Chick flicks get a bad rap, and I’m not sure why. If a movie is bad, a movie is bad. There’s no doubt about that, and there are plenty of bad movies in any genre. How many cheap scary movies or over-the-top action flicks have we been subjected to?
For some reason though, people seem to discount all chick flicks simply on the basis that they’re girly. This is a misconception. Here are 10 chick flicks that are good and offer plenty for guys and gals to enjoy.
Sit back and relax in your comfiest tank top—you’re in for a night of cinematic excellence:
Check out 10 chick flicks your boyfriend will actually enjoy.
1. Sixteen Candles (Channel Productions)
There’s a reason why John Hughes 80s teen movies (The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off are the more noteworthy examples) are so beloved; they’re honest and speak to some pretty deep truths about growing up in America. Also, theyâ’re absolutely hilarious. No one can make people laugh the way Hughes did (RIP), and Sixteen Candles is no different. Sure, it’s all about a high school girl and her crush, but it’s too funny to dislike.
2. Cruel Intentions (Columbia Pictures)
This movie is so deliciously wrong, but so well made, that it is impossible not to enjoy. Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) makes a bet with his stepsister Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) that he can take the virginity of Annette (Reese Witherspoon). If he succeeds, he gets to sleep with Kathryn (I told you, so wrong). If he loses, he must give her his Jaguar. Trust me, Gossip Girl could not exist without this movie. It’s good. Watch it now.
3. He’s Just Not That Into You (New Line Cinema)
For one, this movie is pretty funny. For two, it’s as instructive for guys as it is for women, who are supposed to watch it and understand why guys don’t call back or ask for that second date. But for guys, this movie shows us just how douchey we are capable of being. Spoiler alert: We can be really douchey.
4. Mamma Mia! (Universal Pictures)
It seems silly that I’m explaining this since Mamma Mia! is so popular, but it’s a musical based off the music of Abba, one of the most successful bands in the world that had their heyday in the 70s disco era. Fact: I have never met a guy who has heard Abbaâs music and doesnât like it. They should make more musicals based off of bands guys like. Where’s the Justin Timberlake musical? Seriously.
5. Ghost World (United Artists)
Here’s something guys should automatically like about Ghost World: It’s based off a cult graphic novel of the same name. Another thing guys might like? Scarlett Johansson in one of her first big roles. All you need to know about this movie is that it is funny, it will make you think, and it might make you want to read the book (graphic novels count as books, right?)
6. Singin’ in the Rain (MGM)
Bros love puppies. If you don’t, you’re a lying liar. Singin’ in the Rain is like a puppy, impossible not to love or at least smile at. Sure, it’s old (released in 1952), but itâs hilarious and is basically your grandparent’s equivalent of Step Up or Stomp the Yard. Plus, watching it will instantly make you appear more cultured. Tell a girl you’ve seen Singin’ in the Rain and that you liked it, and she’ll think you’re so different than all those other bros.
7. Pride and Prejudice (2005, Focus Features)
This is a movie that is easy to hate just because of how blown up it was when it came out. But here’s a piece of wisdom: there’s nothing wrong with liking popular things. They’re usually popular for a reason. This movie (and novel) was absolutely defining for so many women and young girls. I’ve never really been able to relate to it on that sort of level, but it is well made, well acted and just a compelling story all around.
8. Unfaithful (Fox 2000 Pictures)
Fair warning: this movie is pretty melodramatic. About a wife (Diane Lane) who starts an affair with some French guy (obviously), things get crazy and there are lots of intense stares and dramatic music. And MURDER. (Dun dun dun) Unfaithful is a member of a sub category of thrillers called erotic thrillers. Catch my drift? The story is pretty decent. There’s sex involved. So if your lady friend ever wants to watch it, don’t worry, you’ll be entertained.
