Guys usually dread watching a chick flick with their female companions. Nick Waters watched 30. In a row. On purpose.
Last July 31, the Pauls Valley man was viewing just such a movie with his wife, when an idea hit him: "I remember asking her, 'Wouldn't it be cool to watch 30 chick flicks in 30 days?' She lit up and said, 'Yes! That'd be great! Let's start now!'" He didn't.
"I wanted to do this ... not necessarily right, but to get something out of it, especially if I was going to watch a month's worth of movies straight," Waters said. "The idea didn't go away."
Instead, it blossomed into a Web site, www.30chickflicks.com. From Jan. 15 to Feb. 14, he and his spouse of seven years watched one slice of estrogen cinema a night, culling suggestions from followers worldwide, with the results documented online.
"I wanted to put this online because maybe somebody else could glean something from this, male or female," he said. "I'm a big believer in connecting with people, so it only seemed right."
The community aspect kept the experiment from being overwhelming, Waters said.
"I've talked to people from Australia, Germany, China, and I live in a town of a little over 6,000 people in southern Oklahoma," he said. "It's mind-blowing, and that's what so euphoric and fun about this."
But it wasn't all fun. He'd rather forget the Keri Russell vehicle "Waitress," the all-star rom-com "He's Just Not That Into You" and, above all else, the little-known "The Other End of the Line," starring Jesse Metcalfe, which he dubbed "the only film I watched that made me cringe."
"Couples Retreat" was the funniest; "Australia," the one that stretched the definition of "chick flick"; and "Bright Star," his overall favorite.
Aside from expanding his knowledge of relationship cinema, the project yielded several fringe benefits.
"My wife has told me on more than one occasion that she can tell a difference in me," Waters said. "She's told me, among other things, that I'm better at reading her nonverbal cues. That I'm a more sensual kisser, or a better kisser. And if nothing else, I've learned what not to do in our relationship."
About that kissing thing: After several DVDs, Waters noticed "a glaring difference" between how sensuality and sexuality were portrayed. He found himself asking, "Why do they look like animals attacking each other?"
"It was not cool. It seemed fake and felt weird watching it," he said. "By contrast, there were those films where the kisses felt so loaded emotionally, I was like, 'Wow!' So what do you do? You practice!"
And you write a book. While Waters is drafting a manuscript about the experience, no publishing deal has been secured. "Rod Lott
photo Nicci and Nick Waters