You guys, Women in Trouble is NOT a chick flick!

I wince whenever I hear a movie described as "not your average chick flick," because while I want it to mean "intriguing, character-driven film on what it means to be a contemporary woman that just might have mass appeal!", it usually means is "It's a chick flick. There's just more vulgarity and boobs so your boyfriend will buy a ticket." The latest contender is Women in Trouble, which debuted at SXSW this spring. Writer/director Sabastian Gutierrez describes his new film as a "a comedy about a serpentine day in the life of ten seemingly disparate women – including a porn star, a flight attendant, a businesswoman, a psychiatrist, a masseuse, a bartender and a pair of call girls."

Trailer below:

Wow! There were a lot of skinny white women in lingerie and tight clothes in that trailer! But I also saw a female-centric film (although it's written by a dude, although that dude has collaborated with Almódovar, although Almódovar recently...I DIGRESS!) and a plot revolving around more than relationship woes (wonder how they'll handle that unplanned pregnancy....). Plus that 13-year old seems pretty awesome. It's obvious this movie isn't your average "Lonely successful career girl doesn't even know she's falling in love--and it's the best thing to ever happen to her!" That being said, I do suspect there is some female bonding and heart-to-hearts (to say nothing of Josh Brolin and Jospeh Gordon-Levitt's presence for chrissake!) But you guys, this is NOT A CHICK FLICK. Take their word for it: 

Strong language! Sexy ladies! NOT A CHICK FLICK. I'm just resentful about how it's so imperative to market anything women-centric as NOT A CHICK FLICK in order for it to be successful, or be taken seriously at all. Promoting Women in Trouble this way is just the latest in a trend. Remember He's Just Not That Into You? NOT A CHICK FLICK. The Ugly Truth? NOT A CHICK FLICK. Julie and Julia? According to Amy Adams, "This is so not a chick flick." While I'd like to think this is a universal movement to (rightfully) distance new films from a worn-out genre (and maybe retire it? No? Okay), I can't help but feel it's a matter of marketing, and an attempt to put more XY chromosomes in theater seats. And those skinny white women in underwear? Thinking they're in the film specifically to appeal to men makes me even more disheartened.

Is the fact that the movie is about women (and has the W-word in the title!) really going to automatically ensure box office catastrophe? Why is any film about women that doesn't fit the cliche mold best described as NOT A CHICK FLICK? What are your thoughts? 

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7 comments have been made. Post a comment.

I don't understand why

I don't understand why everyone wants to distance themselves from a female audience. I have never understood why the most desirable demographic is young men. I feel like young women would be the automatic demo to go for. I mean, look at Twilight. While we can all agree that there are a lot of problems with that movie, it was unabashedly marketed to young women and girls and it did amazingly well. Julie and Julia also did really well. I feel like, in general, most movies aimed at a women cost less and a lot of them make more than they cost. In light of all these facts, I don't understand why studios are so willing to alienate audiences by insulting them in this way.


I totally agree--it's like women audiences aren't good enough audiences, even when they break box office records with movies like Twilight and Sex and the City. And those movies aren't even that good! It's simply too much to ask of studios to make good movies that might attract this whole "half of the population" demographic.

Kjerstin Johnson, editor-in-chief
Did someone say "Comments Policy"?


There are few phrases I hate more than "chick flick." It might (might!) not be so offensive if it just meant "beloved by women" but I really feel it's come to mean "sappy, shallow and worshiping of the male love interest, and therefore appropriate for and only for women!"

Women, Trouble

Well, I wrote and directed the movie -- and let me tell you, the reason why we're even saying it's not a "chick flick" is because the women who star in the movie detest the connotation of chick flick (ie., all women really need is a good strong opposite-type guy and a pair of shoes). "Women In Trouble" is by no means a studio movie, it's a tiny indie -- and it's a celebration of both the really cool actresses in it (who are mostly stuck playing the "girl" part in mainstream stuff) and female characters that are smart, confident, sexy, confused, vulnerable, strong -- in short: human.
It's hard to express that in a preview because women are so used to being objectified and condescended to that any sexiness is immediately suspect (understandably so) and any heartstring-tugging stuff can immediately be misconstrued as sappy manipulation.
I think if you give it a chance, you'll see that this movie is neither of those things -- and even if you end up not liking it -- you'll at least appreciate how it tries to steer clear from defining women by their professions (in this case, archetypes such as therapist, call girl, businesswoman, etc.) and concentrates instead on who they really are.
With a sense of humor (not camp).
And compassion.
We need to get rid of this ridiculous notion that "women's movies" are somehow inferior to 13-year-old boy fantasies, but it will help if we have different types of women's movies.


Wow! Thanks for writing, Sebastian! I do want to see Women in Trouble, and it's being reviewed in the upcoming winter issue of Bitch Magazine! Hope you can check it out. Thanks for elaborating on the preview, it sounds like my worst fears are not true, and I'm glad you're making strides against mainstream films about women!

Kjerstin Johnson, editor-in-chief
Did someone say "Comments Policy"?

Will definitely check out

Will definitely check out the review. Keep up the good work!


I'll see anything with Jospeh Gordon-Levitt. I hardly doubt his genre is "chicky-flicky."