Love triangles, chic outfits, unrealistic-yet-fabulous big city lifestyles – what’s not to love about a good chick flick?
Some may argue that chick flicks and rom coms are nothing more than fluff, but as silly as it sounds, beyond the frenemies and funny characters, I think we can learn a lot from our favorite female protagonists. Here are some of my favorites:
Romy White and Michele Weinberg – Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) are willing to do anything to impress their former classmates at their 10-year high school reunion – even if this involves lying about starting their own business (a.k.a. “inventing Post-Its”). In the end, though, this dynamic duo accepts something they have known all along – that it is more important to be happy (and to have fun) than to be a part of the “A-group.”
I appreciate these BFFs because despite what others think, they truly aren’t afraid to celebrate themselves (or wear high heels on the treadmill). It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to impress others and to appear to have the “perfect life,” but Romy and Michele remind us to never lose sight of our friendships.
Jenna Rink – 13 Going on 30 (2004)
Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner) is a teenage dreamer who wants nothing more to be “thirty, flirty and thriving” – and on her 13th birthday, her wish comes true. She wakes up the next morning as her 30-year-old self in a New York City apartment.
I have always connected with Jenna Rink’s clumsy, inquisitive, unapologetically honest character. She is extremely innovative, and she relishes the opportunity to create something new, such as her unique, uplifting pitch for the redesign of Poise magazine. I think Jenna Rink stands out as one of the leading rom com heroines because she reminds us we can’t skip over the past – we have to look back in order to learn from our mistakes and to remember what made us happy.
Andy Sachs – The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
A million girls would kill for Andy Sachs’s new job at Runway magazine – except for Andy (Anne Hathaway). As she navigates her new life working under the notoriously crazy Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), Andy finds herself thrown into stressful, ridiculous situations that test her limits – but that ultimately transforms her into someone she never imagined she would become.
Though Andy’s adventures and mishaps at Runway magazine are comical and glamorous (and quotable), her journey and the frustrations she endures are very real. As she becomes serious about her career, her personal life and relationships fall apart. I think Andy’s character is relatable and important because she symbolizes many realistic issues 20-somethings face as they start a new chapter in life and just hope they can somehow make it all work.
Rebecca Bloomwood – Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
Some heroines wear capes, but Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) wears a green scarf. This shopaholic is one of my favorite characters; not only does she teach us valuable lessons about clearance shopping (and understanding store return policies), but she makes even the most mundane tasks more fun by inserting her sense of humor and eye for style.
Only Becky Bloomwood would transform a bland article about personal finance into a hilarious, poignant essay about how a faux cashmere violated her trust. Though she shouldn’t be trusted with a credit card, Becky Bloomwood is ambitious, smart and passionate. She is sure of herself, and she is willing to work hard to correct her mistakes (most of the time) and live the life she has always imagined.
Fictional storylines and characters provide an escape, entertainment and inspiration. Oftentimes, movies dubbed as “chick flicks” get a bad rep for being nothing more than frivolous and cliché, but I think these films provide some of the best and most inspiring lessons of them all – lessons about friendship, career, independence, love and life.
The themes may not seem groundbreaking, but I think we can all find a little bit of ourselves in each of these characters. We all have different dreams, but in the end, aren’t we all just trying to navigate life’s ups and downs and find happiness along the way?
“Romy, can I tell you the truth? I never knew that we weren’t that great in high school. I mean, we always had so much fun together… I thought high school was a blast! And until you told me that our lives weren’t good enough, I thought everything *since* high school was a blast. I think we should go back out there as ourselves, and just have fun like we always do. The hell with everyone else!” – Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion