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5 Unconventional Chick Flicks On Netflix

Now don’t get me wrong—I love a good, ol’ fashioned, cheesy rom-com, and in the age of Netflix instant streaming we have so many gems at our disposal. Mean Girls, Clueless, Heathers, and Steel Magnolias will never get old. And yet…

There is something refreshing about a movie with a leading lady that does not abide by the typical rules of female film. You’ve gotta mix things up every once and while, and I really appreciate dame-driven stories that are just a bit different and unexpected. So here I will list some unconventional movies starring some pretty cool chicks that can be found in the treasure trove that is Netflix…

1. Kill Bill Volume I (2003)

This is actually the movie that inspired this list. A must-see if you are even remotely fond of other Quentin Tarantino movies like Inglorious Bastards or Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill is the only Tarantino movie I’ve seen that is completely central to a female character. Die-hard Tarantino fans seem to consider Kill Bill one of his weaker films, but I disagree. There is just something so fun about pretty girls playing badass characters that are so far from a “damsel in distress” type (such as members of an elite squad of lady-assassins). Do you like action? Do you like Uma Thurman? Do you like Lucy Liu? Do you like kung fu movies? Can you tolerate a lot of blood and violence? Then you should definitely check this movie out.

2. 1½.  Kill Bill Volume II (2004)

A lot of people who haven’t seen the films do not realize that the second isn’t just a typical sequel, it is a continuation of the same story. I do like Volume I a bit more because the storyline with Lucy Liu is so cool, but Volume II is also quite enjoyable. And if you think you can watch Volume I and resist the urge to watch Volume II, you are mistaken. There is a crazy cliffhanger at the end of the first one.

3. Violet & Daisy (2011)

This little-known film is obviously influenced by Kill Bill; the movie has “chapters,” and Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan star as young, girlish assassins. This indie from a first-time director was a bit of a critical flop, and it does have its weaknesses. For the first few minutes I thought the style of the film was rather weird, but then I realized what it reminded me of: French new wave film. Once I realized that, I was better able to enjoy the movie. And although the plot could have been expanded upon and the acting a bit sharper, it is visually very pleasant and the characters, killer teen BFFs Violet and Daisy, are super adorable. There are some stunning images that juxtapose girlish innocence with murderous acts. Plus, Danny Trejo makes a cameo. If you’re a fan of Bledel in Gilmore Girls, check it out; if you’re not a fan of Gilmore Girls, still check it out because Violet is not at all like Rory Gilmore. 

3. The Hours (2002)

This is not what I would call an uplifting watch; The Hours is no doubt a heavy film, but it’s wonderful and thought-provoking. This movie should especially appeal to CLA majors or fans of Virginia Woolf, because the film is about Woolf and her novel Mrs. Dalloway. And boy, what a cast: Nicole Kidman is Woolf as she writes the novel, Julianne Moore is a depressed 1950s housewife reading the novel, and Meryl Streep is a modern-day woman who herself resembles the character of Mrs. Dalloway. The film alternates between these three women over the course of a single day in each of their lives and makes you ponder a lot of things. Mental illness, suicide, bisexuality, creativity, individuality, a woman’s role as a wife, a woman’s role as a mother, and the effects that women can have on the people around them are all themes that come to mind when I reflect on this film.

4. TiMER (2009)

Okay, so this may be cheating a little because this movie is technically a rom-com, but it’s not your average rom-com. Set in the not-so-distant-future, in this movie there is a digital device that counts down to the exact moment when you will meet your soul mate and tells you who it is. I know, it sounds weird—I know, you might not like sci-fi movies, but hear me out. Aside from the farfetched gadget, the characters and the story are very relatable and believable. I don’t know why this movie isn’t more famous because I honestly believe it is one of the best I have ever seen; the writing is spot-on and the story addresses the question of what it means to be in love and the uncertainty that surrounds it (even in an age where we think we know what perfect love is and that we will find it *cough cough* social commentary) in a way that is far more complex and nuanced than most romantic movies. 

5. American Mary (2012)

This one is for the horror fans out there, and then some. Despite the title, this movie was made in Canada, which is why you probably have not heard of it. It isn’t exactly scary, it’s more just dark and creepy…and bloody. The main character Mary is a promising but broke med student who finds herself in the seedy world of body modification, where she hones her skills as a surgeon, makes tons of cash, makes some interesting friends, and comes up with creative ways to exact revenge on her enemy. Not for the squeamish, but a solid movie for the horror fans out there.

I enjoy a rom-com as much as the next gal, but there is something to be said for female-driven movies that are unconventional. Maybe they just focus on topics besides generic romantic love, like familial love or friendships. Maybe I like these movies because even though their premises are farfetched, there is something true to them—life rarely goes according to plan and is rarely as predictable and easy as the more “realistic” chick flicks make it out to be…

 

So if you’re overwhelmed by all the options on Netflix one day and are in the mood for something a little different, I hope you will check out one of the aforementioned films.

I'm just a SoCal kind of gal who loves the sunshine. I just transferred to Cal Poly SLO and so far I'm digging it. Like many an English major before me, I like reading and writing, but I also really love movies, magazines, tv, blogs, etc. When I'm not consuming media some hobbies of mine that actually involve me going outside and moving are yoga, sailing, and playing with other people's dogs.
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