Thanks to Parks and Recreation‘s Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), we have Galentine’s Day, the day prior to Valentine’s Day that celebrates women and their friendships with one another.
If you decided to push your Galentine’s Day festivities one day forward (February 14th), or if you’re opting for a more Singles Awareness Day approach to Valentine’s Day, then consider watching these 10 films.
1. The Heat (2013)
Last year’s buddy cop comedy The Heat starred Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock as two complete opposites forced to work together to bring down a drug kingpin. Despite their bickering, Special Agent Ashburn (Bullock) and Officer Mullins (McCarthy) manage to overcome their differences and become friends. Plus, Bullock and McCarthy have a natural chemistry and are hilarious together. They also get to kick some ass!
2. For a Good Time, Call… (2012)
Two women who got off on the wrong foot years ago (one drunkenly peed in the other one’s car and was consequently left stranded on the side of a dark road) become roommates and end up opening a phone sex agency. Sure, the premise is a little absurd, but the friendship that develops between Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor’s characters is what really matters in this comedy. Despite getting mixed reviews from critics, I’d say For a Good Time, Call… is worth checking out.
3. Bachelorette (2012)
You might consider Bachelorette to be Bridesmaids‘ uglier stepsister. Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher star as the three coked out and emotionally damaged members of Becky’s (Rebel Wilson) bridal party. Regan (Dunst), Gena (Caplan), and Katie (Fisher) aren’t particularly likable characters, but there was something compelling about these actresses together. While Bachelorette polarized both audiences and critics alike, I would definitely recommend it as a great movie to watch with your BFF.
4. Fast Girls (2012)
Professional sprinters Shania Andrews (Lenora Crichlow) and Lisa Temple (Lily James) start off as rivals in Regan Hall and Noel Clarke’s sports movie, Fast Girls. Shania is working class, while Lisa comes from a wealthy family. But after seeing each other’s vulnerabilities, and agreeing to work as a team for the upcoming relay competition, they’re able to forge a friendship. Fast Girls is a great female-centric sports movie, and Regan Hall manages to direct the running scenes in a very engaging way. Go watch it!
5. Chak De! India (2007)
Chak De! India is another female-centric sports movie, but this one is set in India and focuses on girls’ field hockey. It’s got your typical themes of friendship, teamwork, and unity, while also exploring some of the gender inequalities in the world of sports. Did I mention that it stars Bollywood mega-star Shahrukh Khan as the girls’ coach?
6. All I Wanna Do (1998)
All I Wanna Do, alternatively titled The Hairy Bird and Strike!, takes place at an all-girls school in the 1960s. The problem is that said all-girls school is quickly about to be infiltrated by boys if our heroines don’t do anything to stop it. The movie not only offers some memorable one-liners (“Up your ziggy with a wa-wa brush.”) but it’s also an interesting look back at a young, talented cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Gaby Hoffmann, Rachael Leigh Cook, Merritt Wever, and Mad Men‘s Vincent Kartheiser – before anyone really knew about them.
7. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
If you haven’t already seen cult classic Romy And Michele’s High School Reunion then you need to rectify this immediately. Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino star as two ditzy, yet earnest best friends who go to their 10 Year High School Reunion and lie about their careers in order to impress their former classmates.
8. The Craft (1996)
If you want a female-centric movie about teenage girls, body image issues, and racism – all with an unhealthy dose of witchcraft – look no further than The Craft. While The Craft didn’t do so well with critics, it’s managed to build a cult following over time. I would argue the film manages to speak to teenage girls on a level that older, white men wouldn’t understand. Take that bus driver, for example, and Nancy Downs’ response: “We are the weirdos, mister.”
9. Set It Off (1996)
Before Sugar & Spice, there was Set It Off. Queen Latifah, Kimberly Elise, Jada Pinkett (before she gave birth to Jaden Smith), and Vivica A. Fox star as four down-and-out women living in L.A.’s housing projects who decide to rob a bank. Emanuel Levy reviewed the movie, saying, “Set It Off is a well-crafted girls-n-the-hood actioner, with an acute social conscience and plenty of soul.”
10. The Joy Luck Club (1993)
The Joy Luck Club, adapted from Amy Tan’s novel, explores the relationship between Chinese-American daughters and their Chinese mothers (as well as the relationships they have with each other). The film is directed by Wayne Wang and stars Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Rosalind Chao (Star Trek), and Lauren Tom (King of the Hill, Futurama). The Joy Luck Club is moving, insightful, poignant, and – ultimately – joyous.