So what are the 10 greatest chick flicks? That’s a tough question to answer, as there are thousands of motion pictures dedicated to making women sob uncontrollably and fantasize about tall, mysterious men. I’ve provided a list of strong candidates below, although you’ll no doubt have your own opinions on the matter. That’s why we have a comments section, so don’t be shy about using it.
- Pretty Woman(1990) – Julie Roberts is Vivian Ward, a big-hearted young woman making ends meet as a prostitute. Things start looking up when corporate raider Edward Lewis asks for directions and ends up securing her services for the weekend. But a funny thing happens as Vivian shops and Edward negotiates a major takeover…they fall in love. The quintessential modern chick flick, Pretty Woman first introduced many moviegoers to the infectious smile and easy charm of Julia Roberts. And Jason Alexander is pretty good as a little weasel.
- Camille(1936) – Greta Garbo shines in her role of Marguerite Gautier, a low-born woman who rises to prominence in Paris thanks to the help of a wealthy nobleman (Henry Daniell). Then she meets Armand (Robert Taylor), a handsome young fellow who’s life journey is just beginning. They fall hard for one another, but will Marguerite’s past come back to haunt them? Doomed romance is always entertaining to watch, and this Oscar-nominated film is no exception. Garbo considered this her finest role.
- Terms of Endearment (1983) – Winner of the Best Picture Oscar, this tear-jerker was adapted by James L. Brooks from the novel by Larry McMurtry (The Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove). The film follows Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter, Emma (Debra Winger), over a period of years as they both search for love and fulfillment. Jack Nicholson is a standout as a roguish former astronaut, while the rest of the excellent supporting cast includes Jeff Daniels, John Lithgow, Danny DeVito, and Betty King. The final act will have you crying for a week, mainly due to the strong performances by MacLaine and Winger.
- All About Eve (1950) – Written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, All About Eve draw raves from audiences and critics alike, even being nominated for a staggering 14 Academy Awards. Bette Davis stars as Margo Channing, a Broadway star who’s beginning to get a little long in the tooth. That’s when Eve (Anne Baxter) enters the picture. She’s an obsessed fan who Channing quickly embraces, although she’ll later regret it. In no time flat, Eve is scheming to supplant Channing and become a star herself. If you’ve ever wondered what’s wrong with celebrity stalkers, this delightful chick flick will provide a behind-the-scenes peek. Look for Marilyn Monroe in one of her earliest screen roles.
- The English Patient (1996) – Ralph Fiennes plays “The English Patient,” a mysterious individual who’s horribly burned and being treated by a kindly nurse named Hana (Juliette Binoche) in the final days of World War II. As the film unfolds, we learn how the man came to be in his present state, largely due to his painful affair with a married woman (Kristin Scott Thomas). Other characters come and go from the abandoned Italian monastery that serves as a makeshift hospital, including a vengeance-minded Canadian thief (Willem Dafoe), and Hana’s Indian bomb expert lover (Naveen Andrews). An epic film about regret and redemption, The English Patient would go on to receive Hollywood’s highest honor, the Best Picture Oscar.
- When Harry Met Sally… (1989) – Billy Crystal is Harry, and Meg Ryan is Sally. The film, directed by Rob Reiner, follows their relationship through a 12-year period, introducing audiences to such then-novel-now-commonplace concepts as the “high-maintenance” girlfriend. Harry Connick, Jr. received his first Grammy for the swinging soundtrack, and screenwriter Nora Ephron manages to create characters we truly care about. While guys should enjoy Crystal’s cheeky performance, it’s a well-crafted chick flick all the way.
- What’s Love Got to Do With It? (1993) – Based on the book co-written by Tina Turner and MTV’s Kurt Loder, this powerful biopic is as much about spousal abuse as it is about the musical superstar (played by Angela Bassett). The film begins with her childhood and quickly moves to her meeting with future husband Ike Turner (a wonderful Laurence Fishburne), a volatile genius who’s prone to beat those he cares about. Tine takes it and take it…until she can finally take no more. In the middle of this chaos, she cranks out some damn fine music. Both Bassett and Fishburne received Academy Awards nominations for their performances.
- Dirty Dancing (1987) – When her well-off Jewish family goes on summer vacation in the Catskill Mountains, teenager Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) comes of age, learns to dance, and discovers the masculine powers of an almost-shirtless Patrick Swayze. The soundtrack filled with oldies was a smash hit, and this bit of nostalgia still gets the job done on DVD or Blu-ray.
- Julia (1977) – As youths, Julia (Vanessa Redgrave) and Lillian (Jane Fonda) were the best of friends. Now, years later, the former is a physician fighting against the Nazi menace, while the latter is a successful playwright. But when Lillian heads to a writer’s conference in Russia, she once again encounters her childhood friend, and Julia asks her to smuggle money in order to help the anti-Nazi cause. Female friendship, sinister Nazis, and a sad ending. Doesn’t it have chick flick written all over it?
- Titanic (1997) – James Cameron’s blockbuster tearjerker combined Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet for an ill-fated journey on the world’s most famous luxury liner. When it’s not exploring star-crossed romance and class issues, the film packs in wave after wave of passengers meeting a watery fate. A big movie designed to make women cry, Titanic also managed to clear out the tear ducts of more than a few male viewers.
Hopefully, the mere mention of these 10 greatest chick flicks hasn’t caused you to begin weeping and binging on chocolate. For more movie goodness, be sure to click on the following: