By Suzanne Ferriss

From An Affair to recollect to Legally Blonde, "chick flicks" have lengthy been either championed and vilified via men and women, students and renowned audiences. Like different kinds of "chick culture," which the editors outline as a bunch of in most cases American and British pop culture media kinds centred totally on twenty- to thirtysomething, middle-class—and often college-educated—women, chick flicks were accused of reinscribing conventional attitudes and reactionary roles for ladies. nevertheless, they've been embraced as gratifying and in all probability releasing entertainments, helping girls in negotiating the demanding situations of latest lifestyles. A significant other to the profitable anthology Chick Lit: the hot Woman’s Fiction, this edited quantity involves eleven unique essays, prefaced via an advent situating chick flicks in the better context of chick tradition in addition to women’s cinema. The essays examine chick flicks from a number of angles, relating problems with movie historical past, girl sexuality (heterosexual and homosexual), femininity, girl friendship, age, race, ethnicity, classification, consumerism, spectatorship, excitement and gender definition. An afterword by way of feminist movie theorist Karen Hollinger considers the chick flick’s transformation from the woman’s movies of the ’40s to the friendship movies of the ’80s and people of the "return to the classics" development of the ’90s, whereas highlighting the price of the volume’s contributions to modern debates and sketching percentages for additional research.

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Catching a Wave: Reclaiming Feminism for the 21st Century. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2003. Doane, Mary Ann. The Desire to Desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987. Eckert, Charles. ” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 3 (1978): 1–21. ” The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2, 2006. htm>. Ferriss, Suzanne and Mallory Young. ” Junctures: The Journal for Thematic Dialogue 6 (2006): 87–97. ” In Chick Lit: The New Woman’s Fiction. Ed. Suzanne Ferriss and Mallory Young.

Calling them simply Mrs John Daly and Mrs David Graham throughout (except in Sara Daly’s signing of her rendezvous proposition) becomes one marker of how the roles they play seem overdetermined by the system of matrimony into which they have bought. While the couriers, letters, and telegrams used in this film would today be replaced by cellphones, instant messaging, answering machines, and email, the basic structure of this dramatic comedy could be reset in a contemporary Beverly Hills or Westchester.

If the domestic melodrama as it evolves into the woman’s picture often eschewed comedy in favor of intense emotional identifications and traumatic turns of events, it may be due to its great affinity for the Gothic. Many of the films labeled woman’s pictures were more likely to employ a suspense structure than a comic mode. As Doane, Waldman, and Walsh all point out, this preoccupation with an exclusively dramatic approach to melodrama was conditioned by the external context of the Second World War, and to the sense that these films spoke to deep-seated and displaced anxieties of women on the homefront (though famous exceptions such as Preston Sturges’s The Palm Beach Story, 1942, gave comedian Claudette Colbert a chance to defy such standards).

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