Okay, so, this weekend, I spent a decidedly unglamorous Saturday night in on my own, with a takeaway pizza, a tiny tub of Häagen Dazs and The Holiday on Veetle.
God, it’s a bad film. It’s a terrible film. It’s really horrifically bad. I felt embarrassed watching it, painfully embarrassed, I was cringing so much, my cheek muscles were aching, it was about the most painfully embarrassing thing I have ever watched in my entire life, EVER, and that’s including that moment where you actually see the pity enter Katie Couric’s eyes after Sarah Palin says she’s read, er, “all” the newspapers.
So then, suddenly, as I lay sprawled across the sofa, a friend of mine rang me up.
“Oh, hi. I think I’m watching the worst film I have ever seen in my entire life,” I said. “It’s really bad.”
“Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet are unhappy in love and now they’ve swapped houses and Cameron Diaz keeps on shagging Jude Law and the script’s really bad and she keeps on doing her sexy-girl-next-door grin and the script is REALLY bad.”
“You shouldn’t watch those films,” he said. “They should actually ban women from watching those films, I say. Romance films, chick flicks. They’re dangerous. Those films are responsible for giving women totally wrong expectations of love, just like how pornography gives men the totally wrong expectations of sex.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said. “God, Jude Law’s an annoying person, isn’t he? I always forget just how annoying he is whenever I’m not actually watching him in a film. It’s like childbirth. I repress the memory or something. He’s very annoying. He’s as bad as Gwyneth Paltrow! I never forget how annoying she is, though. Ever. It’s probably my inner misogynist shining through or something.”
Anyway, I reckon my mate’s right, you know. Chick flicks are, essentially, pornos for women. They are, basically, totally unreal and amazingly satisfying. Still, to be fair, Colin Firth’s never gonna get AIDS from appearing in one, you know. I’m not trying to make you boys feel guilty or anything. But that Colin Firth. Is never gonna get AIDS. In his life. Just saying!
Anyways, to back up my “chick flicks are pornography for the female masses theory”, I actually literally masturbated over Dirty Dancing once. What I did was I watched the whole film on my laptop from the beginning scene, just like I was just watching it and not intending to masturbate, all relaxed and gentle and calm in my bed. THEN, just when Patrick Swayze starts fucking Jennifer Grey, I clicked stop and started clit-wanking. I was done in about 47 seconds but then again, I am very, very good at clit-wanking.
So, I love romantic films and chick flicks in general. I really adore them. Sometimes I worry that I’m going off them, because it just seems to me like they’re making so many bad ones nowadays. But then they make a good one, and I swoon, and swoon, and swoon, and swoon, and sometimes have a mini-clit-wank.
So, here are my Top “Spoilers Alert, Bitches” Six:
1) Dirty Dancing (1987)
It’s just perfect. I read a feminist critique once that said it was the Oedipus complex for women, because she has to betray her dad for Patrick Swayze, and I suspect this is true, because everybody’s favourite line is: “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” I love this film. I love everything about it. I used to make my sister watch it when we were little and I’d just fast-forward over the abortion section.
2) Pretty Woman (1990)
So, like, on the one hand, I think this film is totally morally bankrupt and couldn’t be much more evil and sexist and mendacious, you know, IF IT TRIED. Nope. That bit at the beginning where she goes: “Not only am I better than an amateur, I’m probably safer, too.” That is total bullshit. But, still. What about when that arsehole lawyer hits her and then Richard Gere comes in and pulls him off of her? That’s beautiful. I love Richard Gere so much in that moment. And the shopping bit’s good too.
3) The Sound of Music (1965)
I love the Baroness. I hated her when I was a kid. I love her now. That’s how I know I’m getting old.
4) The End of the Affair (1999)
Is there anything more romantic than fucking Ralph Fiennes during The Blitz and then converting to Roman Catholicism coz you think he was actually dead and then shagging him again before dying of TB? Nope, I didn’t think so, either.
5) Love, Actually (2003)
I forced my ex-husband to come and see this at the cinema. He hated it. On the way home, he said to me: “How can you watch that shit? How can you watch it? All that stuff with the Prime Minister standing up to the President of the USA, it was so totally unglaubwürdig!”
I said: “Yeah, but Hugh Grant really fancied Martine McCutcheon. Like, he blatantly totally would’ve shagged her. That was glaubwürdig, and that’s all that counts for me.”
6) Knight and Day (2010)
I really like Tom Cruise, actually. I know it’s not very fashionable to say so. But I think he’s brilliant at evil – and he’s also great at slightly blank. Especially in his eyes. He’s very good at having slightly blank eyes. In this brilliant romantic-comedy-action-thriller, he keeps on giving Cameron Diaz rape drugs FOR HER OWN GOOD. Is there anything more romantic in the world than a slightly blank-eyed Tom Cruise having to give you rape drugs for your own good? It’s for her own good, man. Plus she gives him some back at the end to stop it being too rapey. Wonderful.
And, here are the Worst Romantic Films Ever Made:
1) Maid in Manhattan (2002)
Ralph Fiennes is probably one of the sexiest men in the world, but there is nothing less romantic in the entire world than a rom-com where the male lead REALLY doesn’t want to shag the female lead.
And I, for the life of me, do not know why Ralph Fiennes didn’t want to shag J.Lo! I would. But he really didn’t want to. He REALLY didn’t want to. He totally did NOT want to. He looked at her like he would’ve paid her to not have sex with him, actually. As a consequence of this, this film was about as romantic as anthrax. There’s more chemistry between Guido and Angie. Seriously.
2) The Lake House (2006)
3) The Holiday (2006)
4) Valentine’s Day (2010)
Terrible. I walked out of the cinema. I was with my then five-year-old son. We do not have high standards. You should see him watching High School Musical; he enjoys it so much that he looks like he’s on heroin. He has very low standards. No, this film, it was absolutely diabolical. The people in it didn’t even remotely fancy each other, and we didn’t care about any of them anyway.
5) Did you hear about the Morgans? (2010)
To be fair to Hugh Grant, it is hard pretending to have, like, romantic chemistry, when you’re playing against a gnarled, wizened twig instead of an actual human being. Oi, Carrie out of Sex and the City! Eat something!
6) All German pathetic attempts at making rom-coms, ever
They shouldn’t let Til Schweiger make any more movies, that’s what I say. Oi, Germans. We’ve already forgiven you guys for the Holocaust. Don’t push it.
And if, after all that lot, you’re feeling all rom-commed out, go on YouPorn and type in “Cum on face compilation“. It’s not very romantic. But it is kind of enjoyable. But don’t tell anyone I told you to.