Queue: The Best Chick Flicks of Summer 2018

Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Photo courtesy of imdb.com

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Chick flicks can be a tough genre to master. Rom-coms have been historically complex, funny and just downright enjoyable, but these releases from this past summer have far exceeded expectations with their gratifying stories.

“Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again”

Knowing Me Knowing You, we both sang that title in our heads. Ring Ring! “Mamma Mia” is back, and better than ever. The original writers of the classic feel-good movie musical decided to hit us with a “The Godfather: Part II” style prequel-sequel. The movie tells the story of young Donna Sheridan, a feminist icon, fresh out of college and ready to explore the eccentricities of the world. She’s quirky, fun, kind and altogether just a really inspiring character. S.O.S.! It’s hard to resist falling in love with Donna and it’s not hard to relate to the young men in the film who did. It’s also hard to watch her living her best life throughout Europe and not long to be in her shoes, both figuratively and literally (her boots throughout the movie were incredibly cute and practical). When All Is Said and Done, the theme of spontaneity, true love and of course, an incredible ABBA soundtrack can resonate with any self-respecting movie-goer, regardless of age, gender, occupation or anything else. The Name of the Game is: watch this movie, because it’s just a super fun time.

Thank You for the Music, Mamma Mia 2.

“Crazy Rich Asians”

I saw so many of my favorite celebrities post rave reviews of this movie from the private screenings they attended, and I literally could not wait for it to come out in theaters so I’d finally be able to see it. And when I did, I was over the moon. The story follows a young, accomplished NYU professor named Rachel, who ends up discovering that her long-term boyfriend, Nick, is, well, crazy rich. It has a lot of the classic romantic tropes, like the juxtaposition of Rachel’s more modest upbringing against Nick’s upper-class one, but it goes somewhere different than “classic” rom-coms have gone before. It was intriguing to see how the common audience would receive the film because there was a lot riding on its success. It’s common knowledge that Hollywood has a major diversity problem, both behind and in front of the camera. “Crazy Rich Asians” is an all-Asian cast — and it isn’t about martial arts. The last time this happened in Hollywood was in 1993’s “Joy Luck Club.” The acting is great, the story is fun and satisfying, and the movie is really well done in general.

“Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”

Lily James makes another appearance on this list as the wonderfully quaint Juliet Ashton! This movie is less popular than the others on this list, but it is just as good.  It’s a period piece that takes place in 1946, right after World War II, so the film ran the risk of being dragged down by hard topics, but it does a magnificent job of accurately depicting both the hardship and delights of the setting. It follows a young author Juliet who longs to write about things that “actually mean something to her,” rather than the innocent, frivolous literature that her fanbase and the higher-ups expected from a woman. It happens by chance, as all the best things do in romantic literature, that she receives a letter from a man named Dawsey who lives in Guernsey, asking for a favor. Juliet decides to visit, and while there, gets to know all of the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a fantastically ridiculous name for a ridiculous group with a ridiculous origin story. It’s an enjoyable tale about fun, friendship and love in the face of tragedy.

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

There isn’t much not to love about a classic high school tale of the intimidating, popular guy falling for the reserved, quietly funny girl. It’s not exactly revolutionary but the story is so wholesome, the characters are so nice and Noah Centineo, who plays Peter, is so hot. Lara Jean, the main character, writes letters to all of her most intense crushes, and they end up getting mailed without her permission. Peter, one of the boys that got a letter Lara Jean had written in middle school, and Lara Jean start “fake-dating” for many different reasons. Hilarity and cuteness ensue as Lara Jean and Peter work out the complexities of their non-relationship. Check out the books by Jenny Han, while you’re at it, because they are just as good, if not better.