Those of us endowed with penises and oriented somewhere in the heterosexual spectrum are a proud and noble lot. We’re also surprisingly easy to please. Just give us a six pack, a Victoria Secret catalogue and reruns of The Dukes of Hazard and we’re as happy as pigs in shit (which incidentally, is what most straight men resemble without contact with the fairer sex). And while we men may bemoan the day when we’re forced to take our significant others to see horrible “chick flicks” such as the recently released He’s Just Not That Into You, the truth is we might actually be lying. Because here’s our darkest secret, ladies: deep down inside each and everyone us is a frightened little boy just waiting to break loose and blubber like an overly hormonal school girl. What I’m about to tell you could get me kicked out of manhood and forced to turn over my badge and testicles, but here are just a few movies that we men pretend to hate but secretly love with every fibre of our manly testosterone-driven beings…
THE TOP 10 CHICK FLICKS THAT MEN SECRETLY LOVE
10. Titanic (1997)
Sure, most guys will tell you that the only people who enjoy Titanic are menopausal house wives, Celine Dion fans and the mentally ill. The truth however, is that even the most red-blooded NASCAR-loving beer-guzzling alpha male secretly loves this movie. On the surface, we might claim it’s because the movie is directed by action-guru James Cameron, has a giant friggin’ boat being ripped in half AND features Kate Winslet’s face-melting rack (and mind you, this was before KW became contractually obligated to show her tits in every movie she appears in). The fact of the matter however, is that we REALLY love Titanic because it just happens to have one of the greatest onscreen romances of all time. Yes ladies, there are only two sure fire ways to make a man weep: kick him in the junk or make him watch the last ten minutes of Titanic.
9. Ghost (1990)
Before Demi Moore started dating that ass clown Ashton Kutcher, she cemented her place as a Hollywood hottie by starring in Ghost; a film which incidentally also appeals to 99% of the Earth’s male population. Of course, we men will claim we’ve watched it twenty-seven times because of the awesome supernatural elements (including crazy black demon things that steal people’s souls!) and the chance to watch a young Demi Moore in ass-hugging 80s tights. The truth however, is that we really love this movie because it’s just so goddamn romantic. It also explains why far too many of us become seriously aroused whenever someone mentions pottery wheels and â€œUnchained Melodyâ€ in the same sentence.
8. Mean Girls (2004)
On the surface Mean Girls looks like a double-threat to most self-respecting men. Not only is it a chick flick, but it’s a chick flick created for the teeny bopper set and featuring Hollywood train wreck, Lindsay Lohan! Yet, scratch below the surface and you find a film that is so well-written, charming and endlessly funny it could make even UFC champion Chuck Liddell suddenly interested in high school gossip, cheerleading and avocado facial scrubs (which is pretty damn Fetch when you think about it). The film also happens to have been written by none other than film geek poster girl Tina Fey, arguably the hottest she-nerd of all time, and remains a classic chick flick that likely appeals to those of us of both the Venusian and Martian persuasions. Best of all, in addition to being a smart, funny and realistic look at the lives of high school teens, the film features a cast of hot and occasionally scantily clad young teenaged girls. Go Fire Crotch go!
7. While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Like watching episodes of the “Golden Girls” and secretly knowing the lyrics to every Spice Girls song ever recorded, While You Were Sleeping is a guilty pleasure for a lot of men. It’s one of those movies that seems almost preternaturally stupid, yet if you were to take a poll, dollars to donuts at least half the male population of North America has seen this movie at some point â€“ and enjoyed it. The truth of the matter is men secretly love this movie because it’s funny, smart and actually surprisingly well-written. It’s also enjoyable because it features the prototypical, handsome and successful douchebag getting run over by a train and tossed into a coma so his older (and far more relatable) brother can mack the shit out of his girl. After all who doesn’t want to watch Bill Pullman one-up that giant eyebrowed freak Peter Gallagher and nail a still smoking hot post-Speed Sandra Bullock?
6. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Sure, most men will rank watching a Meg Ryan movie somewhere between getting their head lodged up an elephant’s ass and watching surgical room footage from Dick Cheney’s last colonoscopy. Yet When Harry Met Sally is undoubtedly one of the most engaging and entertaining chick flicks out there, even if — like Ryan herself — it is starting to show its age. Men however, secretly love the flick for the simple reason that it features a bullshit-free discussion of sex, love and relationships from both sides of the great genitalia divide. It also asks the question many of us have had at one time or another: can two people get their fuck on and still be friends? Directed by legendary meathead Rob Reiner, with a screenplay from chickliterati Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally is one of those rare chick flicks that some men might even publically admit to enjoying. But more importantly, it introduced men everywhere to spotting the now all too familiar signs of women faking the Big O.