9. Lost in Translation (Focus Features)
It is purely a coincidence that this is the third movie on this list that Scarlet Johansson is in (or is it?) Most bros are pretty big fans of Bill Murray, right? There’s your reason to see it right there. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson strike up a surprisingly not-creepy romance over the course of a week in Japan. It’s funny, mostly because Bill Murray getting into hijinks in Japan is exactly as entertaining as it sounds.
10. Notorious (Vangaurd Films)
This is the oldest movie on this list, from 1946. Yep, right after you grandfather got home from WWII, he took your grandmother to see it at the town cinema. It’s a very typical old black-and-white movie love story. Plenty of flourishes and accents and I love you darlings. But, its also a Hitchcock movie. He’s one of the greatest directors of all time (see: Psycho, Vertigo). Plus, this particular love story has Nazis, and spies, so you definitely won’t be bored.
11 More chick flicks for dudes that will make them swoon.
Written by Phoebe Bain
11. Crazy, Stupid, Love
“I don’t know if it counts as a chick flick but Crazy, Stupid, Love is an amazing film,” William & Mary junior Pat Marquet said. Watching Steve Carell as a divorced man who needs help in the dating world might sound a bit cringy at first. Ryan Gosling’s Barney-Stinson-esque character coming in to take Carell under his wing, however, turns this film from cringy to adorable (and pretty funny at times, too).
12. Mean Girls
If the guy you’re dating doesn’t like Mean Girls then get out, now. Seriously, if he doesn’t think Janice and Damien are funny, there’s no way he’s going to laugh at your irreverent uncle’s jokes across the table this Thanksgiving.
13. Along Came Polly
“I love a good romantic comedy, seeing Jennifer Aniston is always a plus,” Virginia Commonwealth University junior Brad Blackwood said. If you and whatever guy you’re Netflix and chilling with this month typically watch Friends, switch it up this weekend and try Along Came Polly. It’s a quirky early 2000s film about Jennifer Aniston’s rather whimsical character, Polly, and her love interest in New York City. And all you need to say to get a guy to agree to watch it is, “That girl from Friends is in this.”
14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Warning: This movie has a lot more depth to it than the others on this list. It’s the kind of movie to watch when you find yourself in the mood to ponder life. A sort of crossover between a Black Mirror episode and a John Green book, this film explores what would happen if we had the technology to literally wipe an entire relationship from our memories (and why that might not be such a good thing).
15. Don Jon
“I like the movie Don Jon if that’s considered a chick flick…haha…definitely Don Jon,” William & Mary senior Nate Sutherland said. Three words: Joseph. Gordon. Levitt. He might be the only actor who’s cute enough to make his character’s bad porn habit in this film forgivable. Plus, if the guy you watch it with ends up really liking this movie, convincing him to watch 500 Days of Summer with you should be a piece of cake.
16. Sleeping with Other People
“Last night I watched Sleeping with Other People and it was amazing,” William & Mary junior Max Maiello said. Alison Brie (who voices Diane in Bojack Horseman, something to throw in there while asking a guy if he wants to watch this movie) and Jason Sudeikis play those types of friends who have great chemistry but absolutely hate it.
17. She’s the Man
A lot of guys weren’t sure if this one was a chick flick or not, but maybe that’s just because they aren’t used to seeing such badass female leads in chick flicks. If you have ever touched a soccer ball or watched The Amanda Show as a kid, put on this movie immediately for a lot of (randomly very feminist) laughs.
18. Rough Night
If you and your girlfriends prefer Heathers to lighter comedies, and if the guy you want to watch this with has ever made a Hangover joke, watch this movie about a bachelorette party gone wrong. “Rough Night is hilarious,” Maiello said. Let’s just say a male stripper dying around a bunch of women ready to party harder than they did in college makes for a pretty dark comedic film.
19. Bad Moms
Turns out, women don’t stop wanting to party just because they have children. The antics the women get up to in this movie will shock you into the kind of laughter that makes you literally pee your pants. Plus, all guys like Mila Kunis, and she arguably has some of the best lines throughout the whole film.
