Best Films About Female Friendship

Last week I went to a screening of This Is My Life with Feministe friend Nona Willis Aronowitz. It was just lovely, and got me thinking about other films that center female friendship and relationships. My personal favorites: Steel Magnolias; Clueless; Now and Then; Romy and Michelle; and Thelma and Louise (duh). But what am I missing? And why do all of these female friendship movies have reputations as mindless chick-flicks, while dude-friend movies are either universally hilarious or Oscar-worthy? Mysterious.

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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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172 Responses

  1. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet April 10, 2012 at 11:48 am |

    I love Muriel’s Wedding for this category but one must have a high tolerance for ABBA.

  2. Iany
    Iany April 10, 2012 at 11:52 am |

    Definitely Muriel’s Wedding!
    I can think of a cartoon… I think it was called azumanga? Something like that. It was about the friendships of a group of teenagers.
    Bend it like Beckham was good.

  3. Connie
    Connie April 10, 2012 at 11:54 am |

    Bridesmaids was nominated for 2 Oscars. The Hangover was nominated for none.

  4. EG
    EG April 10, 2012 at 11:55 am |

    Ginger Snaps.

    There are some great horror movies about girls and their relationships with each other. The relationship between Buffy and Willow in the TV series was, in my opinion, a great depiction of a close friendship between girls.

  5. Jenny
    Jenny April 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm |

    Practical Magic is about sisters rather than friends, but I love the way their relationship is portrayed.

  6. Véronique
    Véronique April 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm |

    Ghost World! I know the friendship goes bad, but it’s really good for a while. And friendships going bad is part of the picture.

    I saw a site mention

  7. EG
    EG April 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm |

    A League of Their Own. I don’t like it as much as many people I know do, but it sure does center relationships among women.

  8. EG
    EG April 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm |

    If you watch The Craft the way I do, which is to turn it off halfway through, it’s an awesome movie about how ostracized girls can band together to find strength. On the other hand, if you let it run all the way through, it’s about how trailer-trash girls should know their place and how good girls shouldn’t trust any other girls, and how it’s not really a dude’s fault when he tries to rape you. I advocate my method.

    I also think there’s a place for Heathers here, in exploring the vicissitudes of female friendship.

  9. mary
    mary April 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm |

    Hilary and Jackie is also about sisters, but deserves a mention. I cried my face off and then had to go hug my own sister.

  10. Véronique
    Véronique April 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

    Argh! What did I push? Sorry.

    Anyway…I saw a site mention 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days. Extremely depressing Romanian film, but well worth watching. The site also mentioned Heavenly Creatures, but that’s definitely not the healthiest relationship.

    Arranged is one that left a strong impression on me, about the friendship between a Muslim woman and a Jewish woman, both teachers in Brooklyn.

    The relationship in Deepa Mehta’s Fire goes beyond friendship, but it’s definitely about female bonding.

  11. Valentine
    Valentine April 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm |

    No mention of Beaches yet?? I love that movie! And on the not-as-classic-or-classy-a-film list I’d have to add The Sweetest Thing. At least that’s how I want my female friendships to be.

  12. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet April 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

    Bridesmaids was nominated for 2 Oscars. The Hangover was nominated for none.

    Well, gee, I guess that solves the whole problem of sexism in films, then!

    Also, FYI: Bridesmaids won neither of those nominations. However, both Bridesmaids and The Hangover were nominated for the same Golden Globe in their respective years: Best Picture Musical or Comedy. Guess which one won?

    (1,000 points to whoever guessed The Hangover.)

  13. matlun
    matlun April 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm |

    I would like to vote for “Fried green tomatoes”

    (1,000 points to whoever guessed The Hangover.)

    Yay! When do I get my prize?

  14. Alice
    Alice April 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm |

    Beaches!

  15. duck-billed placelot
    duck-billed placelot April 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm |

    Most of the Jane Austen adaptations are, on some level, about female friendship, or at least about how women band together for survival. On that note, Fried Green Tomatoes. The Princess Diaries. Ugh, I hate that I can’t come up with more, better examples. Everyone start on your Female Friendship First scripts immediately.

  16. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

    Miss Congeniality 2.

    When it first came out Sandra Bullock said in an interview that she wanted to make a buddy-cop movie that starred two women because why not?

  17. BalancingJane
    BalancingJane April 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm |

    Where the Heart Is- Sure, there’s a love story, but the main plot line revolves around how female friendships saved this young woman and her daughter from a life of poverty and loneliness.

    I’m having a hard time thinking of any movies about female friendship that aren’t seen as “mindless chick flicks,” though.

    What about Brokedown Palace and Boys on the Side? Those are both a little heavier and more dramatic.

  18. Valency
    Valency April 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

    Joy Luck Club and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood are two that come to mind, in addition to several of my faves, already mentioned: A League of Their Own, Beaches, and Fried Green Tomatoes.

  19. Valency
    Valency April 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

    Also, from my favorite author, The Secret Life of Bees. An excellent film adaptation.

  20. freshwatermermaid
    freshwatermermaid April 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

    Baby Mama for sure! I heart Fey and Poehler together.

  21. Valency
    Valency April 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm |

    One more (this clearly is my favorite genre!): For Colored Girls. I’m not a fan of most of Tyler Perry’s work, but he did an excellent job with this one, staying true to to Shange’s original masterpiece.

  22. oxygengrrl
    oxygengrrl April 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

    Nicole Holofcener’s films, esp. Walking and Talking and Friends With Money haven’t been mentioned yet, and should be on the list.

  23. Jacqui
    Jacqui April 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    Another vote here for Fried Green Tomatoes. And really? No one has mentioned The Color Purple yet?

