The Friday Five: Sweetest Chick Flick Endings

After my previous, less romantic post, I thought it would be nice to give this week a fairy-tale ending. Although I generally like to tear down those romantic comedy films because of the effects they have on (mostly female) audiences, I admit that they have always been a guilty pleasure. Maybe they aren’t realistic, but we are allowed to have hope from time to time, and so this week, I would like to present some of the more aww-worthy romantic comedy endings. (Feel free to call me a sap!)

*

The Friday Five: Sweetest Chick Flick Endings

1. Never Been Kissed (1999)
A copy editor in her mid-twenties, the dorky Josie Geller longs for love, and – as the title of the movie suggests – has never even been kissed. Naturally, she ends up going undercover as a high school student in order to write an expose on the popular students’ lives, and falls in love with her English teacher. A little crazy and unethical, yes, but it takes place in the 90’s — a decade of really bad but still insanely adorable teen movies — so it’s all sort of forgivable. When she is revealed as an undercover reporter and declares her love for her teacher at a big baseball game, the following ensues. Even if you aren’t particularly moved by the illegalities of it all, you have to love the Beach Boys music playing in the background. “Don’t worry, baby…” 🙂

*

2. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
In this remake of The Shop Around The Corner, Meg Ryan plays the owner of a small bookshop, who falls for a man with whom she has only corresponded by email. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks plans to build a huge chain bookstore across the street, which will be sure to put Ryan’s shop out of business, and so they develop an adversarial relationship. As fate would have it (of course!), Tom Hanks happens to be the mystery man she has been emailing. In the end, they manage to put their differences aside and admit their feelings for each other in real life.

*

3. He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)
This is one of those ensemble cast movies that features several love stories, but smack dab in the middle of all of them is the story of Gigi, a sweet girl who overanalyzes potential relationships too often, and Alex, the uncommitted but friendly guy who helps her recognize all the lies she’s been telling herself about the world of dating. Although I don’t totally buy Alex’s profound realization in this end scene, I am a sucker for this ending. Maybe again this has something to do with the music in the background (Somewhere Only We Know happens to be one of my favorite songs) but I do think it was a clever — and sweet! — way to wrap up the characters’ story.

*

4. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
What kind of list would this be if it didn’t feature multiple Meg Ryan films? (Trust me, there are plenty of other good ones that didn’t make the list but still deserve to be there.) Disregarding the big hair, it is one of my favorite movies of all time. It begs the question “Can a man and a woman be friends without sex getting in the way?” Harry and Sally grow close over a period of 11 years, but eventually their feelings do get in the way and we end the movie with this gem. Possibly the sweetest “grand gesture speech” I have ever heard in a movie. Although it may not be the most realistic at times, I think When Harry Met Sally is the kind of love story most people want to find in their own lives. Wouldn’t it be great if the perfect person for us was right under our nose all along?

*

5. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly a “romantic comedy” or “chick flick,” but it does have those romantic elements and definitely the perfect ending, in spite of the fact that it differs from the novel. All iconic aspects of the movie aside, it has such a lovely Old Hollywood ending that current films just can’t duplicate, with great speeches from the characters and gorgeous visuals.

*

What are your favorite movie endings?

The Friday Five: High School Experiences I Wish I Had

Every week, as I turn on the latest episode of The Hard Times of RJ Berger, I am reminded of how formulaic and unrealistic society’s portrayal of high school life really is. My school never had quite the same divisions when it came to cliques (they did exist, but there were a lot of gray areas and it was possible to be a part of more than one), and I can’t think of a particular It Girl who “ruled the school” a la Regina George of Mean Girls. In other words, while many of pop culture’s portrayals of high school have some grain of truth, few really capture the essence of my high school experience (or that of anyone else I know).

Having said that, although I enjoyed high school to an extent, I wouldn’t mind borrowing some elements from the movies and television shows that seem to capture it all. And so this Friday, I bring you five fictional high school events I wish I could relive, had my life been a movie, TV show, or book.