5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Yes, the title alone sounds like the bastard love child of Father of the Bride and Mamma Mia!, yet despite its blatant chick flick overtones, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is just funny, smart and quirky enough to be secretly entertaining to a lot of men. Sure, there’s the occasional bout of sappy dialogue and Nia Vardalos is the kind of actress who only appears sexy after you’ve had three of four shots of ouzo, but the film is entertaining none the less. In fact, My Big Fat Greek Wedding should really be required viewing for any man who has ever had to deal with psychotic in-laws or had a sudden craving for chicken souvlaki. Opa!
4. Moulin Rouge! (2001)
For a lot of men, musicals are the entertainment equivalent of giving your brain a barium enema. The dancing, the singing, the sheer pageantry of it all; before seeing a musical you might as well check your balls in along with your coat. Yet every so often there comes a musical that is not only tolerable to men, but even entertaining. Enter Moulin Rouge!, Baz Luhrmann’s hyper-stylized musical film that blends elaborate sets, a killer soundtrack and even a charming (if not somewhat formulaic) love story. Sure Nicole Kidman spends most of the film looking like a cross between an anaemic vampire and one of those Japanese sex dolls, but you can’t deny there’s a palpable chemistry between her and a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. In fact, the film is essentially The Pussy Cat Dolls on acid, maintaining the same level of fishnet stocking sluttiness without the shitty music.
3. Pretty Woman (1990)
When it comes to chick flicks, Julia Roberts is practically the living embodiment of terrible estrogen-filled rom-coms. From Steel Magnolias and Nottinghill to Runaway Bride, her body of work is enjoyed almost exclusively by either women or frustrated chronic masturbators. Yet there is one film in the pantheon of Roberts’ mediocre repertoire which all men secretly love: Pretty Woman. The film remains surprisingly interesting to men due simply to its unique subject matter and despite its overused chick flick tropes. Watching Pretty Woman is also essentially an exercise in denial for both sexes: women are willing to look passed the fact that Richard Gere is really a perv trolling for cheap ‘tang, while men secretly deny loving the movie because it taps into our Grand Theft Auto-style fantasies about banging hookers guilt-free. One interesting side note is that Pretty Woman was originally written by J.F. Lawton as a dark drama about prostitution on the streets of Los Angeles, but once Disney snagged the rights, Roberts and Gere were cast and it mutated into a lovable romantic comedy. Further proof that the only thing that sucks dick more than an L.A. hooker is Hollywood itself.
2. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Starring the perpetually squinty-eyed RenÃ©e Zellweger as a lovable British frump (who is almost sexy despite herself), Bridget Jones’s Diary is one of those films that seems as though it would have every red-blooded heterosexual man running for the hills. Yet once again, it’s one of those rare chick flicks that men secretly love, probably because it features a woman who seems almost attainable and is cursed with the same healthy neurosis and realistic body image of your average woman (rather than the bulimically attractive Hollywood starlets found in most chick flicks). In this sense the movie makes men feel slightly better about the fact that we aren’t all out there fucking Scarlett Johansson and for that matter are probably lucky to be fucking anyone! It also helps that the film has some sharp dialogue, fine performances and is genuinely funny. Beyond all that though, Bridget Jones’s Diary is also an interesting exercise in how men and woman perceive the female form: women feel vindicated seeing a somewhat realistic heroine on screen, while most men will concede that in fact, RenÃ©e Zellweger is far more ass-tappable during her slightly â€œchunkierâ€ Bridget Jones phase.
1. Love Actually (2003)
Okay, so the title alone probably makes most men afraid they’ll walk away from the film with hot flashes and a subscription to “O Magazine”, yet Love Actually is actually a smart, funny and insightful movie. Men secretly love this movie because its multiple stories have elements that almost every one of us can relate to (whether it’s being cheated on, falling for an unobtainable hottie or simply trying to get laid). The movie is also brilliantly written, hilarious and has some great performances, all of which makes it one of the most enjoyable chick flicks men will ever be subjected to. Sure, Love Actually also gives women a completely unrealistic notion of love which no man can ever hope to achieve, but fuck a duck if isn’t the kind of romantic bullshit that even we men can appreciate.
Adam Volk is a freelance journalist, film geek and wannabe screenwriter who actually likes watching the occasional chick flick. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.