  24. Matt
    Matt April 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm |

    ginger snaps and bend it like beckham were fabdiculous. aloto was nice too. haven’t seen any other mentioned.

    Also Mystic Pizza and Blue Crush. Calender Girls and 9 to 5 are good.

    I am not sure Thirteen is as feel good as these other movies, but it does primarily address female friendship and has female main characters.

  25. Sara
    Sara April 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm |

    If you are in to horror movies, The Descent is excellent! It features a group of female friends spelunking in caves. And the friendships are portrayed well (however, not perfect).

  26. emily
    emily April 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm |

    The Hunger Games (Rue and Katniss)? I thought You Again was pretty funny, though not exactly a great friendship movie.

  27. Katy
    Katy April 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm |

    What about Sucker Punch? Sistas taking care of sistas.

  28. Allyson
    Allyson April 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm |

    I know it’s generally seen as a pretty juvenile film but when I watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with my roommate/best friend in college, I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I seem to remember it having a pretty large focus on the friendship between the 4 girls and how they rely on and support each other.

  29. Erin
    Erin April 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm |

    I have loved This is My Life for close to 20 years now! I thought my sister and I were the only ones who’d ever seen it.

    I love how Sliding Doors portrays female friendship. The best friend’s response to the cheating boyfriend (“Like you said, Gerry, I’m Helen’s best friend. If she comes here, I’ll do what she wants.”) is what every woman needs in a friend.

  30. roymacIII
    roymacIII April 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm |

    It’s not strictly about friendships, but about relationships of all types, but I think Antonia’s Line is fantastic, and definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

  31. Jen in Ohio
    Jen in Ohio April 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

    It’s been a while but I’m reasonably sure that Fried Green Tomatoes is not so much about a friendship as it is a love story that got shoved into the closet.

  32. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll April 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

    “I also think there’s a place for Heathers here, in exploring the vicissitudes of female friendship.”

    Looooooove Heathers.

    Although it’s set in High School, it reflected what I saw going on in my own junior high rather nicely.

  33. BalancingJane
    BalancingJane April 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

    It’s been a while but I’m reasonably sure that Fried Green Tomatoes is not so much about a friendship as it is a love story that got shoved into the closet.

    In the book, definitely, but the movie shies away most of the references to their romantic relationship. There are some scenes you could still read as sexual and romantic (like the food fight scene, in particular), but I don’t know if I would have seen them that way without having read the book first.

  34. Tim
    Tim April 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

    Maybe First Wives Club and Nive to Five?

  35. Jasmin
    Jasmin April 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm |

    Waiting to Exhale. Unfortunately, it’s the only all-Black female lead film I can think of.

    ETA: Oh wait! BAPS!

  36. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  37. stonebiscuit
    stonebiscuit April 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

    All I Wanna Do – students at a girls’ boarding school being awesome together

    The Parent Trap – the Hayley Mills version. Naturally. They’re sisters, but more than that, they’re friends. Also, they’re Hayley Mills. And there are some lovely supporting friendships at the camp, as well.

    If we’re counting Fried Green Tomatoes, I submit But I’m a Cheerleader.

    I want to second A League of Their Own, which is my favoritest movie ever.

  38. Tim
    Tim April 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm |

    There’s Goodbye Lover, with Ellen DeGeneres and Patricia Arquette. People tend to either hate or love the film and the performances, with especially strong feelings about DeGeneres, but I thought she was good. And it might be a stretch to call it a friendship, but I think it is in a kind of noirish-comic way, don’t wanna say too much because it might be a spoiler.

  39. Denise
    Denise April 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm |

    I liked the Banger Sisters for the female friend dynamic.

  40. Jen in Ohio
    Jen in Ohio April 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm |

    There are some scenes you could still read as sexual and romantic (like the food fight scene, in particular)

    Wikipedia says there’s an audio commentary on the DVD in which the director says that that scene was intended to be read as “symbolic love-making”, but I don’t have the DVD so I haven’t heard it. I definitely read it that way while watching the movie and I had not read the book, fwiw.

    but the movie shies away most of the references to their romantic relationship.

    Yeah, that’s what I meant about them being shoved into the closet. I brought it up because the “friendshipping” of lesbian relationships is a common form of erasure of queer women’s sexuality. It’s the kind of thing I’d think most feminists would want to avoid doing, but a lot of people didn’t seem to have picked up on the film’s lesbian subtext or the book’s lesbian characters.

  41. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |

    Just realized I screwed up my link:

    Kamikaze Girls

    I looove this movie!!

  42. Kathy
    Kathy April 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

    I didn’t see it mentioned, but Girls Town is a great little-known female friendship movie. Ditto for Foxfire.

  43. Bloix
    Bloix April 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

    One Sings, The Other Doesn’t.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076855/plotsummary

  44. Andie
    Andie April 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |

    X2 to ghost world (as someone who grew apart from her best friend, it hits home) and fried green tomatoes. I totally read a romantic relationship between Ruth and Idgie as well, but let’s not ignore the other major friendship in that film between Ninnie and Evelyn, which portrays another beautiful generation spanning friendship.

    Beaches was also great even though I haven’t seen it in years.

  45. BalancingJane
    BalancingJane April 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

    the “friendshipping” of lesbian relationships is a common form of erasure of queer women’s sexuality. It’s the kind of thing I’d think most feminists would want to avoid doing, but a lot of people didn’t seem to have picked up on the film’s lesbian subtext or the book’s lesbian characters.

    Yeah, I definitely agree with you that their relationship was “friendshipped”–at least in the film. I thought that the lesbian characters were fairly obvious in the book, but maybe it’s subtle enough to subconsciously read over (or even consciously erase), and I see how that’s a problem.

