May 3, 2013 by Vicki
Hollywood creates movies to attract a certain gender. Different movies focus on different genders with some attempting to please both male and female viewers, and others focusing on either the female or male audience. Movies intended for female audiences tend to be labelled as “Chick Flicks” by male viewers who avoid them as much as they can. In response to this derogatory term, I created a term “Dog Dish Movies” for male-oriented films. Personally, I do not have a problem with either term. I find it is as informative as any genre label.
What do I mean by “Dog Dish Movies?” A true dog dish movie central focus is the good guy winning via the use of copious amounts of violence. My stereotypical example of a dog dish movie is Speed. In it, the main male protagonist proves that you can win by using brawn over brains. We start the movie with an explosion and a man getting his leg shot off. We have a high speed chase in which they literally cannot slow down. Finally, at the end of the film, the sexy female protagonist informs the male protagonist that, although they could not possibly have a meaningful relationship; they will always have sex. Basically, the male viewer, through the male protagonist, experiences all the thrills that he wishes he could have.
I, however, love dog dish movies. Speed is one of my all time favourite movies. Why do I love dog dish movies if they are geared toward men? Well, first of all, there’s the eye candy. In order for it to be believable that these men can accomplish great deeds, they have to be gorgeous. I have no complaints about spending two hours watching a gorgeous body. Secondly, sometimes I want to be able to shut off my brain and watch things blow up without any repercussions in the real world. When watching a dog dish movie, you know the good guy is going to win. Your pulse races and you become excited with the movie but, in the back of
your head, you know you’ve got a happy ending. It’s therapeutic to be able to watch bad guys come to violent ends. We can substitute the villains in our own lives for just that small second, for the villain in the film. Thirdly, dog dish movies tend to be hilarious. Boon Dock Saints is the perfect example of this. Some of the lines in that movie had me rolling on the floor laughing. Other dog dish classics include the Lethal Weapon series, the Die Hard series, the Terminator series, the James Bond series and any movie with Steven Segal or Vin Diesel in it. Dog dish movies have their place in entertainment for men and women.
Chick flicks also have their place in entertainment. I love to watch movies I know are going to make me feel better. My personal favourite chick flick is Must Love Dogs with John Cusack and Diane Lane. It never fails to cheer me up when I am feeling sorry for myself. It refreshes my belief in the world. I, personally, don’t understand the desire to watch movies that make you cry. I hate crying for any reason. I did, however, love the movie The Notebook despite the fact that it made me cry. Chick flicks teach us about real life and the struggles that human beings suffer through. Alzheimer’s is a disease that many people and their loved have to struggle with. Chick flicks also deal with spiritual issues such as Eat, Pray, Love where the main protagonist had to find her place in the world. Even Momma Mia, which to all appearances is just a silly movie, also deals with the difficulty of letting your child go when she finally grows up. When I saw it in the theatre, I was with two mothers who simply could not stop crying because they identified so much with the mother. Chick flicks tend to discuss real problems experienced by human beings , not supermen. Yes, those human beings tend to be ridiculously wealthy but that’s a rant for a different day.