There is a perception in certain feminist corners of the world that calling a film a “chick flick” is sexist. Well, that is arguable, but I have a solution where we can call a film chick flick and yet not deem it to be sexist. Why not change the definition of a chick flick? My definition of a chick flick is a film with central women characters dealing with female issues. That basically will also allow many men, including myself, unabashedly confess their love for chick flicks.
With that in mind, I set out to find the best chick flick movies that are available on Amazon Prime. With the emergence of online streaming services, nowadays, people prefer watching movies sitting in the comforts of their home. Netflix, of course, has the lion share of eyeballs, but Amazon Prime is not far behind. So, if you are planning to watch a chick flick with a bunch of your female friends (or male friends), you don’t need to go to a theater. You can just invite them to your house. Here’s the list of some really good chick flicks on Amazon Prime. This list consists of all kinds of chick flicks: from love stories to coming-of-age stories.
12. Sherrybaby (2006)
Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, ‘Sherrybaby’ is a film written and directed by Laurie Collyer. Gyllenhaal’s character Sherry Swanson is a former convict and is presently trying to return her life back to normalcy by kicking her heroin addiction. Naturally, such a lifestyle has driven her away from her family and even her young daughter hardly recognizes her anymore. We see Sherry trying to better her life by regularly attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and trying to maintain a steady job. However, the immense pressure of having to do everything alone starts taking a toll on her and we see Sherry slipping back to her older ways of life once again. Will she be able to turn it around for the better? Or will the addictions take her away from everything she cares for? The film vividly depicts how difficult it is to stay away from addiction no matter how hard you try. Gyllenhaal’s solid performance in the leading character proves once again why she is regarded as one of the best actresses of her generation.
11. The Unloved (2009)
People who grow up in the comfort of their parents’ care can’t even fathom what it might be to live a life without having their fathers and mothers to look after them. In this brilliant 2009 Channel 4 TV movie, we get to witness the story of a little girl called Lucy. Her father beats her regularly, and this forces Lucy to go to her social worker Jackie and ask for help. Lucy is taken to a foster home where she has to live amid pretty harsh conditions. Her only respite from everything is the friendship she has developed with her roommate Lauren. We witness these two girls coming together to deal with the various problems of life and trying to survive in a world that is pretty uncaring and brutal. Their melancholic existence amidst all this paints a bleak picture of a childhood trapped between a social system that cannot give you the help required and a family that does not care. Written by Tony Grisoni, ‘The Unloved’ is the directorial debut of Samantha Morton. She has managed to tell a tale of great depth and has been ably helped by the strong performance put in by Molly Windsor in the leading role.
10. Miele (2013)
‘Miele’ or ‘Honey’ is the story of a girl called Irene who is determined to help terminally ill patients end their lives without much suffering. To do so, she regularly visits Mexico where one can legally buy a barbiturate drug that can help people die comfortably. Irene keeps this side of her life a complete secret from her father and her boyfriend. One day, Irene ends up handing over a large dosage of the drug to a person who is not sick but is just tired of his life. This has a devastating effect on Irene as she does not want to help someone without any disease commit suicide. We see Irene trying really hard to get her hands on the drug and a battle of wits ensuing between her and Grimaldi (her client) for the same. This is a moving tale about the courage of a woman who is willing to risk everything in order to help a person in need. She does not care for her own well-being and is not even worried about the legal troubles she might have to face if her vocation is discovered.
9. Adore (2013)
Roz (Robin Wright) and Lil (Naomi Watts) are two best friends who even live in adjacent houses along with their families. Each of these women has a son, and these two boys have also grown up to be quite close. The lives of these four characters go through a tumultuous change when Lil’s son Ian falls for Roz and Roz’s son Tom falls for Lil. Both these two women end up engaging in passionate sexual encounters with the other one’s son until a day comes when Tom moves away to live with his father in Australia and starts a relationship with a girl his age. Yes, it goes without saying that the plot of this film might be a bit far-fetched. But that does not mean you can ignore the powerful performances put in by Watts and Wright, who look very authentic in their respective roles.
8. Girl Asleep (2015)
While it is good to remain a child at heart, it is important for us to learn about our responsibilities as we grow up. However, in Greta Driscoll, the leading character of ‘Girl Asleep’, we have a teenager who dearly wants to hold on to her childhood and is quite sad to see her fifteenth birthday approach. The film uses elements of surrealism brilliantly to show us how Greta manages to finally grow up. During her 15th birthday party, she is suddenly transported to a parallel universe where everything is a little more erotic and dangerous than the normal world. In this place where Greta has to tread rather carefully, she gets a chance to discover her own self and come to terms with the fact that growing up is a truth which she needs to accept. The film is beautifully shot and approaches the problems of a teenager from a rather fresh point of view.
