A Clarification and Defense of Masculinity

When my wife came home from a recent evening event, she saw that I was watching Alex & Emma on DVD. “You’re watching a chick flick!” she said.

“I am not,” I defended, “It’s an author flick.”

Allow me to justify my behavior.

Although I concede that it has all the earmarks of chick flick feminine wish fulfillment:

  • No-nonsense working woman
  • With a lot of opinions, with which she is forcefully forthcoming
  • And “quirks” identify her as high-maintenance and probably controlling when they exist in a woman in real life
  • Meets a flawed but cute man
  • Whose initial impression and silly bachelor ways she overlooks
  • And they fall in love.

Friends, I agree, those are the earmarks of a chick flick. However, this particular movie plays upon those conventions and, although they sucker women into thinking the movie is directed at them, it’s not. It’s every author’s fantasy fulfilled:

  • An author living in a comfortable loft downtown (Boston, not St. Louis)
  • Tricks an innocent stenographer to his lair
  • Where he dictates a potboiler novel,
  • A follow-up to a wildly successful debut novel,
  • Pausing only to nail a woman who looks like Kate Hudson
  • And when he completes the draft in 30 days
  • The publisher loves it without a single jot of revision required
  • And immediately pays the author a six-figure advance.
  • Meanwhile, the author tells the stenographer he “loves” her
  • And she buys it
  • So he will get to nail her again.

You tell me who gets gratified more from this movie.