  46. EG
    EG April 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm |

    Bring It On. Great buddy movie about two girls, in which the boy is treated like the girl is most guy-buddy movies–he’s there to believe in the protagonist when she needs it, and then he’s her prize for doing the right thing. But the two girls work together.

  47. A.
    A. April 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm |

    my fave so far is/still “Antonia’s Line” – 1995, language : Dutch
    (from en.wiki : …”The film covers a breadth of topics, with themes ranging from death and religion to sex, intimacy, lesbianism, friendship and love. It won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice award, and the Nederlands Film Festival Golden Calf award. Filmed in Belgium.”

    i am still hoping to find some inspiration for future viewing on this thread ;)

  48. xenu01
    xenu01 April 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

    It’s been a while but I’m reasonably sure that Fried Green Tomatoes is not so much about a friendship as it is a love story that got shoved into the closet.

    DUDE. Jen in Ohio, can I just say you’re amazing? Every time I got mad when reading that long-ass thread about objectification from the other day, I’d get to your response and be all, “BAM! THAT’S RIGHT.”

    Anyway, you took the words out of my mouth. It’s what makes me both love and hate that movie.

  49. xenu01
    xenu01 April 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

    …and… I screwed up that tag. Sigh.

  50. tholbrook
    tholbrook April 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm |

    Thelma and Louise has a ‘mindless chick flick’ reputation? Wow, really? I’ve never once heard it described that way.

  51. Faithless
    Faithless April 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm |

    Set it off…

  52. Brennan
    Brennan April 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm |

    Well, if we’re bringing up Bring It On, how about Stick It? Not a cinematic masterpiece, but it’s all about a girl who gets over her disdain for her fellow girls and then they all band together to stick it (to the man).

  53. Jessica Isabel
    Jessica Isabel April 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    Co-sign on Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, Fried Green Tomatoes, Calendar Girls

    Also, White Oleander, I like the relationship between Renee Zellweger’s character and Alison Lohman’s.

    Penelope – Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon have a cute friendship in that one too.

    I know we’re not talking about television shows but Golden Girls deserves a mention I think.

    Another good one is How to Make an American Quilt which has Maya Angelou in it!

    Girl Interrupted, however psychologically messed up Angelina Jolie’s character may be, has bright moments. I appreciate its depth.

  54. Jessica Isabel
    Jessica Isabel April 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    Co-sign on Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, Fried Green Tomatoes, Calendar Girls

    Also, White Oleander, I like the relationship between Renee Zellweger’s character and Alison Lohman’s.

    Penelope – Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon have a cute friendship in that one too.

    I know we’re not talking about television shows but Golden Girls deserves a mention I think.

    Another good one is How to Make an American Quilt which has Maya Angelou in it!

    Girl Interrupted, however psychologically messed up Angelina Jolie’s character may be, has bright moments. I appreciate its depth.

  55. Jessica Isabel
    Jessica Isabel April 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    Co-sign on Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, Fried Green Tomatoes, Calendar Girls

    Also, White Oleander, I like the relationship between Renee Zellweger’s character and Alison Lohman’s.

    Penelope – Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon have a cute friendship in that one too.

    I know we’re not talking about television shows but Golden Girls deserves a mention I think.

    Another good one is How to Make an American Quilt which has Maya Angelou in it!

    Girl Interrupted, however psychologically messed up Angelina Jolie’s character may be, has bright moments. I appreciate its depth.

  56. Jessica Isabel
    Jessica Isabel April 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    Co-sign on Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, Fried Green Tomatoes, Calendar Girls

    Also, White Oleander, I like the relationship between Renee Zellweger’s character and Alison Lohman’s.

    Penelope – Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon have a cute friendship in that one too.

    I know we’re not talking about television shows but Golden Girls deserves a mention I think.

    Another good one is How to Make an American Quilt which has Maya Angelou in it!

    Girl Interrupted, however psychologically messed up Angelina Jolie’s character may be, has bright moments. I appreciate its depth.

  57. oldlady
    oldlady April 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

    STRANGERS IN GOOD COMPANY is a 1991 Canadian film about seven old women who are stranded when their tour bus breaks down. Even if you aren’t an old woman, I highly recommend it.

  58. Jessica Isabel
    Jessica Isabel April 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

    Co-sign on Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, Fried Green Tomatoes, Calendar Girls

    Also, White Oleander, I like the relationship between Renee Zellweger’s character and Alison Lohman’s.

    Penelope – Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon have a cute friendship in that one too.

    I know we’re not talking about television shows but Golden Girls deserves a mention I think.

    Another good one is How to Make an American Quilt which has Maya Angelou in it!

    Girl Interrupted, however psychologically messed up Angelina Jolie’s character may be, has bright moments. I appreciate its depth.

  59. Jessica Isabel
    Jessica Isabel April 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

    Co-sign on Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, Fried Green Tomatoes, Calendar Girls

    Also, White Oleander, I like the relationship between Renee Zellweger’s character and Alison Lohman’s.

    Penelope – Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon have a cute friendship in that one too.

    I know we’re not talking about television shows but Golden Girls deserves a mention I think.

    Another good one is How to Make an American Quilt which has Maya Angelou in it!

    Girl Interrupted, however psychologically messed up Angelina Jolie’s character may be, has bright moments. I appreciate its depth.

  60. Jessica Isabel
    Jessica Isabel April 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

    Co-sign on Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, Fried Green Tomatoes, Calendar Girls

    Also, White Oleander, I like the relationship between Renee Zellweger’s character and Alison Lohman’s.

    Penelope – Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon have a cute friendship in that one too.

    I know we’re not talking about television shows but Golden Girls deserves a mention I think.

    Another good one is How to Make an American Quilt which has Maya Angelou in it!

    Girl Interrupted, however psychologically messed up Angelina Jolie’s character may be, has bright moments. I appreciate its depth.

