The term chick flick is slang used to describe a movie that primarily appeals to teenage girls and young women. The term was first used in the late 1980s and early 1990s to describe movies such as Ghost , Dirty Dancing , Beaches , and Pretty Woman . While earlier films such as An Affair to Remember , Funny Girl , and Casablanca also have a strong appeal among female audiences, their structure is significantly different from the movies of today.
Chick flicks are typically perky, upbeat, modern, and post-feminist in tone, although some movies do have sad and dramatic elements as well. The setting can vary. Movies such as Never Been Kissed transport viewers back to the torment of high school, while Notting Hill takes place in a book store.
The female characters in a chick flick are usually strong women who overcome adversity to reach their goals. The key to a successful movie is a message of female empowerment, although a snappy soundtrack and closets full of designer clothes will also help boost ratings.
Since many of these movies are also classified as romantic comedies, they often feature a female lead character struggling with a humorous romantic predicament. They may be loosely based upon Cinderella and other similar fairy tales. Recent examples include The Princess Diaries , Ever After , and A Cinderella Story . However, 10 Things I Hate About You and other movies based on modern interpretations of classic Shakespeare plays have also done quite well at the box office.
Another popular theme for the chick flicks is the bonds between friends. Thelma & Louise , Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion , Mona Lisa Smile , and The Sweetest Thing are examples of popular movies that place friendship above romance.
Many films classified as chick flick movies are based on books from the chick lit genre. The Devil Wears Prada and The Nanny Diaries are two recent movies based on extremely successful chick lit novels. Movie executives love this approach since it virtually guarantees a sizable audience for the movie version.