Typical chick flick plot: boy meets girl, misunderstanding arises and continues, confrontation occurs (about 3/4ths of the way into the movie), boy and girl fight, boy and girl resolve differences.
It's a fairly respectable plot. Shakespeare used it. What Shakespeare understood, and what so many film makers don't appear to, is that the resolution has to be worth it. All the convolutions and misunderstandings have to have a resolution worthy of so much wackiness. Good grief, Shakespeare had statues come to life and twins show up and people sleep with other people without knowing they were sleeping with other people and lovers getting enchanted and so on and so forth.
I came to this conclusion after watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It's a cute movie. I enjoyed it. It followed the chick flick plot, but the end just didn't work. And I determined that it didn't work because the end wasn't as creative as the middle. It was the "Oh, they fought and she's going to leave town and he runs after her" ploy: blah blah blah. Where's Claude Rains when you need him? Shoot some Nazis already!
The other solution, of course, is to have the confrontation and the resolution occur at the same time. This is the end of Good Fairy (wonderful, wonderful old film, by the way). It is also the ending of You've Got Mail (actually, You've Got Mail uses both techniques since he knows about the misunderstanding, but she doesn't). I consider You've Got Mail one of the most satisfying chick flicks of all time and a great deal of that has to do with the resolution, which is allowed to underwind slowly and naturally (naturally for a chick flick film). Too abrupt and you feel like you've missed something; uncreative and you wonder why you bothered. Why should these people get together? They didn't work for it!
Some good chick flicks:
You've Got Mail
Shall We Dance (Japanese Version)
The Mirror Has Two Faces
Born Yesterday (the new version which, surprise, surprise, I far prefer to the older version)
While You Were Sleeping
The Beautician & the Beast (a surprising amount of fun)
Could Have Been Better:
How to Lose a Guy
Alex & Emma
10 Things I Hate About You
Sabrina (I prefer the black & white version, but even that is kind of a strange movie: mostly, I just like watching Humphrey Bogart jump up and down on a large piece of plastic; Greg Kinnear is excellent in the new version)
The Truth About Cats & Dogs
Chick Flicks I Never Saw and Don't Want To or Saw and Didn't Care For:
Sleepless in Seattle
Bridges of Madison County
My Best Friend's Wedding (except for Rupert Everett)
As Good As It Gets (It's a good movie, but I don't much like Jack Nicholson)
Not Really Chick Flicks but Great Romances
Princess Bride (of course!)
Joe versus the Volcano