June 28, 2005

A Flip of The Coin

It's Tuesday, so of course it's time for the Demystifying Divas and the Marvy Men's Club to step up on their soapboxes and start pontificating.

This week's topic on which I am about to start pontificating: The guy flick/chick flick thing.

Now, I will admit, I have been somewhat lax in following along on the message boards we have set up for the private hashing out of future topics. Hence, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be shooting for with this subject, or if I'm supposed to be shooting for anything at all. Fortunately, I have plenty of ideas for this subject without prompting from my cohorts in any particular direction. I'm all about the diversity, no?

When one thinks of the typical "guy flick" a beefy, greased up, camo-wearing, M-16 holding Sylvester Stallone comes to mind. You automatically think of Rambo, in other words. This, my devoted Cake Eater Readers, is the penultimate guy flick. Or at least that's what my brothers would have told you way back in the day. (I fully realize I'm dating myself with this one, believe you me. My only defense is that, at the time, I was twelve.)

I've never seen any of the THREE Rambo movies, nor will I ever want to. Why? Because a. Sly looks just freakin' greasy in these movies and it's revolting and b. I am not interested in some dude running around the jungles of Southeast Asia (read Vietnam) fighting off whatever the hell he's supposed to be fighting off. (At least that's what I think the plot line is about. Who knows? I could be wrong. Pffft. It's not like I'm interested enough in the subject to look it up.) It just doesn't interest me. Neither am I interested in any John Wayne movie. Neither am I a big fan of Clint Eastwood (And, no, I've never seen Unforgiven. Yes, I fully realize most people think it's one of the best movies ever made. Pfft. Just not interested in it.) or his Spaghetti Westerns.


There are plenty of movies that most would consider to be "guy flicks" that I do like. I am a James Bond nut, and have been ever since my brother Dave introduced me to the joy and wonder that is Dr. No and From Russia With Love. I'm a Sean Connery girl, just in case you were wondering, but Pierce Brosnan is a very close second. My favorite Bond movie? Thunderball. It's got it all: Sean Connery in those tight little swim trunks; a good Bond girl and a bad Bond Girl (and, man, was she ever bad...and that was cool); supersonic jets landing on water; Largo and SPECTRE; and a massive underwater fight scene with those super-duper cool motorized thingymabobs. I, mean, honestly...what more could you ask for? Dave also introduced me to another guy flick that has since become one of my absolute favorites: Die Hard. When I was younger, I was a big Bruce Willis fan because of Moonlighting, hence he was the main reason I liked this flick. As I've gotten older, however, I've realized that Alan Rickman, truly, is the reason to watch this movie: it would be half of the movie it is without him. He's the man with the plan, and that's ever so much fun to watch.

And that, I believe, is what it comes down to. Guy flicks, provided they're not overloaded with testosterone, are fun to watch. Chick flicks, or what some people would describe as Chick flicks, like Beaches or Waiting To Exhale, aren't. They're loaded with estrogen. They're all about jerking tears, and if they can't get them honestly, well, they'll do it dishonestly and make everything sad, so that if you happen to be in a bad mood, well, pull out a box of kleenex and settle in for a long night of feeling sorry for yourself. As someone who personally despises crying, well, they're just not my cup of tea. There's something contrived about them. I can't quite put my finger on it, but that's the feeling I get. Yet, lest you think me a cold-hearted chick who's all about the espionage flick, all is not lost in the weeping department. I will fully admit to thinking Steel Magnolias is a brilliant movie, even if---those rat bastards!---it makes me cry every single fargin' time. As is Terms of Endearment, which also turns me into a blubbering fool every time I watch it. You could also throw Love Story into this category, because it will really turn on the faucets.

I have to wonder what it's like for women who don't have older brothers. I have four of them and each of them, in their own distinct way, transplanted a bit of their own likes and dislikes to me, and this includes their choices in movies, reading material and other things as well, too. Besides hooking me on James Bond, Dave also hooked me on a Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum (I'm referring to the Ludlum novels that were written before he died, of course). I have a fine appreciation of Steve McQueen and war movies (particularly Where Eagles Dare. I can't tell you how many times we watched that one together.) because of my brother Mike, even if I did reject his attempts to indoctrinate me into the Tolkein Fan Club. Steve helped to develop my love of fast cars. And Tim, well, let's just say that Timmy helped to put all of this into perspective for me. They led me down the path that gave me a fine appreciation for the middle-of-the-road guy flick. I have plenty of sisters, too, but they weren't as influential as the brothers. Interesting, no? Well, not really, I know, but still, it's a wee bit curious. What's it like for women who don't have brothers? It's an interesting question. If you, as a female, are influenced by the men in your life and you only have a dad, are you more into chick flicks?