I watched this on a plane recently and felt a hundred times more cultured upon landing than I did before takeoff. If you haven’t seen this classic, you’ll love it for the drama, and guys will keep watching to follow the violence. Also, you can even talk about it with your grandpa afterwards, and you probably can’t say that about any other movie you watched this year.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler could star in a movie about grass growing and they could still make it funny. But with a plot as intriguing as two adult sisters throwing one last house party in the home they grew up in, of course this movie deserves a watch.
Need more chick flicks?
Check out the 21 best chick flicks for a GNI (girls’ night in).
Written by Phoebe Bain.
The patriarchy gives chick flicks get a bad reputation. The genre’s most common critiques include chick flick movies being too extra, too feminine, too over-dramatic or too unrealistic. But upon some reflection, those criticisms are ridiculous. What if sometimes we want to follow plots much more dramatic than our own lives? My best friend recently matched with a literal margarita on Tinder (highlights of the conversation include the margarita wanting to get inside her and make her feel like a kid again, as margaritas are wont to do). Maybe chick flicks and romances can help us remember that there’s more to love and life than matching with literal photos of (delicious) alcoholic beverages on dating apps.
1. John Tucker Must Die
Looking for a flashback to the early 2000s with just a hint of smashing the patriarchy? Look no further. When four girls all find out they were dating the same guy, they team up to take him down, as they should.
“He was the original F**kboy.” – Caroline Melvin, Junior, George Mason University
Best line: “Dude, I’m deep. I’m dating the poetry club.”
Cher Horowitz might just be the most complex rom com character of our time. Stick with me here – she’s almost unattractively privilidged because she’s so unapologetic about it, and she definitely comes off as pretty shallow, but ultimately her heart is in the right place. And that sentiment goes beyond the fact that she tries her best to make everyone around her happy. Cher dealt with her mom being dead and learned how to express her femininity without a female influence. And she did it all with a fantastic sense of humor.
“You know I really related to the line where Cher said high school boys were like dogs.” – Hadley Vogel, Sophomore, New York University
Quote you need to know: “As if!”
3. Pretty Woman
I think everyone needed a movie about a sex worker as someone to cheer for in the early 90s. The American feminist movement was just ready enough for a movie like Pretty Woman, which follows the romance between a prostitute and one of her clients. I remember watching it with my mom around age nine, which in hindsight was a bold but progressive move on her part.
“What’s better than the moment where Viv walks into that really upscale store, buys the place out, and then goes back to mock the people in the other store who misjudged her and wouldn’t let her shop there because she wasn’t dressed like them?” – Darrien Spitz, The College of William & Mary, Junior
Line that hit me hard: Edward: “I’ve never treated you like a prostitute.” Vivian: “You just did.”
Heathers, a true cult classic about being an outsider who finds oneself on the inside, feels likethe kind of movie you’ll forget to look at your phone during. I might even go so far as to call it the dark comedic hipster version of Mean Girls.
“It’s a cool indie movie about murder and teen angst. It’s definitely worth watching if you ever identified with Holden Caulfield or Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender.” – Jessi Alperin, University of Pittsburgh, Junior
Line you’ll start accidentally using: “F—k me gently with a chainsaw”
5. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
If you want an interesting spin on journalism, this movie has it. Kate Hudson decides to write an unconventional article on how to lose a guy for once rather than write another one of the millions out there about how to keep him. Insert creative meet cute here.
“What can I say, I’m obsessed with Kate Hudson.” – Rachel Dumene, James Madison University, Junior
Parting words: “Take care of our love fern, honey.”
6. Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging
Ahh yes, a solid movie about British teens learning about sex and love and everything in between. What more could you ask for?
