The Monsters and Martians Science Fiction Film Festival recently showcased the festival sensation “Dimensions,” a film which has been wracking up Best Film and Best Director Awards from science fiction film aficionados the world over (Best Film at 2012 London Independent Film Festival, Boston International Science Fiction Film Festival, and Long Island Science Fiction Film Festival)
However, despite this pedigree my male blogging colleagues showed no interest in attending the screening or reviewing the film – even though most of these same gents were at Fan Expo this weekend, a convention that science fiction built. So science fiction was clearly not the issue at hand.
What was it then, that kept these self-confessed film nerds from embracing this festival darling? Was it the marketing emphasis on steampunk or was it the period costumes? It couldn’t have been the time travel plot, because I know these guys speak glowingly of films like Back to the Future, The Terminator and even Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. (Watch the trailer and decide for yourself.)
As I mulled things over I kept coming back to the period costumes and the British accents. I thought back to the screening I attended for Hysteria, which in retrospect was mostly female even though the film was an honest to goodness sex comedy. That film too featured British accents and period costumes. Then there was that whole The Social Network vs. The King’s Speech divide. Curiouser and curiouser.
Simplistic as this may sound then, British accents and period costumes are integral to the definition of a chick flick. Armed with this evidence it has become clear to me that what we have here is a clear case of a Science Fiction Chick Flick that will require special handling for its inevitable release.
So while this summer we’ve been getting our feet wet, feeling our way around the boundaries of the chick flick before we plunge into more complex academic dissections, at this early stage it seems safe to categorize films that are largely the provenance of chicks thusly:
- A plot concerned primarily with romance/romantic relationships
- A comedic plot concerned primarily with romance/romantic relationships
- A plot revolving around family dynamics
- A plot revolving around a female protagonist
- An adaptation of classic literature or chick lit
- A period piece (British accents optional)
These are the films we take/drag our significant others to.