The Friday Five: High School Experiences I Wish I Had

1. Attending a school where it’s okay to break into song no matter what.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a jock or a nerd, because on Glee, everyone gets their chance to shine. In a school with boundless musical talent, you can sing about anything (really!) — whether it’s the student who has a crush on her teacher, the baby you’re giving up for adoption, or the boy you liked that you thought had feelings for your friend but was actually gay. While my abilities in song and dance are extremely limited, I would have loved being a part of the Cheerios cheerleading squad with Sue Sylvester as my coach. Yes, she can be sadistic, but as a former cheerleader myself, I know it would have been amazing to perform with a team of such talent (and with pyrotechnics included… gasp!). I could do without the whole “slushie in the face” routine though. : )

*

2. An 80’s/90’s movie prom night.

Much to my friends’ dismay, I hate to dance. For all of my high school dances, I always felt like I wasted a perfectly good dress on a night of watching sweaty people practically have sex on the dance floor — for me, the night might as well have taken a break after my pictures were taken and then continued a few hours later at the after party. However, had my homecomings and prom resembled more of an 80’s or 90’s event (such as Pretty in Pink or She’s All That), I probably would have enjoyed them a lot more. A fun, choreographed dance to Fatboy Slim’s The Rockafeller Skank or a slow dance to The Spandau Ballet’s song True would have made the night that much better… instead of listening some hip-hop artist I couldn’t even understand.

*

3. Having full access to my friend’s basement hangout.

Let me just preface this by saying that basements are a rare commodity in Florida… and basically impossible to have if you live as far south as I did. Therefore, finding yourself in a basement is a very cool thing. Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t be doing quite the same things that the characters from That 70’s Show did, but if I had an Eric Forman in my life whose basement was always up for grabs, there’s no telling what I would do. It doesn’t matter if Eric is out of the house or even on the same continent; his friends still have a place to call home — no knocking or calling ahead of time required! The basement is their safe haven for dealing with the pressures of life and growing up. While my friends and I did have a few places we frequented, there was never one that meant all that much to me. Many of the locations we went to were easily replaceable, and none of them ever felt to me like a home away from home.

*

4. Taking bets and then falling in love because of them.

Growing up in the 90’s, I was surrounded by images of boys who accepted money to date dorky and socially awkward but still obviously pretty girls, but ultimately ended up dropping the bet/deal and falling in love with them. Take 10 Things I Hate About You as a prime example. Patrick Verona (played by a young Heath Ledger, who really stole the show – rest in peace) is paid by Joey Donner (the narcissistic popular guy… yay stereotypes!) to date Kat Stratford so that Joey can have a chance with Kat’s sister and eventually sleep with her. Patrick gets Kat all the way to the prom but falls in love with her along the way, to the point where he even serenades her with Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You and pays the band to perform at her soccer practice. Of course these things never happen in real life, but 90’s movies make the argument that if you start to date someone for the wrong reasons (such as a bet or the fact that you’re being paid) then you’re destined to fall for them. Case closed.

*

5. Learning magic and defeating the most evil wizard of all time.

I still maintain that my Hogwarts letter got lost in the mail almost nine years ago… and while the seven years spent in wizarding school overlap middle and high school, I would be willing to erase my middle school years in favor of becoming the next Hermione Granger, minus all the hormones (besides, middle school really sucked). Although I doubt I’m brave enough for Gryffindor, I think I’d find a happy place for myself in Ravenclaw, hopefully not among know-it-alls but just among people who like to question and learn new things. I’m convinced that I would love my Charms and Transfiguration classes, hate Potions due to my aversion to chemistry, and struggle a little with Defense Against the Dark Arts because I’m a bit of a passive person but nevertheless would learn a lot from the class and love being there. I might not have been on the frontlines fighting against Voldemort, but I would still find my place in the cause and work toward the equality of all magical creatures!

*

So, what high school experiences do you wish you had?!