“I loved the part where she decides to start living this super healthy lifestyle and just fails. I can’t tell you how many times a month I debate doing that.” – Hannah Vogel, St. Andrews, Junior
Memorable moment: When Rosie looks at Lindsey’s thong as simply says with wide eyes, “that’s shocking.”
7. The Art of Getting By
One of my personal favorite hidden gems in terms of chick flicks, The Art of Getting By stars a lost artist in high school who is, as the title suggests, perfecting the art of just getting by. It has great city movie cinematography and an even better soundtrack. Getting By contributes nicely to the chill aesthetic of any girls night if you just have it on in the background of your evening, but also has the potential to change the way you think about how people’s life paths are wont to cross over time if you really get into it.
“For a romantic drama, it’s surprisingly complex.” – Katy Pritchard, Virginia Tech, Sophomore
Quote that stuck with me, on thinking that you’ll never see someone again: “It’s a long life.”
8. He’s Just Not That Into You
Based on a book by the writers of Sex and the City, He’s Just Not That Into You has a message even better than something straight out of a Carrie Bradshaw column. As the title suggests, this film asserts you’re probably getting ghosted because simply, he’s just not that into you. Plus, it probably has nothing to do with you personally. Unless something ridiculous happened like you told him you used echolocation to get around like a bat on the first date. Then it probably has something to do with you. (And yes, one of my best friends actually did that. She’s pretty great).
“Every girl needs to watch this movie before college!” – Sophia Dunn, University of Virginia, Senior
Truism: “If a guy doesn’t call you, he doesn’t want to call you.”
9. 500 Days of Summer
I love 500 Days of Summer for so so many reasons. But most of all, although it looks like a classic romantic comedy with a soundtrack that made us all buy the CD when we were in middle school, this film stands out in terms of poignancy that it lacks a more traditional a happy ending.
“The original indie movie, I think” – Francesca Jensen, New York University, Sophomore
Favorite conversation between Tom and Summer: Tom: “I need to know that you’re not going to wake up in the morning and feel differently.” Summer: “I can’t give you that. Nobody can.”
10. About Time
Ever wished you could go back in time and not say that stupid thing you said to that cute guy in your Ancient Chinese History class last week? 1) Same, but 2) this is a movie about a guy who actually can time travel and how he uses it to his advantage in his love life. #agirlcandream
“It has time travel and love, which is all I need in a movie really.” – Dawn Spitzer, Virginia Tech, Sophomore
Reason I currently need time traveling abilities in my life: “Some days you want to relive forever.”
11. The Holiday
In The Holiday, two women (one from LA, the other from the UK) decide to switch houses during the Christmas season. Both of their houses are just ridiculously cute in such different ways, and their love interests look even cuter.
“Worth watching for the scenery alone.” – Ella Chen, University of Maryland College Park, Freshman
Vacation inspiration: “I need some peace and quiet… or whatever it is people go away for.”
12. Legally Blonde
Think you won’t achieve a ridiculous amount of success in literally whatever you decide to do in life? You won’t think that after watching sorority queen Elle Woods get into Harvard Law, where she outranks her privileged ex-boyfriend and becomes friends with the girl she originally competed with after they both realize women supporting women might just be more important than women tearing each other down just like society wants us to.
“Watch it during finals when you need a break but also motivation to study!” Kristina Seek, Christopher Newport University, Junior
New words in your vocabulary after watching this: “Bennnnnnddddd and snap!”
13. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Holly, the anti-hero of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, kind of defined the term hot mess. Holly has a cute cat, a great New York City apartment and a dreamy writer chasing after her free spirit the whole time. It’d take a Supreme Court case to convince me of anything in this world better than a good New York love story.
“Holly is the original manic pixie dream girl, so this movie is really just a film lesson with a great vintage aesthetic.” – Sarah Penn, James Madison University, Freshman
Universal Truth: “The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?”
14. Ask Me Anything
Ask Me Anything stars a manic high school senior who decides to take a gap year before college to work and write a blog about her alleged sex life. Steamy to say the least, you’ll end up totally hooked.
