Thursday, July 2, 2009

Guy Stories and Chick Flicks

I don't watch a lot of TV, but one of the few shows I do watch is NCIS. In an older episode, a suspect compares his relationship to the movie Bounce. I'm not too familiar with Bounce, but from the summary used in the show and on IMDB, I can comfortably agree with the character Gibbs when he dubs the movie a chick flick. In Gibb's analysis, in a guy flick you kill the guy after setting him up to take the fall for your robbery, take all the money, and marry the dead guy's wife. (His version was somehow pithier, even though I cut out the references to the show's plot.)

That's when I had an epiphany. Hamlet is a guy flick, at least according to the show's definition. I mean, (spoiler alert!) Claudius kills his brother, steals the kingdom, and marries his now dead brother's wife. Not to mention some sword fighting and ghosts, neither of which have been known to chase guys away from a movie.

I had a good laugh over that. I know a lot of guys who need to be dragged kicking and screaming into Shakespeare (apparently, all theater is by nature feminine and emasculating) but apparently, Shakespeare was writing some quintessential guy flick stuff all along. Maybe it's the iambic pentameter that's scaring folks off.

I think such a principal could be applied to books as well. What necessarily makes something a guy book or a girl book? For every stereotypically masculine book I've ever heard of, I've met female readers. And for a lot of feminine stories, I've met guys who enjoy them. I think even in more gender-specific genres, there's a way to make room for the other gender and make it good for them,too.

Are there any other hidden guy flicks out there? Are there such things as guy books and girl books? Any success stories in bridging the gender gap?

1 comment:

  1. Offhand, I think books that delve more into social relationships/romance tend to be more driven by female readers. I mean, I have yet to meet a guy who will read a steamy Harlequin or the Princess Diaries.

    I also have yet to meet a female who will read detailed military history books (at least ones that are deeply involved in strategies, tactics, battle details, etc.). I've come to notice that a lot of females don't like stories were oodles of pages are dedicated to the intricacies of war. Give the generalities or tie it to a specific character and it's good. Go into strategies, number of kills, etc. and it is a turn off.

    I'm sure there are always going to be exceptions to the rules (btw-- I LOVE NCIS!! Gibbs is my hero :)!).