  61. Greg
    Greg April 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm |

    Death Proof, if you focus on the hanging out scenes and ignore the violent death scenes.

  62. debbie
    debbie April 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm |

    Antonia’s Line for sure (although trigger warning for sexual violence).

    I love Bring it On, and another cheerleader movie Sugar and Spice (high school girls robbing a bank to support their pregnant friend).

  63. KJ
    KJ April 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm |

    Steel Magnolias. While there is a great deal of sexism in the movie, the friendship between the women is enduring and beautiful.

    RE: Fried Green Tomatoes, Idgie and Ruth’s relationship is mostly more than friends who start a cafe together. But Idgie is more likely bi than gay, since after Ruth’s death, she marries a man and has a son. However, no one could deny that the Ninny and Evelyn is a wonderful friendship. We also have the friendship between Idgie and Sipsie, which was unfortunately more implied that overt.

  64. kdmw
    kdmw April 10, 2012 at 8:33 pm |

    New Waterford Girl. And I second Kamikaze Girls.

  65. Emily
    Emily April 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm |

    I would definitely have to agree with Suckerpunch and Kamikaze Girls!
    These movies had strong female characters supporting one another, and they were awesome.
    Also, I would add The Help to this list.
    That movie (and book) illustrated how women are not only supports for one another, but how important it is for us to band together and stand united against social injustice.

  66. librarygoose
    librarygoose April 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm |

    Man, I feel kinda sucky for not really having watched any of these. Except Bring It On and Clueless. They rocked though.

  67. Andie
    Andie April 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm |

    I kind of like how Romy and Michelle’s high school reunion poked fun at the hero-sidekick thing ( more often present in guy buddy flicks) with their argument over who was Mary and who was Rhoda.

  68. LotusBecca
    LotusBecca April 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm |

    One of my favorite movies about female friendship is Two Friends by New Zealand director Jane Campion. Two teenage girls, best friends with a close and conflicted relationship, go through rough times as they grow up in divergent directions. . . it’s beautiful and really sad. Makes use of some cool and mildly avante garde cinematic techniques also.

  69. de Pizan
    de Pizan April 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm |

    Two Women (2000)
    The Trouble with Angels
    Iron-Jawed Angels
    Monsoon Wedding
    Westward the Women
    Dor
    The Fifth Reaction

  70. BBBShrewHarpy
    BBBShrewHarpy April 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm |

    I echo the love for

    Four months, three weeks and two days. Very powerful.

    Surprised nobody mentioned Monster.

  71. xenu01
    xenu01 April 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

    Hmm… I didn’t actually like Monster because there aren’t really that many mainstream positive depictions of women in relationships with other women? And so when I saw that I was like, huh. She’s a serial killer. Also, their relationship is not healthy. Also, women who have sex with other women hate men and want to kill them.

    Anyone have a feminist take on it, feel free to let me know. :)

  72. Alexandra
    Alexandra April 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm |

    I spent a Christmas alone in an unheated apartment eating cold sandwiches, potato chips and chocolate icecream and watching Monster under the covers. Unforgettable experience, do not recommend! (movie’s great, though.)

    The BBC miniseries’ portrayal of Jane and Elizabeth’s deep affection for one another – plus Elizabeth’s conflicting feelings about her friend Charlotte’s choices – is really wonderful. Book’s even better.

    How has nobody mentioned Legally Blonde yet?? Female bonding about standing up to abusive, emotionally manipulative men. I know it’s ridiculous and has all kinds of problems, but Renee Zellweger was adorable in that movie.

    There was Bend it Like Beckham (haven’t seen it since I was a tween, no idea how it holds up).

    Also, for fans of classic films – the 1939 film The Women, with absolutely no men included in the 100+ speaking roles.

  73. Jessica Isabel
    Jessica Isabel April 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

    Also I just want to apologize for how many times my first comment posted… didn’t mean to spam, but the internet cut out and I guess it duplicated.

  74. Barb
    Barb April 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm |

    LIke many others I’m in Beaches camp, but one that stuck out to me recently is Bend it Like Beckham. Maybe it’s due to watching it with my oldest friend.

  75. BBBShrewHarpy
    BBBShrewHarpy April 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm |

    @xenu01

    I’m not saying I liked Monster (as opposed to the other film I mentioned), but the criterion for inclusion in the list was the centering of female relationships with other females. I prefer Monster to a lot of the “you go, girl” movies because it was somehow validating to have a movie where the “you go, girl” cheer was totally inappropriate because of where rooting for the main character might lead. I actually liked having a lead female character who was not a saint, but who was, nonetheless, clearly the lead character.

  76. latinist
    latinist April 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm |

    “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. I mean, I know, obviously not a 100% revolutionary feminist work, and also it has that title. But (a) it really is, primarily, about the friendship between Monroe and Russell; (b) when Russell finds her love interest spying on Monroe, she takes her friend’s side without hesitation; (c) towards the end, Monroe gets a very good speech in defense of her ditzy-gold-digger character. Also, it’s pretty funny (those two were some talented comic actors, and worked great together).

  77. BBBShrewHarpy
    BBBShrewHarpy April 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm |

    Oh, and how can I forget my favorite movie of all time “Picnic at Hanging Rock”

    Someone mentioned “Heavenly Creatures”, which I also adored.

    A bit depressing that 2 of my 3 favorite women-centered movies feature children rather than adult women.

  78. chad
    chad April 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm |

    For a split second there, I thought you were talking about a movie called “This Is My Life with Feministe”. I bet that would be a funny movie. Or maybe not funny, but something.

  79. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve April 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm |

    Lest anyone forget the friendship between Francine Fishpaw (Divine) and Cuddles (Edith Massey) in John Waters’ Polyester.

