As we barrel towards Christmas proper, and the social calendar starts to clear a little, my mind always turns to relaxing a little, getting cosy and curling up. One of my favourite ways to unwind is with a good film, and nothing is quite so relaxing and fulfilling to me as a good old-fashioned chickflick.
Don't get me wrong, I can thoroughly enjoy a good action romp, a subtitled critic's darling or a highbrow drama, but when it comes to pure indulgence, I'm all about curling up under a cosy, fleecy blanket, pouring a glass of red (or making a tea or a hot chocolate), and watching an old favourite.
Here are the 10 chickflicks I think you definitely need in your life...some are pure chickflicks, others are comedy, drama, or teen films that also straddle the chickflick genre. Be sure to let me know any of your favourites in the comments too!
1. Mystic Pizza
Oh man, this movie. It could not be more eighties if it tried, and I love it. The story of three friends who work together in a pizza shop in Mystic, Connecticut, it's the perfect coming-of-age tale, with drama, romance, and comedy too. Every time I find this movie on the TV schedule, I have to sit down and watch it.
Oh, Bette Midler is a queen, and this movie is one of the ultimate weepfests. I love the story, the music, the need for a gigantic box of Kleenex within moments of hearing the first few notes of Wind Beneath My Wings.
3. Mean Girls
I remember reading Mean Girls, Cliques and Dirty Tricks as some secondary reading while starting my teaching career - little did I know that Tina Fey would read it too and turn the non-fiction guide for parents and teachers into the absolute joy that is Mean Girls. Entertaining, funny, and quotable as heck (I'm wearing a teeshirt emblazoned with the legend 'She Doesn't Even Go Here' as I type), it's one of my favourite films, with some absolutely cracking performances. You go, Glen Coco.
4. Fried Green Tomatoes at The Whistle Stop Cafe
A story of change, food, and friendship, this weepy chickflick is a perennial favourite. It's got so many great scenes and the central performances are divine. This is definitely one of the films which began my love affair with films and literature set in the southern states of the USA.
5. Now & Then
At a dinner earlier this week, this movie came up in conversation, and there was much squealing and excitement - this film is a treasure. This movie was released when I was fourteen, so I was smack bang on the demographic for a coming-of-age tale with friendships. I love the journey of the film, as the characters move from childhood to womanhood, and I can't wait to watch it again soon.
6. Pretty Woman
She rescues him right back, man. I love this movie, and thought I was so grown up for watching it at my friend's house aged nine. Of course we were way too young to get most of the story (there are several good reasons why it has a '15' certificate!) but I just loved the glamour and the hotel and the opera and the shop scene. As an adult I still love the movie, but now understand the darker elements a little better.
This is another 'stop and watch' for me, I just love it. While we were away on our honeymoon last year, on one day I was feeling a little under the weather, so Matthew went on our planned excursion for that day and I had a day at our beautiful hotel. In the afternoon I decided to curl up and channel hop...and this movie was just starting on one of the channels! Watching this in a superking bed in Hawaii, listening to the waves of the Pacific crashing into the beach just below our balcony, was the loveliest mixture of the familiar and the exotic!
7. Dirty Dancing
This movie is such a treat to watch whenever I get the opportunity. And the soundtrack is just beyond rocking - I have such fond memories of dancing around the boarding house to tunes from this film.
8. Steel Magnolias
When I'm having a tough time, when I miss my further away friends, when I'm stressed and just need a good cry, I watch Steel Magnolias. This story of female love and friendship never fails to make me laugh, cry, and appreciate what I'm lucky enough to have. The performances are all delicious, and it has my favourite, Dolly Parton, in too!
9. Sleepless in Seattle
One of the most romantic movies, ever. I love Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in films together, and this film is gentle, sweet and heartwarming. Another movie with a great soundtrack, and some fabulous support acting. I was fangirling hard when I got to go to the top of the Empire State building in September, and had to explain the entire movie to Matthew to make any sort of sense!
10. Bring It On
I am fully signed up to this cheerocracy. This is a quick, pacy film with cracking dialogue and fantatsic cheer routines, and I love to watch it for a little slice of sunshine. Spirit fingers agogo.
So that's my 10 chickflicks you definitely need in your life - many greats in the list, and so many more I could have added. I think there may be a part 2 somewhere in my future, as even just now I can think of several (The First Wives Club, Bridesmaids, Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion...) that may just have to feature!