I agree. I don't usually take the phrase "chick flick" to be pejorative. Even a "formulaic romantic comedy" can be great if it's done right. Look at
When Harry Met Sally (Oscar nom for screenplay, 5 AFI top film lists)
Moonstruck (won Oscars for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Screenplay)
Love Actually (Several BAFTAs, numerous British film awards)
Sleepless in Seattle(2 Oscar noms for screenplay and song, 2 BAFTA noms in the same category)
Bridget Jones' Diary (Oscar nom for Best Acress, 4 BAFTA noms, many noms and wins from critics associates and European film awards)
Jerry Maguire (Oscar for Supporting Actor and 4 other noms for Best Picture, Actor, Screenplay and Editing)
Groundhog Day (BAFTA for screenplay, numerous other nomination and wins)
As Good As it Gets (6 AFI lists, Oscars for Actor and Actress and noms for Supporting Actor, Editing, Score, Screenplay and Picture)
All of these are pretty formulaic romantic comedies. Boy meets/knows girl, there are complications and misunderstandings, boy and girl are together by the time the credits roll. Yet I know a lot of guys who like many of these movies. They were all successful and the box office and declared to be "good" by various awards associations. "Formulaic romantic comedy" doesn't mean bad movie an more than "chick flick" does. It can be done very well or very badly. Just like any other kind of movies.
I know it's almost impossible to make guys like something lets say The Bridges of Madison County or The English Patient since they are love stories with the female point of viewIt's interesting that you pick those two movies as both were based on novels written by men. Both films were directed by men. The Bridges of Madison County was written by Robert James Walker (the film version was directed by and also stars Clint Eastwood whom many consider to be an icon of masculinity) and The English Patient was written by Michael Ondaatje and directed by Anthony Minghella.
I agree that there are some movies that women tend to like more than men because they speak to the female experience. Likewise there are movies men tend to prefer for the same reason. But that doesn't mean that if a movie is well done it can't be appreciated by both genders. Calling something a "chick flick" has dismissive connotations. It implies that it's not worthwhile, which is a sexist attitude. It's worthwhile if it's a good movie, regardless of whether or not represents or speaks to one gender more so than the other.