    Second to the person who mentioned ‘Set it Off’…saw it years ago when it was a new movie, but I remember loving it and it being a sort of female version of Reservoir Dogs.

  80. Em
    Em April 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm |

    Baby Mama, Connie and Carla (!!!), Dick, Kissing Jessica Stein, Down With Love, Josie and the Pussycats (okay, at this point I’m just reading off my dvd shelf…)

    If we’re talking tv shows… I just started Drop Dead Diva and I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of focus on Jane’s female friendships. (YAY! Lots of female characters talking to each other about a variety of subjects!)

  81. ballgame
    ballgame April 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm |

    I would definitely add my vote for Heavenly Creatures and Bend It Like Beckham.

    I’d also chip in votes for Kissing Jessica Stein and even Plenty (where the friendship between Meryl Streep and Tracey Ullman is a subplot but a very important one). The 1980s’ Plenty is pretty obscure to a lot of people these days, I guess, but I’m always a little puzzled that the superb Kissing Jessica Stein gets overlooked in ‘favorite feminist movies’-type threads here and at Shakesville.

  82. ellestar
    ellestar April 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm |

    I can think of a cartoon… I think it was called azumanga

    That’s Azumanga Daioh, an anime, and it’s truly amazing. One of my faves (though not a movie). There are a number of anime out there that focus on female friendships.

    Muriel’s Wedding is one of my all-time favorites.

  83. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 11, 2012 at 12:01 am |

    House, a Japanese horror film, has four girls who go on a trip to the lead girl’s aunt’s house. It’s pretty good, except for the end, which is, well, a little fanservicey. And oh, Azumanga Daioh is awesome. I’d also like to mention Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon, Nana and Karin as being strong examples of female friendship. Heck, Nana basically *is* about two good friends.. and rock bands.

    AngelH: Kamikaze Girls has been on my list for a long time. Any idea how to find it in the States?

  84. Drydock
    Drydock April 11, 2012 at 2:52 am |

    Hangover was better than Bridesmaides. A lot better.

  85. RVW
    RVW April 11, 2012 at 3:13 am |

    “Rachel Getting Married” possibly? It’s been a while since I’ve seen it so I don’t want to go to bat for its quality, but a quick Google search suggests that my positive recollection of the film isn’t misplaced.

    Incidentally, in my humble opinion “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days” isn’t about the relationship between the two women but rather about illustrating the potential dangers of criminalizing abortion. Since the movie has been mentioned, however, I think it’s worth mentioning here that folks aren’t kidding when they say that it’s a hard film to watch. Easily more disturbing to me than any horror film I’ve ever seen, it’s the type of movie that would come with lots of trigger warnings if movies issued trigger warnings. I still get stunned/angry remembering it.

  86. Sophie
    Sophie April 11, 2012 at 3:23 am |

    Nthing Kamikaze Girls and Bend It Like Beckham, but I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned Whip It yet! There is A Boy, but he’s largely there as an accessory to Bliss’ story; far more important to the film are her relationships with her mother, her best friend, and her all-female roller derby teammates/mentors/rivals.

  87. Megan
    Megan April 11, 2012 at 4:42 am |

    For TV shows, I offer Gilmore Girls. In addition to Lorelai and Rory’s relationship, there’s Lorelai and Suki’s relationship (and Suki is just so awesome; fat character whose weight is never mentioned, who gets a relationship, a sex life, babies, a career, and she’s Melissa McCarthy.), Rory and Kim’s friendship, Rory and Paris’ friendship. I know the show has some problems, but for female friendships, it’s pretty good.

  88. Luke
    Luke April 11, 2012 at 4:48 am |

    Hanna

  89. Jen in Ohio
    Jen in Ohio April 11, 2012 at 6:42 am |

    xenu01, I appreciate your appreciation, heh.

    To the other folks who’ve mentioned the unambiguous female friendships in the film version of Fried Green Tomatoes: I was definitely not objecting to the celebration of the various female friendships in the movie. I think it should be on this kind of list, for sure.

    My point was that including/discussing it in this context absent any acknowledgment of the love story between two of the primary women characters is a form of homophobic erasure. I wanted to try to make sure that did not happen in this space again, so I named the erasure in order to stop it, and hopefully to clue some folks in to this particular instance, and to this general form of erasure, if they were previously unaware of either or both.

  90. Andie
    Andie April 11, 2012 at 6:55 am |

    Sophie @ 85

    Shit, I LOVED Whip It! I can’t believe I forgot it.

  91. Crys T
    Crys T April 11, 2012 at 7:15 am |

    @EG: Oh my god–you hit the Craft nail right on the head! It was on TV just last weekend, and I was watching the first part, thinking how much it rocked, but getting pissed off because I knew the second part was coming up. I wish I’d done it your way!

    I do wonder, though, if the script originally read that way, or if producers, et al. required the changes.

    Also, loving it that so many here have mentioned Kamikaze Girls.

    Not so thrilled that all the mentions I’ve seen of Fried Green Tomatoes so far seem to have totally blanked the friendship between Evelyn Couch & Ninny Threadgoode. Don’t old & fat middle-aged women count?

    I’m also getting depressed at how hard it is coming up with films featuring female friendships. It’s not such a great film, but Now & Then with Christina Ricci does focus on the friendship between a group of girls. And Almodovar’s Volver focusses entirely on relationships between women: friends, mothers/daughters, etc.

  92. Jade
    Jade April 11, 2012 at 7:40 am |

    The female friendships in “True Women” were pretty amazing, but the portrayal of the Civil War felt way too contrived and unrealistic.

