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There are many things in this life men simply don't understand. The difference between bone and taupe. A woman's need for 17 different pairs of black shoes. And our ongoing love affair with chick flicks.

Throughout life, we women turn to our cinematic friends after breakups and bad haircuts, for Girls Nights Out and Me Nights In, when we need a good laugh or a good cry, when we're feeling frumpy or flirty, happily in love or hormonally imbalanced. (My friend Max says the difference between chick flicks and guy movies is that in the former, one person dies slowly, and in the latter, a lot of people die really quickly.)

Because of the important role these movies play in our life, there's nothing worse than plunking down your nine bucks at the theater or your rental card at the nearest Blockbuster and getting fooled by a Chick-Flick Wannabe. You know, like the much-touted Pretty Woman. Power through prostitution? Puh-leez. True chick flicks don't require you to check your brain or your morals at the door.

So to save you from such cinematic mishaps, we compiled a list of ten can't-miss chick flicks. Movies about true girl power, that celebrate women and our relationships with each other, our family, our significant other, our world. Flicks about women finding love, hope, friendship, reconciliation, a sense of purpose, their voice—and often themselves.

I'll admit that choosing such a list is not-so-unlike choosing a favorite from among those 17 pairs of black shoes. Each has such unique merit! So this is by no means a definitive best-of list—just a jumping off place of some classics and a few lesser-known gems for your next chick flick fix.

One more thing: Here's a handy chart for your specific cinematic needs:

H—Hunky ...

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March 2004

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