7. Lovesong (2017)
Directed by So Yong Kim, ‘Lovesong’ is the story of Sarah, a woman who has to spend her life mostly alone because her husband’s work keeps him away most of the time. The only companion she has in her home is her little daughter. To do away with the boredom that has set in, Sarah calls her best friend Mindy, and the two of them decide to go on a road trip together. While they are enjoying each other’s company, Sarah gets the feeling that Mindy is someone who does not mind indulging in casual sex. The two women then start off a steamy encounter, but Mindy is devastated to find out Sarah is not serious about pursuing a relationship. She decides to immediately return home and meets Sarah again only after three years. Will the two women be able to keep themselves away from each other this time? The director beautifully captures some intimate moments in the film without using much dialog. The characters are well-written, and the film has a dreamy quality with which you are bound to fall in love in no time.
6. The Watermelon Woman (1996)
If you are aware of the fact that Quentin Tarantino used to work at a video renting store before becoming the sensation that he is today, you will find an affinity between him and Cheryl, the leading character of the film ‘The Watermelon Woman’. Cheryl also works at a video store and wants to make a documentary about an obscure 1930s’ black actress. While researching on the same, Cheryl is surprised to find out the actress on whom she has based her research had a white woman as her romantic partner. Cheryl too falls in love with a woman who comes to the store and draws a parallel between her life and the life of the actress she has been researching on. Themes of race and sexuality are intricately explored in the film by writer-director Cheryl Dunye. Moreover, how Hollywood always used to stereotype black characters for the greater part of the twentieth century is also vividly portrayed in the film.
5. The Second Mother (2015)
The story of this film revolves around a woman called Val who works as a nanny for a family living in Brazil’s Sao Paolo. Val is regularly tormented by the fact that she is living in such a major city while her daughter Jessica stays in a small village in northern Brazil. However, the time soon comes when Jessica has to take her college entrance examinations. She decides to move in with her mother at the house where she works. But the problem is, while Val is very aware of her social position and maintains the same while working, Jessica has no qualms about asking for all the comforts required. This naturally puts Val in an uncomfortable position in front of her employers. Besides being a sweet and funny story, ‘The Second Mother’ shows us the complexities of social class boundaries that exist in society. Nuanced performances and solid writing make this one of the best chick-flicks on Amazon Prime.
4. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
One of the most popular romantic comedies of all time, ‘You’ve Got Mail‘ is a film by Nora Ephron starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in the leading roles. Ryan’s character Kathleen Kelly is the owner of a bookstore who chants online with a mysterious person who simply goes by “NY152”. Hardly does she realize that the person at the other end is Joe Fox, whose family runs the bookstore chain known as Fox Books. Kathleen is quite angry with Fox Books because their popularity is making business quite difficult for her. However, Kathleen does carry on her conversations with NY152 and eventually falls in love with him. One day, Joe comes into Kathleen’s bookstore not knowing who she actually is. However, when she speaks of her hatred of Fox Books, he decides not to reveal his identity to her. At one of the parties thrown for New York publishers, chances are that Kathleen and Joe will get to meet again. Now the question is, will his lie make it impossible for them to reconcile? The two main characters are extremely lovable, and this is what makes us go back to this film again and again.
3. Lady Bird (2017)
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut happened with this 2017 film starring Saoirse Ronan in the leading role as a fiercely independent teenage girl called Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson. Christine is in her senior year at high school and we see her getting frustrated with her small-town existence where she does not get the opportunity to travel or participate in any sort of adventure. We also see her going through heartbreak when she and her best friend Julie come to realize that their boyfriends are gay and are having a secret relationship going on between themselves. The most problems in her life are brought in by her mother Marion who wants her daughter to forget her plans about going to college in a city because this is something the family will not be able to afford. The film immediately received a lot of love after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, and since then, hardly anyone has written a negative review of the film. Ronan’s brilliant performance along with Gerwig’s impeccable vision of a girl trying to escape the confinement she has grown up in has together delivered a coming-of-age film for the ages.
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2. Caramel (2007)
Whenever we think of Lebanon, we tend to concentrate on the political problems that have been ravaging the country. However, war is never a thing which can tell you about a country. The only thing which can help us learn about a country is its regular people, who work, laugh, watch movies, sing songs, and love their friends just like us. This beautiful film by Lebanese director-actress Nadine Labaki tells the story of five different women and their struggles in love. While someone is stuck in an unhealthy affair, another one is worried about her in-laws discovering the fact that she is not a virgin. We get to meet an actress who is worried about getting old and an old woman who has found a lover for the first time. There is a sweetness about these characters, and the way Labaki has written them with dashes of humor will make you want to know more about them. We also get to see here a unique side of Lebanon that we could not have otherwise.
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1. Winter’s Bone (2010)
The winner of the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Film at the Sundance Film Festival, ‘Winter’s Bone’ is a drama/thriller directed by Debra Granik. The central character of the film is a teenager called Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) who lives in a family where the parents do nothing to help their children. Ree is the only one who takes care of her younger siblings. When Ree comes to know that her father has put up the house for a bond, she is scared to think of what would happen to her siblings if they do not have a roof over their heads. This makes her go out in search of her criminal father. Along the way, she comes across various dangerous situations. A brilliant performance by Lawrence at such a young age goes on to justify why she is one of the biggest stars of Hollywood at the moment. The story has a nice pace to it, and there are enough captivating scenes to keep you glued to the screen for the entire running time of the film.
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