CHICK FIGHT: Fight Club In Mom Jeans

Movies about female empowerment have become big business in our hyper-aware society. The concept of the everywoman stepping up and taking control of her destiny in a patriarchal world is a needed commodity which makes relating Chick Fight to its closest male equivalent film Fight Club so disheartening. Chick Fight, written by Joseph Downey and directed by Paul Leyden (can you see a pattern here?) tries hard to make a female lead comedy about struggle, acceptance, and female strength but never bothers to create a goal worth fighting for. The main character’s struggle is, for the most part, of her own making and fails to be interesting or inspiring.

Malin Ackerman plays Anna, a single, down on her luck cafe owner who has every cliched “bad day” trope thrown at her in the first five minutes of the film. She wakes up depressed. She disgustingly brushes her teeth on the toilet while listening to her neighbor having mind-blowing sex upstairs. Her car gets towed. Her business is failing and her recently widowed father, played by Kevin Nash, has found love with another man. After some advice from her best friend Charleen (Dulcé Sloan), a tough as nails lesbian cop, Anna is introduced to a women’s only underground fight club in hopes of helping her find the confidence she needs to be happy. An interesting concept when the genders are reversed but the male writer and director fail to put in the time or effort to make any of it fun or empowering. Instead, we are given underwritten jokes coupled with shaky-cam fight sequences that never build to anything worth remembering.

Women Deserve Better

The biggest disappointment with Chick Fight is the lack of anything original. The women are played like bad copies of the cast of Bridesmaids only without any semblance of depth or comedic moments. The interactions are forced, making the comedy bland and safe, nearly akin to a network television program one’s grandparents might find enjoyable. Half of the cast looks like supermodels while the others are nothing more than overweight best friend stereotypes. Even after getting beaten brutally in the ring, the ladies still look ready for a night on the town minus a couple of light bruises and tussled hair.

CHICK FIGHT: Fight Club In Mom Jeans
source: Quiver Distribution

Enter Alec Baldwin as drunk fight trainer Jack Murphy. Why? Who knows? Maybe he wanted a two-week vacation in Florida where this movie was filmed. Taking on the role of mentor for Anna, Jack does little to further the plot other than to give her advice on how to throw a punch and take a hit to the face. Again, he is nothing more than a wasted character who would have been better suited to be played by a woman, given that the film is about EMPOWERING WOMEN! And I won’t spoil the twist of his character, but it is as dumb as, well, most of the jokes on display.

Did I mention Kevin Connolly boringly plays the love interest? He is one of the more unintentionally hysterical characters because this so-called heartthrob is towered over by every female cast member and has about as much charm as a mammogram. That last joke might have been a bit much, but hey, he’s terrible in this.

Let’s Get Ready To Fumble

Adding insult to injury is the often unwatchable fight scenes throughout Chick Fight. I only call them unwatchable because of the Jason Bourne-esque shaky-cam which makes the so-called brutality of a scene eye rattlingly hard to make sense of. On occasion, a well placed slo-mo shot distracts from the disorientating handheld parts, but why couldn’t they bring in some women who could really fight? Swap out Bella Throne, who plays a decent enough heavy, for Gina Carano or hire stuntwomen the likes of Amy Johnston who can sell the moves without the need for nauseatingly epileptic camera direction.

CHICK FIGHT: Fight Club In Mom Jeans
source: Quiver Distribution

Another blatant misstep is the number of coincidental plotholes riddled throughout. Take for example that not only is Kevin Connolly the doctor at the fight club, he is also Anna’s doctor at what he says is the only hospital around. Then Anna’s dad has a heart attack at the end of the movie and Connolly is his doctor too!

What the what?

But wait there’s more. (MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD) Later on, we find out, wait for it, Ana’s mom was the one who created the fight club and Anna technically owns it! Seriously. And when the fight club gets raided by the cops and Anna is arrested, the judge for trial is a member of the fight club so Anna doesn’t go to jail for about five different felonies which would have easily sent her to prison. None of this makes any sense, even for a comedy.

They Should Have Tapped Out

Is Chick Fight terrible? Not entirely. Wrongheaded is more like it. The title alone if written by a woman would have been cheeky and fun, but coming from a male writer seems iffy. Call me woke if you want to but a female touch put on a female lead movie could have benefited this greatly. The plot is a good one though it’s the narrative issues and lazy comedy writing fails this movie in every scene. Everything is cookie cutter and safe, almost as the writer and director didn’t know how women interact with each other. The characters are as likable as the actresses playing them and it saddens me to think that there is a more powerful film squandered by making this mess instead.

Chick Fight never takes advantage of the premise it was trying to flesh out. Instead, the film tries to be funny when it needs to be heartfelt and loses any feminist credibility it could have had by kowtowing to typical tropes and unfunny banter. A mild recommendation if you’re really curious but for the most part this is shamefully forgettable.

Is there a female-led film you feel needs to be seen? Film Inquiry wants to hear about it. Leave a comment and keep the conversation going.

Chick Fight releases on November 20, 2020.

Watch Chick Fight

Powered by JustWatch


Does content like this matter to you?

Become a Member and support film journalism. Unlock access to all of Film Inquiry`s great articles. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about cinema – get access to our private members Network, give back to independent filmmakers, and more.

Join now!

Similar Posts