So, what are the characteristics of a CM?
1. The female lead must be a strong woman who faces adversity and overcomes it, usually by pure force of will. (Pretty Woman, et al.)
2. There most be significant tragedy (or tragedies) that the woman must overcome to reach her ultimately-stronger self. In its simplest form, someone has to die (Ghost), often the lead female, herself (e.g. Steel Magnolias). Pretty Woman is the exception that does not prove this rule.
3. There must an overwhelmingly-strong, idealized love interest, not necessarily of a male (et al.). I say not necessarily a man because the love interest in "Fried Green Tomatoes" is one, primarily, of female love - alright friendship - shared between Idgy (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker).
4. There may be no "guy violence." That is, there is no graphic, prolonged war violence. Glimpses of war (The Notebook) are permissable. Fisticuffs between alpha males is allowed but they are not drawn-out, slow-motion, blood-flying-through-the-air visuals.
5. There must be at least one (and, preferably, more) heart-wrenching moment when tears flow. The shedding of tears may be of sadness or elation, but there must be crying.
Before feminist readers begin their attack on this piece as a chauvinist exercise, let me clearly state it is not meant to be interpreted as such. It is a simple request for personal edification and for the female perspective on a topic about which I know (obviously) very little. It goes without saying that there are "guy flicks" (e.g. Braveheart, Gladiator, Goodfellas, ad infinitum) that one could similarly stereotype. This is an attempt to understand what makes a classic female-oriented movie. Feel free to add to my list of characteristics and correct me on which are wrong. In apology, I only offer that I find movies, in general, and the whole genre of "chick movies" (and "guy movies"), in particular, a fascinating subject.