Girl Power Flicks
For most people, the term “chick flick” refers to movies with a lot of mushy romance and silly jokes, or soft, effeminate themes and lots of fashion and stuff. My question is, what kind of women actually like those kinds of movies? Sure, I don’t mind watching a rom-com from time to time, but personally, this girl likes movies that are a bit more assertive and confident. I don’t want love and romance — I want to see strong, unafraid women taking control of their situations and coming out on top in the end. Here are a list of some of my all-time favorite chick flicks, perfect for a rainy Sunday when you need a bit of a boost.
Kill Bill [rated R for strong bloody violence, strong language, and some sexual content]
When I first saw this movie in the theater, I immediately wanted to go out and buy a yellow jumpsuit and a Japanese motorbike. Kill Bill is a classic tale of revenge where no one is safe from the wrath of The Bride. To say that there’s a lot of gore and violence in this film would be an understatement, so it’s probably not for those who are squeamish, but sometimes a woman has to shed some blood in her quest to get even.
Charlie’s Angels [rated PG-13 for action violence, innuendo, and some sensuality/nudity]
Charlie’s Angels is a very light, mainstream big-budget Hollywood movie, but it still makes the most of women and their numerous assets. Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu strike a great balance between sexy and self-sufficient, and on top of everything their wardrobes are to die for. Great if you’re not in the mood for something heavy — the story is easy to follow and there aren’t many surprises, just good all-around action and girl power.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [rated PG-13 for martial arts violence and some sexual content]
This may be the most visually stunning film I’ve ever seen. Aside from the girlie fight scenes (which are numerous and intense), the story and cinematography are both superb. As in most martial arts films, there is of course some suspension of disbelief required when it comes to the physical stunts, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a staggeringly well-crafted piece of cinema, and probably the most intelligent of all the films listed here. Watch this one when you’re in the mood for something more subtle and deeply engaging… or if you just want to see some girls kicking butt.
Death Proof [rated R for extreme violence and strong language — there’s also an unrated version (which I recommend) that’s even more extreme]
Yeah, I know I already listed one Tarantino movie, but you have to admit, he does know how to handle a female protagonist (and anyway, you’ll have to get over it, because this is not the last time you’ll see his name on this list). Death Proof is actually the second half of a double-feature entitled Grindhouse, but even as a single feature it stands up tremendously well on its own. The film is packed full of that classic Tarantino witty dialogue, and the characters are intelligent, savvy, and independent. The action does lag a bit in places, but believe me, your patience will be rewarded in the end.
Silence of the Lambs [rated R for bloody violence, strong language, and adult themes]
Clarice Starling struck a chord with a lot of women, because she was very realistic in a lot of ways: ambitious and persistent, yet also insecure and unsure of herself at times. Her character made the story in this film all the more thrilling, and when she puts her mind to solving a mystery, nothing is going to stand in her way. This film has one of the all-time best endings, sure to have you on the edge of your seat, even if you’ve seen it a million times before.
G.I Jane [rated R for strong language and combat violence]
This movie came along at a time when the issue of women in combat was just becoming a matter of widespread public debate. Demi came along and blew all the stereotypes out of the water. She was physically strong, emotionally stoic, and had all the qualities necessary to get the job done. Out of the way, boys.
Jackie Brown [rated R for strong language, violence, drug use, and sexual content]
I just had to finish up this list with yet another selection from the Tarantino library. As usual, the protagonist is clever and aggressive, but the real genius of this film is in the casting. Pam Grier was already legendary for her sexy, strong roles in exploitation films such as Foxy Brown and Coffy, but this time around she’s totally in control and lets nothing stop her. As usual with Tarantino, the story is twisty and wanders around, which adds to the vibe and enhances the emotional power of the fantastic resolution at the end of the film.