of advice-giving friends.
â€¢ Date-movie protagonists may be male or female, but there must be at least one (1) of each in order to make the requisite couple. A chick flick, on the other hand, might have no more testosterone than what's in Bette Midler.
â€¢ In a date movie, both the male and female leads must be attractive (e.g., Tom Cruise movies). In a chick flick, everyone can be ugly (e.g., Richard Gere movies).
â€¢ The worst thing that happens to a date-movie character is that he or she might get an adorable cold or have a cute allergy. In a chick flick, someone will have cancer.
Until next time, I'll see you at the movies! I'll be the one cuddling with a woman during the brain-eating scene in "Hannibal."
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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