Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Alessandra Lynch

Second Advisor

Shelly Furuness


The "chick-flick" is derived from decades of movies known as "woman's film". It's evolution is most obvious in the creation of female-centric movies that place a primary focus on platonic and familial relationships, such as the "Female-Friendship Film". This subgenre was wildly successful until it became co-opted by the Romantic Comedy during the late-90s and early-00s and ultimately transformed into the "Chick-Flick" we are most familiar with today. Gerwig's three films re-establish the "Chick-Flick" as a film that de-centers romantic relationships in favor of developing the female protagonists in terms of individuals and through their platonic and familial relationships. My thesis aims to understand why Gerwig's films have become widely-regarded as critical and public successes through understanding shifting attitudes towards femininity in media and our culture as a whole. Also, from a technical standpoint, evaluating the methods that Gerwig employs as a writer, producer, and director to tell stories that appeal and resonate with a contemporary female audience.