A couple of days ago, I gave some thought to the ultimate chick flick…

Pretty Woman? When Harry Met Sally? Mamma Mia?

Patrick Swayze,Jennifer Grey

And then, sadly, Patrick Swayze died, and the news reports featured girls of all ages all declaring their love for Swayze and Dirty Dancing and well, I guess that’s the one – there is no question.

Patrick Swayze,Jennifer Grey

But what is it about these movies that make us girls pop open the wine and buy up sections of our local supermarkets (savoury picky bits for me, but I believe ice-cream cabinets are popular with real girlie girls)? What is it that makes us want to pull on our jammies and invite our girlfriends round for a sleepover? What is it that makes a great chick flick?

Bridget Jones Diary, Renee Zellweger

Here are my thoughts:

1. A great chick flick must have strong female leads. We women enjoy watching women who act like we do – people we can relate to, and if all of our friends agree then it makes us feel normal and human.

Sex and the City, Cynthia Nixon,Kristin Davis,Sarah Jessica Parker

2. A great chick makes you laugh and also makes you cry. Again, by laughing at our funny female selves with our female friends we gain a sense of solidarity, and crying together is always a great bonding experience.

Ghost,Demi Moore,Patrick Swayze

3. A great chick flick always has a happy ending. This is almost always the girl ending up with a guy – but occasionally there’s a supporting role gay girl on girl ending for non-heterosexual chicks.

Imagine Me and You,

So, if you hunted out that old copy of Dirty Dancing last night in memory of Swayze, or you’re saving it for the weekend, or you’re waiting for one of the channels to change their schedules and put it on (might happen, I’ll keep my eyes peeled), then you’ll no doubt be in the chick flick mood?

Dirty Dancing

And that’s good news because we’re halfway through the week and there’s a great choice on TV tonight – something for all ages, in fact:

A Cinderella Story

A chick flick for real chicks (ie, young ‘uns) who’ll love this teen romcom starring Hilary Duff. It’s a modern-day Cinderella tale in an American high school setting.

Hilary Duff

Showing on ITV2 at 8pm

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

A chick flick for little Brit chicks, this is another teen comedy, but this time it’s in a UK school setting.

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging: Georgia Groome

Showing on Sky Family at 8pm

Clueless

OK, we’re still at school, but this classic Jane Austen-inspired comedy also works on us older gals. Alicia Silverstone stars as fashion-obsessed Beverly Hills high school girl Cher in this coming of age flick. When she does some well-intentioned meddling into her friends’ lives she learns some important lessons about life.

Alicia Silverstone,Stacey Dash

Showing on E4 at 9pm

Legally Blonde

OK girls, we’ve finally graduated – to college (Harvard Law School to be exact). Reese Witherspoon  – the actress who grew up wanting to be Dolly Parton, inadvertently had a chance to imitate her hero by playing not so dumb blonde Elle Woods in this feelgood comedy.

Legally Blonde, Reese Witherspoon

Showing on BBC3 at 9pm

Sex and the City

Ah yes, one for grown up women. This sitcom spin-off romcom can be watched on its own, but it’s far more fun making a weekend of it and working your way through the series boxset (and a big box of chocolates too, of course).

Sex and the City,Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker,Cynthia Nixon,Kim Cattrall

Showing on Sky Comedy at 8pm

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

And if none of the above appeals, then you can’t really go wrong with this vintage romcom. It’s got Audrey Hepburn’s 60s style, pre-SATC Big Apple, and the chance to sing along to Moon River

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Audrey Hepburn

Showing on Sky Classics at 7pm