We See Chick Flicks: Juno, Atonement, and P.S. I Love You

Every week it seems a new movie comes out targeted at women — we’ve seen many of them, some of which we’ve gotten a guilty pleasure out of (Someone Like You starring Ashley Judd), some we’ve genuinely adored (Stealing Beauty by Bernardo Bertolucci), and many, many, many more which we’ve absolutely loathed (usually if Jennifer Lopez is the star, that’s a bad sign). So every month or so we’re going to do quickie reviews of the films made for women, letting you know what we really think, as well as tipping you off as to whether it’s a film to see with friends or one you could actually convince a dude to see. First up, Juno, Atonement, and P.S. I Love You
Starring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman
Written by Diablo Cody

The Lowdown: Juno is the story of a precocious high school student, Juno (Ellen Page) who happens to get pregnant with her misfit boyfriend, Pauley Bleeker (Michael Cera) – on their first try, nonetheless. Her initial answer is abortion, but upon hearing that the baby has fingernails, opts for adoption instead. Enter the excellently played Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. This movie was buzzed about even before it hit theaters thanks to its feisty screenwriter, Diablo Cody—Hollywood’s new “it” girl—who just happens to be an ex-stripper and phone-sex operator. Bravo Diablo! Her unique and quick-witted dialogue is what differentiates Juno from other teen-flicks. The Gilmore Girls meets My So-Called Life verbiage that spills from Page’s perfect pout is jarring at first, but eventually grows on you. And Page is adorable speaking it, even when saying things like, “I’m just calling to procure a hasty abortion.” I loved this movie, but was acutely aware that I was watching a teenage love story, and even felt myself longing for more Bateman and Garner “adult time.” The movie has heart, it has laughs and it definitely has edge, but in the end it’s a high school romance flick. But that’s still not stopping me from buying the DVD.
The Verdict: While the draw of Superbad’s Cera might be enough to get a man in the seat, you might have more fun making a chick date out of it.

Starring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy
Based on the novel by Ian McEwan

The Lowdown: Based on Ian McEwan’s award-winning novel about love, loss, and war, and directed by Pride and Prejudice director Joe Wright, this film is a must see. It goes way beyond the depths of a chick-flick. It’s beautiful, it’s romantic and it’s intriguing. At times, the pace is a bit slow, but you are always eager to see what happens next. Keira Knightly is less annoying in this film than usual, probably due to the fact that she was forced to pack on a few pounds for the role, hiding some of her protruding back bones and giving her a somewhat impressive ass. And of course that hot piece of ass, James McAvoy (Last King of Scotland), is spectacular—he can really do no wrong.
The Verdict: Make it a date night. There’s something for everyone: one steamy sex scene, one Knightley beave shot, and guts galore to counteract the mushy love stuff. But look out, you might just end up with a pretty severe crush on McAvoy, I certainly did.

Starring Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Harry Connick Jr., Jeffrey Dean Morgan
The Lowdown: You know the drill: Man (Butler) and woman (Swank) are desperately in love. Man promises to never, ever leave woman, then promptly dies of a brain tumor. Shocking, I know. Though this time there’s a tiny twist, he leaves a scavenger hunt of messages to help his grieving widow get through his death and find herself. Other than that, it’s pretty unoriginal and sappy. However, there are a few redeeming qualities: 1) Lisa Kudrow, but she only shows up briefly. 2) The beautiful Irish scenery. 3) The hot men, including Butler, Harry Connick Jr. and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Izzie’s dead fiancé from Grey’s Anatomy). But let’s get real, Swank is just not cut out for romantic comedies. Unless she’s winning an Academy Award playing a man or being punched in the face, she’s pretty annoying.
The Verdict: Wait for the DVD, and even then don’t make your man suffer through it. It’s too long, it will be chick-flick overkill, and it will leave him praying for a brain tumor of his own. Wait until a rainy day when you can’t bear to watch another Sex and the City rerun.
P.S.: Swank’s character is supposed to be struggling to make ends meet in NYC, but she rocks a new designer coat and bag in every scene. WTF?