  93. Sophie
    Sophie April 11, 2012 at 7:51 am |

    Another belated suggestion: not female friendship, exactly, but My Neighbor Totoro has one of the most convincing and tenderly realised depictions of sisters I’ve ever come across in fiction. If anyone with a baby sister can watch this and come away not wanting to find said sibling and hug them for hours, congratulations – you are a cooler customer than I.

  94. Lori
    Lori April 11, 2012 at 7:53 am |

    I like, “How to Make an American Quilt.” Excellent cast and tales of friendships over the years.

  95. Li
    Li April 11, 2012 at 8:40 am |

    My childhood would never forgive me if I didn’t mention Matilda.

  96. Jen in Ohio
    Jen in Ohio April 11, 2012 at 9:01 am |

    Not so thrilled that all the mentions I’ve seen of Fried Green Tomatoes so far seem to have totally blanked the friendship between Evelyn Couch & Ninny Threadgoode. Don’t old & fat middle-aged women count?

    Fwiw, Andie included that friendship in her comment #44, and so did KJ at comment #63.

  97. mzza
    mzza April 11, 2012 at 9:39 am |

    There’s a lot of great examples in independent film. Laurel Nakadate’s second feature “The Wolf Knife” (2010) def deserves mention (and to a lesser degree her first feature “Stay the Same, Never Change) for her collaboration with inexperienced, amateur and non-actors often performing in their actual clothes and living spaces, improvisation and overall DIY aesthetic. Often raw and disturbing but her films explore aspects of female identity.
    http://www.believermag.com/issues/201203/?read=dvd_nakadate

    Also, Jennifer Montgomery’s 2008 “Deliver” (an all-women re-imagining of “Deliverance”) is pretty interesting, interviewed here by Penny Lane: http://www.incite-online.net/montgomery.html

  98. DianaH
    DianaH April 11, 2012 at 9:48 am |

    Seconding Whip It and Blue Crush. Blue Crush would be perfect if that idiot football player wasn’t in it, and it was just about Michelle Rodriguez, Kate Bosworth, and Sanoe Lake kicking ass at surfing. Bonus sister relationship too!

    How about The Runaways? I liked that movie way more than I expected to.

  99. EG
    EG April 11, 2012 at 10:24 am |

    Oh, hey, that reminds me–has anybody else ever seen Times Square, about two teenage girls who run away in NYC in the early ’80s to form a punk band together? Or am I hallucinating this movie?

  100. Wayfarer
    Wayfarer April 11, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    Since a few others have included TV shows, I have to add a mention of Parks and Rec! Not only is it, in my opinion, one of the most consistently funny shows out there, but it also features Leslie and Ann’s genuine, perpetually awesome friendship.

  101. Junebug Jones
    Junebug Jones April 11, 2012 at 10:40 am |

    Leaving Normal… with Christine Lahti and Meg Tilly, 1992… Was a great road-trip movie…with a surprisingly girl-power ending.

  102. Gator
    Gator April 11, 2012 at 11:26 am |

    Baghdad Cafe, from 1987, is about a German tourist (played by Marianne Sagebrecht) who gets stranded in the American southwest at a dive motel and befriends the proprietor (CCH Pounder). Is it a buddy movie? A romance? Whatever, it’s fantastic. It also has Jack Palance and one musical number. I should go watch it right now.

  103. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 11, 2012 at 11:34 am |

    Re: Azumanga Daioh: Osaka, FTW!

    Since we’re on anime: Puella Magi Madoka (be ready to cry) and K-On.

    @ Politicalguineapig:

    Amazon has Kamikaze Girls on DVD and Blu-Ray.

  104. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 11, 2012 at 11:36 am |

    Li:

    Hellz yeah, Matilda!!

  105. Wendy
    Wendy April 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm |

    Anne of Green Gables
    Little Women
    But most especially Anne of Green Gables. I can’t recommend Anne of Green Gables enough so…yeah…Anne of Green Gables.

  106. Petra Lorre
    Petra Lorre April 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

    Kamikaze Girls! Nana! Of course, thinking of those reminds me of Linda, Linda, Linda and Take Care of My Cat.

  107. Valency
    Valency April 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm |

    The 1995 movie, Kids.

  108. Sauron's Contact Lens
    Sauron's Contact Lens April 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm |

    Are there actually any non-dudebro, non-romantic movies about male friendship? I really can’t think of any. Shawshank Redemption. Um…..

  109. LotusBecca
    LotusBecca April 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

    Oh, hey, that reminds me–has anybody else ever seen Times Square, about two teenage girls who run away in NYC in the early ’80s to form a punk band together? Or am I hallucinating this movie?

    I haven’t seen that, but I looked it up, and it looks really good. Definitely going the list of things I want to see!

  110. Hannah
    Hannah April 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm |

    Nana definitely. If we’re talking TV shows I might have to make a case for Pretty Little Liars due to fact that the show is mostly about 4 girls and the way their lives are being fucked with on a regular basis on the friendships between the main characters complete with character development and making mistakes. Certainly it has it’s romances but the show is at it’s core about 4 friends going through serious shit

  111. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |

    AngelH: Thank you.

    Li: I can’t believe I forgot Matilda. I still have the VHS somewhere, although the book has long since departed this earth. (Crappy binding fell apart after a few hundred readings.)

    Sophie: Miyazaki is amazingly good at depicting female friendships. Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Princess Mononoke are the most memorable. Also, in Howl’s Moving Castle, there’s a very sweet scene with Sophie and Lettie.

  112. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve April 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm |

    Are there actually any non-dudebro, non-romantic movies about male friendship? I really can’t think of any. Shawshank Redemption. Um…..