“Although the plot reads like a Lifetime movie, it’s a Lifetime movie you can’t look away from! The end has a great plot twist too.” – Alison Newman, Kenyon College, Senior
Best advice Katie gets in the whole movie: “Every human being is a contradiction. Some hide it better than others.”
15. The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada has a great Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway combination, with both characters complex enough to alternate between hero and villain multiple times in a few short hours. Streep plays the worst but most successful boss ever, and Hathaway plays her naive intern. Come for the actresses, stay for the fashion.
“GENERATION DEFINING.” – Lynn Kingston, St. Andrews, Junior
Favorite Miranda line: *after listing off impossible series of tasks for Hathaway’s character to complete* “That’s all.”
16. Tiny Furniture
If you deeply miss with Girls and loved Jessa, Hannah, and Ray, this is the movie for you. The three of them all start in Lena Dunham’s little known first film about something a lot of people don’t talk about – what happens the moment you move back home after graduating college.
“If you’re mourning the end of HBO’s television series Girls, this is a perfect movie to fill that hole in your media heart.” – Emily Cohen, Brandeis University, Freshman
Relatable quote by Aura: “I hope you don’t judge me too harshly for having f—ked you in a pipe.”
17. Easy A
While reading The Scarlet Letter, Emma Stone’s character takes it upon herself to become the school slut and totally own her new Hester Prynne persona. Plus Dan from Gossip Girl is in it *swoons in a literary manner*
“Easy A is every Emma Stone fan/English major/nasty woman’s dream.” – Charlotte Thames, Boston University, Senior
Line that may or may not have made me pee my pants in eighth grade: “Are you really that repulsed by lady parts? What do you think I have down there? A gnome?”
18. When Harry Met Sally
If you ever crushed on someone you met from your school’s car ride share Facebook page, this movie will be right up your alley. Harry and Sally’s relationship is #socollege in the sense that they meet sharing a ride home from school together, but their friendship develops and grows more complex as they fade in and out of each other’s lives after college ends. Just goes to show that in college, dating might be less about who you are dating at the moment and more about the solid relationships you get with people that might turn into something more later in life.
“It might be your mom’s favorite movie, but after you watch it it’s probably going to be yours too.”– Ally Rankin, Radford University, Junior
Cutest line: “I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
19. 10 Things I Hate About You
10 Things I Hate About You: A classic high school outsider love story with one of those Rory Gilmore type main characters who you will try to become for at least three months after seeing this movie. Proceed with caution.
“Most rom coms are too sappy, but this one is just the right amount.” – Alexis Ryder, Radford University, Junior
Sarcastic thing number two million that Kat says that’ll make you love her: “I guess in this society, being male and an a–hole makes you worthy of our time”
20. Say Anything
John Cusack???? Ione Skye????? The most amazing depiction of a first love that I have ever seen in my life? Sign me up.
“Little known but best 80’s movie ever!” – Sarah Windham, Radford University, Junior
Favorite line: “I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.”
21. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
If you missed watching this one in middle school back when your friends probably tried to have a version of the traveling pants it is not too late! Traveling Pants tells a cute story about one of the most precious things this world has to offer – female friendship. See where Serena VDW from Gossip Girl and Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls got their start. (Also if anyone reading this has the location of my sixth grade friend group’s traveling pants please reach out ASAP).
“It’s a cute story about how people can stay connected from far away from each other, and even though it’s kind of a cheesy concept, it incorporates some pretty serious real life struggles.” – Marissa Kingston, The College of William & Mary, Junior
Line I can’t help but smile at: “I think we may have been very, very wrong about the pants… the one time I wore them I almost drowned.”
*Updated on July 10, 2017 by Phoebe Bain to include 21 chick flicks for a girls’ night in.
**Updated on March 16, 2018 by Phoebe Bain to include chick flicks 11–21 for dudes.