Recently Noodle Arms and I were out for a walk and she was yakking away as she does about this and that when she suddenly came out with something that shocked me so much I didn't know what to do.
She casually said, "Mum, I quite like chick flicks."
I was floored. FLOORED. She's grown up watching all kinds of artsy subtitled weirdness (thanks to film reviewing ex) and has also spent many hours with me watching the latest offerings from wanky hipsters like Wes Anderson and highly stylised film makers like the Coen brothers, Tim Burton and so on. It's not that I'm a film snob - I love a Judd Apatow bromance as much as the next person, but I detest chick flicks (and chick lit) with a rage that borders on pathological. They are so ridiculous that I'm angry they exist. Not kidding - ask any poor sucker who had the bad luck to casually mention a chick flick in conversation with me at any point in time.
Of course I asked why. "Why, Noodles? WHY? Where are you getting this from???" She just shrugged and said they were fun. Then she dropped an even bigger bombshell.
"I'd like to watch The Notebook."
That's where I drew the line. I agreed to watch some chick flicks with her, but I'd eat my own vomit before I'd sit through The Notebook. She agreed to watch that one with her friends, and I sat through 4 others on the weekend - probably more chick flicks than I've watched in the last 5 years.
There's something oddly likeable about Ashton Kutcher - I was watching him in Two and a Half Men the other day and I think he's actually improved that show. He's the main character in Valentine's Day, one of those dog's breakfast movies where there are a dozen different plots going on at once. This was riddled with the usual clichés - it was blatantly obvious from the first few moments where his story was going, and the same with pretty much all the others, though I will admit the Bradley Cooper storyline surprised me. Nice one - didn't see that coming. We had the dash through the airport to get to the girl (after helpful airport employee lets him through), the "Oh my god, he was under my nose the whole time" story, the comic relief best buddy... they even ripped off the lonely kid story from Love, Actually. And it seemed to go on FOREVER. I thought it would never end. Even Noodles was over it by the time it finally finished.
Friends With Benefits
I thought this one might not be too bad, as I'd read a lot of good reviews and I like both Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. This movie wallowed in smug Community-ish meta and was just infuriating. The main characters spent so much time mocking romantic comedy clichés, only to indulge in them all the way through the movie. It was so annoying. It even managed to almost ruin one of my favourite things (flash mobs). And why do people in movies always live in these MASSIVE apartments in New York city? The Justin character had been headhunted to become the editor of a magazine so maybe I could understand him having the bucks, but Mila's character (the headhunter) was nothing more than a recruitment consultant, yet she lived alone in this fancy apartment that had a bloody atrium in it! I just hated this one so much. Noodles didn't like it either - she said it was too long. Oh, and can I just have a wee rant about THE most annoying aspect of this movie? Woody Harrelson played a gay guy. We know this because he felt the need to mention his gayness EVERY SINGLE TIME HE SPOKE.
What's Your Number?
I thought this one might not be so bad. I love Anna Faris - she was great in The House Bunny. Two minutes in and I realised my mistake. Oh, the annoying but hot neighbour. I wonder where this is going? Oh look, icy, judgemental mother! Sleazy boss! Quirky hobby! 80s song! She's beautiful but a total klutz! Soooo tiresome.
Going The Distance
This was my choice - Drew Barrymore movies are usually watchable, and I like Justin Long. Unsurprisingly, this was the one I liked the most. It was smart and funny and had Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as whacky sidekicks, always a bonus. There were still the usual clichés - guy running through airport after helpful employee lets him through, judgemental female sidekick (Drew's sister), the cute-meet where they get together in the first place, and so on. However, as chick flicks go this was definitely one of the better ones. Surprisingly, Noodles didn't like it, and her reasoning: "It's not a chick flick." I don't know how she came to that conclusion, but I feel validated.
In the end she watched The Notebook with her friend at a sleepover, then came home the next day and went on about how it was 'soooooooo sad'. Pass me the sick bucket.