    Shaun of the Dead

  113. Andie
    Andie April 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm |

    I kind of liked the way SUperbad dealt with the friendship between Michael Cera and Jonah hill’s characters. So many problems with the film but I liked how they talk about how guys aren’t really permitted to express feelings for each other. Meanwhile in real life I’ve known guys who would take a bullet for each other without flinching.

  114. Emolee
    Emolee April 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm |

    I have to vote for Fried Green Tomatoes as one of my favorite movies. I think the friendship between Evelyn and Ninny is wonderful, as is the love (whether romantic or platonic) between Idgy and Ruth. I agree that the erasure of the lesbianism in the movie is problematic. I do I feel the romantic element to their love does come through somewhat in the kitchen scene where Idgy says “I’m as setlled as I want to be” to Ruth and looks at her a certain way (and, as mentioned, in the food fight scene).

    Are there actually any non-dudebro, non-romantic movies about male friendship?

    Spy Games- the friendship between Brad Pitt and Robert Redford’s character. Redford’s character gives up his life savings and really sticks his neck out to save Pitt’s character’s life. This is one of my favorite movies because it portrays real love and sacrifice for another human being who is not relative and where sex is not a motivator.

  115. Sakuyo
    Sakuyo April 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm |

    Can I briefly divert this comment thread to ask for recommendations for books centering around female friendship?

    I can think of a (scant) handful (The Joy Luck Club, The Circle of Magic books, and a few others) but I figured that there must be more out there, and someone here would be able to point me in the right direction.

  116. Andie
    Andie April 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm |

    Heh.. See when idgie makes the comment about being settled, I always chalked that up to her fierce independence. I caught the underlying romance a) after Ruth’s birthday party when Ruth tells her she’s getting married and Idgie seems really hurt, and her refusal to attend the wedding.

    Damn, I really need to read the book.

    On non-dudebro movies, the relationship between Billy Tallent and Joe Dick in Hard Core Logo is very nuanced, and quite heartbreaking…

  117. orangedesperado
    orangedesperado April 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm |

    From the 1980’s:

    – no, you did not dream Times Square — about two girls who run away from a psych ward to start a band, sort of. If you prowl around online you can read about how the film started out about being about a romance between the two girls, but then it got de-gayed. It’s not hard to read between the lines — with songs like “Your Daughter’s One”. Aspects of it are pretty transgressive — as in a 13 year old played by an actual 13 year old — running away with another girl who is more than kind of butch, doing petty crimes, and getting a job dancing in a seedy strip club in Times Square, doing this funny, sexy dance in a strange costumy get-up while cheered on by her girlfriend making eyes at her. Lots to chew on in this film including mental illness, subculture, class differences, gentrification, entertainment and underground radio.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Square_(film)

    – Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains, with has been re-released on DVD. A strange film about an angry young woman (Diane Lane, age 15) who forms a punk band with her female cousin(Laura Dern, who was 12 when the filming began) and friend, who sort of run away from home, which is Nowhere, USA. The film was written by the woman (name escapes me) who also wrote the screenplay for Slapshot. The film is pretty great in that it embraces rebellious teenage girls just getting up and being a band, which starts their own movement. On You Tube there is a video about the making of the film, with interviews with the director and other actors in the film. It was primed to be the Next Big Thing, and even had members of the Sex Pistols and Tubes as supporting actors — but then the studio buried it for years. Allegedly a big inspiration for Riot Grrl bands including Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, among others. Diane Lane is pretty amazing in this role:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladies_and_Gentlemen,_The_Fabulous_Stains

    – Foxes, starring Jodie Foster and Cherie Curie, is about 4 teenage girls having imperfect teenage lives in the Los Angeles area in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Messed up families, romance, drug use, friendship and growing up — with age appropriate actresses .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxes_(film)

    – Puberty Blues is an Australian film about a couple of outsider girls who are best friends, who decide that they want to join the in crowd, who happen to be centered around surfing dudes. The film is pretty realistic about the rotten compromises many young women make to fit in, and the misogyny of the surfer dudes is depicted most accurately. Finally the girls give up and decide that they want to be surfers — instead of being the girlfriends of surfers who don’t do anything except watch their surfing boyfriends. Lots of realistic ugly teenage stuff.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puberty_Blues

    The Runaways(c.2010) is about the 1970’s band the Runaways, based on the book Neon Angel, by Cherie Curie, which is her account of joining the band at age 15 to become the lead singer. The film focuses on equal amounts of female friendship and camraderie and intense rivalry and antagonism. The pre-fab girl band is dismissed and put down by male musicians, their manager is a manipulative creep, not everyone in the band gets along. Despite this, there is a friendship and romantic interest between Cherie Curie and Joan Jett within the chaos of performing and success. Again, age appropriate actresses. Directed by Floria Sigismondi — famous for directing videos by Marilyn Manson and others, and her surreal photography.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Runaways_(film)

  118. orangedesperado
    orangedesperado April 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm |

    Also: All Over Me(1997) is a complicated film about the friendship between two teenage girls in NYC. They are best friends and close friends but the boundaries of their friendship get blurry when romance and sexual awakening start to happen inside and outside of their friendship. Other stuff happens too, like a homophobic murder, drug abuse, secrets and creepy guys. Worth watching, in my opinion:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Over_Me_(film)

  119. Historienne
    Historienne April 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm |

    St. Trinian’s!

  120. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet April 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm |

    The Weekend at Bernie’s series is always a touching buddy movie series.

  121. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet April 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm |

    aaaand I know how to close tags, I swear.

  122. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated April 11, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

    Loved Whip It, Iron Jawed Angels. Heathers rocked, though.

  123. thinksnake
    thinksnake April 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm |

    Would Cookie’s Fortune count? In any case, it’s a film that came to mind while reading this thread, and that I would like to watch again. Haven’t seen for years.

