There are three kinds of chick flicks.
Type A often has Meryll Streep and always involves a disease. There is no way to watch this type. Run. Don’t walk. May be there is a hospital fire somewhere that only you can put out? Doubly beware if the name of the movie ends in cutesy symbols such as `XXOO’ or makes inscrutable references to metallic flowers and/or green fruit.
Type B usually has Meg Ryan, Kate Hudson or lately, Ann Hathaway. These are watchable, in small quantities.
Never see a chick flick at a theater. Does the phrase captive audience mean anything to you? Always go for Netflix or a DVD at home. Do not hog the remote control. Just for once.
The first hour of the movie is the hardest. That is when they meet, and have various problems (mistaken identity, the guy is asking her out on a bet, he is a slob and she is a style editor etc.) and slowly realize that they are truly in love. Use your creativity for this part of the movie. An emergency at work, suicidal best friend’s frantic phone call, gastro-intestinal emergency requiring long frequent trips to bath room, can all be tried. Better to not disappear altogether, though. An excuse that allows you to wander in and out is best.
If you are a geek, bring a laptop on which you can putter around as the movie is playing. (Obama for America is doing a fundraiser online, Nigerian Prince has financial emergency requiring your personal attention.)
The key move is to come in (or look up from laptop) at about the one hour mark. DVD players usually have a counter that will allow you to time this move correctly. At this point, ask for a plot synopsis. It will be gladly provided. Pause movie if needed. Listen attentively. Do not just pretend to listen, as you have been up to this point. I cannot emphasize this point enough: you will be quizzed on plot points later on.
Watch the rest of the movie. Make appropriate exclamations (“Wow. He really said that!” is OK. “Look at those tits” is not.) Ignore shirtless McConaughey/Cruise/Hugh Grant as the case maybe.
That’s it. Half an hour of attention is all it takes. Might seem longer.
Type C is the kid-chick flick. Parents divorce, she gets adopted, etc. for the first half hour. Or identical twins are separated. Around age nine girl discovers she is a Princess. Is whisked to obscure European country where she learns to walk while wearing a tiara. Also gets a pony. All ends well. There is no way to do this type in half a hour. Just watch it. It will be a good memory in a few years after she has forgotten it and moved on to Twilight,which is Type B.