Anyway, as far as this goes toward interpersonal relationships, well, the husband has also influenced me in the guy flick department as well. Star Wars was just another movie I was fond of before I met him. I didn't know what Anime was until I met him. And I most certainly did not know anything about the wonderful world of gaming until I met him. But, if you flip the coin, he wasn't familiar with the works of Jane Austen until he met me. He didn't have the patience to sit down and watch a historical drama until he met me. And he most certainly was not fond of the romantic comedy until he met me, either. I've gained an appreciation for new things because of him, and vice versa.

While our tastes have converged over the years, we sometimes still have to flip a coin to determine whose movie we're going to go and see. Because we rarely agree on which movies we want to see. This, we've learned, is the only fair to do it. We'll pull a quarter out and we'll flip while one of us calls it in midair. Whoever loses the flip is the automatic winner the next time around. If, by chance, there are two movies we both want to see, like the conundrum we had this past weekend, where we both wanted to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Batman Begins, we assign heads to one movie, tails to the other and flip the coin for that, too. It's simple and it works to keep the marital strife to a minimum.

Now, that I've rambled on long enough to have bored a horse to death, it's time for you to go and see what the other fabulous demystifying divas have to say on the subject. Make sure you go and give a wonderfully warm welcome to one of our new Divaesque Ladies, the magnificent Margi Lowry, who's also got something to say.

I, unfortunately, have some sad news to pass along this week. The Wizard, the famous instigator of The Men's Club, had decided he has too much to do and too little time to do it in, so he is bidding us a fond farewell. We will miss his contributions, but he should still be stopping by on a regular basis. Hopefully. Fortunately, however, Stiggy, Phin and the Minister of Propaganda have decided to keep the side going, so go over and read what they have to say.

In other Diva related news, well, we have something rather large and exciting to announce. We're going to be moving our regularly scheduled Tuesday postings to THURSDAY. This will start next week, July 7, 2005, so adjust whatever you might need to adjust accordingly.

UPDATE: Since it's his perogative, The Wiz has changed his mind about leaving us to our own devices. Hence, he kicked in an essay. Go read.


Posted by Kathy at June 28, 2005 12:34 PM

Message board?

Posted by: Margi at June 28, 2005 01:19 PM

Now that's what I call pontificating. Excellent, dahling.

Posted by: sadie at June 28, 2005 03:07 PM

I do believe Sadie is working on making it available to everyone...but is having some issues. Or something like that ;) Like I said, I'm not good at keeping up with them.

Posted by: Kathy at June 28, 2005 03:43 PM

Ohhh, YES!

Sean Connery {{swoon}}}!!

He is definitely the one against whom I guage all others.

I'm a huge bond fan. I was so hoping that Highlander dude, Adrian Paul, would be the next Bond.

; )

Posted by: Chrissy at June 28, 2005 04:07 PM

Ahh hes. Adrian Paul. Slurp!

Yes, I am a slacker. I will make it my mission to get those invites out via email in the next two days.

Posted by: sadie at June 28, 2005 04:44 PM

Which movie among the "guy flick" genre comes the closest to being a "chick flick"? I always considered "Desperado" to be one for the ladies, despite the death & destruction. Maybe it's Antonio's constant preening for the camera, but several women I've known have professed their love for that movie, despite their aversion to violence in the rest of their lives.

Oh, and Kathy - the Ultimate Guy Movie of All Time is Sergio Leone's "Once Upon A Time In the West". No Clint Eastwood, but Charles Bronson, Jason Robards and Henry Fonda ably take his place. The key to a great "guy flick" is having a deep bench, and the presence of Woody Strode & Jack Elam make this the movie the cinematic version of the Jordan/Pippen Bulls teams. You NEED to see this movie.

Posted by: Russ from Winterset at June 28, 2005 08:46 PM

The one Clint movie every "person who likes guy movies but doesn't like Clint all that much" has to see is For a Few Dollars More. He's doing his usual Man With No Name schtick, but the cool/grotesque Older Anti-Hero with Bond-like Gadgets and Dapperness (Lee van Cleef, much more sympathetic than in Good, the Bad and the Ugly, unless you have some strenuous objection to the shooting of horses) totally upstages and outwits him at almost every turn.

Posted by: derringdo at June 29, 2005 03:12 PM
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