Chic-Flick Trailers

Sunday, April 5, 2009

THE DRAMEDY: A better alternative in contemporary trends

So, while the The Romantic Drama is seen as the best of the best it does have some some chic-flick related problems. So in response, I thought I would give you a taste of what I think is a perfect medium, a better alternative. Of course most of these fall under the comedy genre because, sadly, there are major underachievers in the writing, acting, directing, etc. when it comes to comedy. Strangely enough, when I was making a list of quirky, funny, heartfelt films I realized they all were pretty current in the box office scene and like The Contemporary Romance seem to be a new trend of something a little more substantial in the teen and romantic comedy genres. So for all of those who look back on the good ol' days with heavy hearts and nostalgia, take a look a the age of the aughties for undeniably great chic-flicks.

Also called the comedy-drama or serio-comedy, it comes from the tragicomedy genre in theatre originally created in Shakespeare's time. Maybe you just can't take all the dead lovers and cruel betrayals of The Romantic Dramas but you thrive for the same quality. And wha-la the dramedy appears. It's the perfect balance of depth, sorrow, hope, all wrapped up in a funny romantic package that usually has good writing.

Sub-genre mania: The Dramedy, like drama or comedy, has its own sub-genres that include The Contemporary Romance, The Teen Dramedy while also seemingly popular in independent film and with contemporary writers.

Must-sees: Amelie (2001), Oscar nominated French, independent film, Garden State (2004), directed and written by the multi-talented Zach Braff with an incredible performance by Natalie Portman, Stranger Than Fiction (2006) including the legendary Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) which features a dramedy favourite and new Oscar winner, Kate Winslet.

Comedians realm: One of the best features of this hybrid genre is the dramatic debut of some amazing comedians including Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey, Zach Braff and I might even include Adam Sandler in 50 First Dates who follow other great comedian turned actors like the great Robin Williams.

The Teen Dramedy
For a look back at all the problems read here. But people, I have fabulous news: there is hope and it just keeps on coming. Some of the best teen movies are the most recent including Juno (2007), Superbad (2007), Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist (2008), and Adventureland (2009). Again, I'm all for this new hybrid of comedy and drama with a cast of great actors and writers with guts, honesty and a fresh look at the life of a teen. If you don't believe me, check out reliable Ebert for some great insight.

The best of the best: In other posts I have mentioned Ellen Page (Oscar nominated for Juno) and Michael Cera who I think are the most normal, quirky and interesting young actors out there who also have this amazing talent for comedy and drama. And Jonah Hill is so hysterically funny that I will now see anything with him in it. I think their performances along with the premises of these movies, are the most relatable of any teen films out there and that is why they are better than anything else.

I'm talking REAL teenagers: They actually look like teenagers and you rarely see the jock, cheerleader, science or math geek stereotypes. The girls aren't overly sexualized and the guys aren't always sex-crazed beasts (I mean, Superbad's Evan is the sweetest kid ever). They don't demean or degrade teenagers and thank god for it!

The Bro-mantic Comedy
I mean, in the sense that it is guy-friendly. These are for those of you who actually want to keep their boyfriends around on movie night I'm sure you've turned to some of these: The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), Role Models (2008), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) and I Love You, Man (2009). And just from talking to friends and family about these movies they are popular with many age groups including both genders. And yes, I classify them as chick flicks ( I even dub them, chic-flicks), because they stick to the romantic comedy form in some way, shape or form. I Love You, Man and Superbad literally trade the heterosexual romance plot for a bromance plot while Role Models take bits of both and even crosses generations of male bonding, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall tells a break-up story from the point-of-view of a guy, which I don't think has ever been done before in a romantic comedy.

The root of it all: Turns out the new generation of comedians, featured in April 2009 Vanity Fair, are not only funny performers but pretty substantial writers; Paul Rudd is the co-writer of Role Models, Seth Rogen co-wrote Superbad, and Jason Segel wrote Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Is this whats turning comedy around? I say, keep the comedians doing it all, writing, directing and holding the boom if that's what keeps their creative juices flowing.


  1. I just found your blog and I think it's pretty awesome. And I really like your concept of bringing the "chic-flick" to the forefront. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Garden State are a couple of my favs. Winslet and Portman are top-notch actresses.

  2. Thank you so much, Karen! I was excited to do this genre for those films specifically. Actresses like Portman and Winslet are the exact reason why the "chic-flick" exists.

  3. Is stranger than fiction really that good? The trailer looked a bit boring but I havn't actually watched the movie.
    I don't think Kate Winslet is a typical chick-flick-chick! She has been in a lot of independent films which are very grown up and not really aimed at girls at all (Hideous Kinky, Holy Smoke, Enigma, Iris, Little Children). She has been in a few chick flicks but I really wouldn't describer her as a chick flick actress...

  4. Stranger than Fiction was fabulous. But it's not a typical comedy or drama and is extremely intelligent which I just loved. I'm an English major which might explain why I loved it.
    I never stated that Kate Winslet was a chick flick actress. She has been in a few dramedies that are definite chic-flicks like Eternal Sunshine and The Holiday and maybe even Iris. The movies you stated aren't really aimed at any audience and are independent dramas. I would never label her anything but a great actress who has made some great choices.

  5. I was referring to your comment above "Actresses like Portman and Winslet are the exact reason why the "chic-flick" exists." Eternal Sunshine isn't exactly a chick-flick?! I know a lot of men who really love it!
    I will check out Stranger Than Ficiton...I really love Emma Thompson! I don't like Will Ferrell though...I think this is the reason, why I havn't watched it yet...

  6. Love this post a lot. These movies are all so good on all of them. Haven't seen Stranger Than Fiction yet but I am working on it :)

  7. I would argue, Vanessa, that Eternal Sunshine is a chic flick, which is not a chick flick, but also doesn't classify Winslet or Portman as chick flick actresses. And it would make sense that men love it, because the chic flick genre doesn't exclude men, as I have defined it.
    The romantic story is at the forefront, and my definition of chic flick versus the chick-flick is more general than others see it. I think that's what the difference in our arguements is based on.
    Also, thanks Corey! I would definitely recommend Starnger than Fiction to anyone who liked the other titles I mentioned.

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