I re-watched 13 Going On 30 for the billionth time over lockdown and realised early 2000s chick flicks are the reason I’m taking a Journalism degree. There’s something so romantic about being a big time magazine editor in a big city. Whilst I understand working in journalism is hardly as fun and flirty as a rom-com, the films that came out when I was child commonly featured a female writer as a main character. I genuinely do think the relationship between chick flicks and journalists influenced me enough in my formative years for me to pick this particular degree. So, here’s a list of the films that are essentially my version of a Law student’s Legally Blonde.
13 Going On 30
The movie revolves around 13 year old Jenna Rink making a birthday wish to be “thirty, flirty and thriving.” Jenna basically then time travels into the body of her 30 year old self. She’s living the dream life –– she’s successful as editor of her favourite magazine, she has a famous boyfriend and she was a member of the Six Chicks throughout school. It then comes to light that all this success came at a cost. However, the scenes where Jenna is redesigning Pose magazine, I think, are what made me want to step into journalism.
It’s currently on Netflix so if you’ve never watched the film PLEASE do. P.S Christa Allen (young Jenna Rink) has a TikTok account and she’s always making 13 Going On 30 content.
The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada is about aspiring journalist, Andy Sachs, who becomes an assistant to New York’s most ruthless magazine editor, Miranda Priestly. Andy originally sticks out like a sore thumb, she’s too clumsy to fulfil Miranda’s demands and too nerdy for a high fashion magazine. By the end of the film Andy is accepted by Miranda. Meryl Streep’s character is based off Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Let’s face it: who doesn’t want to be as influential and iconic as Anna Wintour.
This is a series rather than a movie so it’s not technically a chick flick but for the purpose of me writing this blog post, Ugly Betty is getting a feature. The show has the same sort of plot as The Devil Wears Prada but instead of Andy’s lack of interest in fashion, Betty has no sense of style whatsoever. Betty lands herself a job at a high fashion magazine, breaking the stereotype women’s magazine employees have to be glamorous. Betty is the ultimate example that hard work pays off. The series follows both her work and romantic life. In the final season, Betty becomes editor at Mode magazine –– bagging the dream job.
The entire series is available to watch on Disney+
Sex and the City
Unlike Ugly Betty, I think Sex and the City could definitely count as a chick flick (sort of) seeing as the series was so successful it had movie spin offs. Anyway, Sex and the City follows the lives sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw and her friends after they decide they’re going to start treating sex like men. Each episode centres around Carrie’s train of thought when writing her weekly column. Carrie is an absolute badass, succeeding in her profession whilst making mistakes on the way.
I’d like to give an honorary mention to this 2017 train-wreck considering it came out before I accepted my place at university. It’s about a young journalist who’s sent to a foreign kingdom to cover a press conference. The King of Aldovia has just died and ‘bad boy’ Prince Richard is set to take the throne but there’s rumours he’s going to abdicate. Journalist Amber ends up going undercover in the palace to get the scoop but then ends up falling in love with the Prince.
Everything about this film was cringey and a little bit clumsy –– Amber’s story notes are just embarrassing. That being said, I unashamedly still lapped A Christmas Prince and its two succeeding films up.
Marley & Me gets an honorary mention because unfortunately Owen Wilson (John Grogan) is and plays a man –– John is not an iconic woman in journalism. His editor puts him on the task to write a column about everyday life. John’s stuck for ideas but then ends up writing about his Labrador’s misadventures and its a huge success. The film is incredibly wholesome (although it may cause you to burst into tears at the end).
The coolest part of Marley & Me is that it’s based on a real story and Grogan’s twice-weekly Marley column actually doubled the newspaper’s circulation.
Just Google ‘chick flicks journalists’ or ‘films with journalists’ and there’s no wonder why I ended up picking a journalism degree.
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