The affectionate speedy fun of Six Chick Flicks in 60 minutes, a Fringe review

KK Apple and Kerry Ipema in Six Chick Flicks or a Legally Blonde Pretty Woman Dirty Danced on the Beaches while writing a Notebook on the Titanic. Photo supplied.

Six Chick Flicks or a Legally Blonde Pretty Woman Dirty Danced on the Beaches while writing a Notebook on the Titanic (Stage 1, Westbury Theatre)

By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca

If you’re under the impression that the term “chick flick” is a gold seal of approval for movie greatness, it’s possible that your mind will be blown by Six Chick Flicks….. What? No! You mean that there are romance narrative loopholes, cornball sexist clichés, and melodramatic improbabilities in chick flicks we know and like and re-watch? Who knew?

For everyone else, however, the fun of this high-speed two-person send-up of six favourites is mainly in the comic sparkle of its likeable performers (Kerry Ipema and KK Apple), the precise physicality of their character transformations, and the stage virtuosity involved in delivering half a dozen annotated re-enactments in 60 minutes.

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The script by Ipema and TJ Dawe is amusing in pointing out what we already know: big box-office movie successes about women written by men don’t have anything to do with a woman’s lived experience (whoa, there’s a shocker). This “analysis” of the male perspective is woven, at breakneck speed, into the physical comedy.

Six Chick Flicks… traces The Rose Effect, christened in honour of the Kate Winslet character in Titanic (who’s OK with posing nude and has an orgasm the very first time she has sex) through the six movies. There’s a through-line in the six-pack, as they note cheerfully, in “orgasms and unrealistic expectations.” a succinct summing up of the male gaze in Hollywood.

Ipema and Apple amplify in zesty montage sequences: “Death Montage,” “Falling in Love Montage,” “Shopping Montage.” And, speaking of shopping, sometimes the heroines get to speak for themselves. Legally Blonde’s Elle, for example, who’s articulate since she’s a lawyer, explains the gist of her situation, a real time-saver: “I’m blonde, I’m rich, I’m pretty, and I’m blonde.” 

The celebrated Dirty Dancing lift is re-created for our entertainment, along with iconic moments in all their absurdity, through women’s eyes. The show stops for a moment to consider the terrible social implications of the Roe v. Wade decision before it resumes. 

We’re not talking satire here, or parody. As in Seinfeldian comedy, the show’s playground is the familiar: movies whose faults we already know, shrug off, and like anyway. An affectionate and entertaining send-up created in the spirit of fun. Dénouement: the  audience roars to their feet.   

 

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