  124. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm |

    Sakuyo: Well, I mostly read science fiction and fantasy, but I’ll give it a try. I don’t know what age you’re aiming for, but even the kid’s books are worth reading.
    So, that said: Matilda, Sorcery and Cecilia and the sequels, Patricia C Wrede’s Dragon Quartet, any book about the witches or the Night Watch in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, Trickster’s Choice, (actually, just about anything by Tamora Pierce), Holly Lisle’s Fire in the Mist, Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks, Violet and Claire by Francesca Lia Block, So You Want to Be A Wizard series by Diane Duane, and the Body in the Library by Agatha Christie.
    (Yeah, I know, I don’t read many women authors/books aimed at women. I’m allergic to schmaltz!)

  125. librarygoose
    librarygoose April 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm |

    St. Trinian’s

    I’ve heard of this movie and wanted to see it, what’s the general feel of it? It seems silly- comedic, and I love a silly movie.

  126. xenu01
    xenu01 April 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm |

    D.E.B.S.! It is a light romp, has a lady love story AND! AND! Also friendships!

  127. Manju
    Manju April 12, 2012 at 3:27 am |

    Well, its definitely not The Godfather. I would go with SATC, though I prefer SITC.

    I didn’t see the actual movie but TV programs are films too. I like sex and materialism, obviously.

  128. Crys T
    Crys T April 12, 2012 at 4:30 am |

    OMG, The Fabulous Stains!!!! I loooooooved that when it came out! And not only did it have members of the Sex Pistols & the Tubes, it also had Paul Simonon from the Clash!

    I also can’t believe I’d forgotten about Rock & Roll High School, which has a great friendship between Riff Randle (PJ Soles from Halloween) and her Kate Rambeau (Dey Young). Not only does the film avoid the stupid stereotype about girls falling out over some boy (Riff actually helps Kate get the guy), but it’s also the only film I can think of that depicts a femaie rock fan as something other than a groupie or a teenybopper. Riff’s favourite band is the Ramones, and although she does have a crush on Joey, her real ambition isn’t to sleep with him or be his girlfriend, it’s to get her songs to him so the band can record them.

  129. Megan
    Megan April 12, 2012 at 4:52 am |

    Non-dudebro movies: Attack the Block. Also notable for having a cast made up primarily of inner-city black kids, it touches on issues of race, class, and police injustice. John Boyega is fantastic as Moses. Good approach to the alien invasion trope, too.

  130. cecilia
    cecilia April 12, 2012 at 7:23 am |

    an english film “happy go lucky” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1045670/
    i love the way mike leigh portrait female relationships (with family, coworkers and friends)

  131. TokenGreyGuy
    TokenGreyGuy April 12, 2012 at 7:29 am |

    Are there actually any non-dudebro, non-romantic movies about male friendship? I really can’t think of any. Shawshank Redemption. Um…..

    The Star Trek movies based on TOS (including the recent “reboot”) were generally focused on the Kirk-McCoy-Spock friendship.

  132. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 12, 2012 at 9:01 am |

    I do have a question though: why is female friendship of the ‘I’d take a bullet for them’ variety considered so important? I mean, yeah, I do have female friends, but I don’t consider friendship to be a real need. Nice to have, sure, but to me it’s another way that society encourages women to be vulnerable.

  133. Elena
    Elena April 12, 2012 at 9:19 am |

    Bandits (1997) – a German movie that mixes Thelma & Louise with Set it Off and adds a great soundtrack to it too!

    I also liked Mona Lisa Smile.
    And what about the two Charlie’s Angels movies?

  134. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet April 12, 2012 at 11:06 am |

    @ 130

    Yes! I’d like to second the mention of Mike Leigh as a male director who portrays women characters in a wonderful multifaceted way. He also directed/wrote Vera Drake, about an underground abortion provider in the 1950s UK, and Secrets and Lies, about a white English lady developing a relationship with the Black daughter she adopted out years ago for the first time. Both really moving films that definitely pass the Bechdel test.

  135. sarahjane45
    sarahjane45 April 12, 2012 at 11:46 am |

    Not a movie, but the musical Wicked is largely about the relationship between Elphaba and Glinda and the politics of Oz, with a romance subplot.

    (the book might also count, but it is very different from the musical…)

  136. Hannah
    Hannah April 12, 2012 at 11:52 am |

    @132

    I think maybe because women are encouraged to be very critical and competetive with one another in order to “get men” so anything that highlights strong female friendship serves to undermine the importance of that construct?

    That’s just my take on it

  137. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet April 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

    @132

    I agree with Hannah. Women’s narratives are discounted as a whole, and tradition/the nuclear family expectations/etc demand that our lives be grounded firmly in the orbit of our men, in isolation from one another. Any story about women’s relationships with each other (and, in the same spirit, any story about a woman’s relationship with anyone besides a male partner/family) is valuable because it challenges the dominant paradigm. Your mileage of course may vary depending on what relationship are most valuable to you personally; films about womens’ struggles to define themselves or their place in their professions, their history, or their own mental health may serve to fill the same gap for you. Some already mentioned in the thread come to mind, like Monster, Sophie’s Choice, and Girl Interrupted. Black Swan and Bergman’s Persona also.

  138. Giulia
    Giulia April 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

    Another vote for Fried Green Tomatoes!!!

  139. Victoria Gaile
    Victoria Gaile April 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

    If we’re including TV shows from the past, I’ve got to mention The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary’s friendships with Rhoda and Phyllis rocked.

  140. liz
    liz April 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

    Desk Set.

    Ballet Shoes (based on the book by Noel Streatfeild)

    If stage shows count, Wicked.

    Non-DudeBro movies, “The Outsiders”

  141. Kes
    Kes April 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm |

    Cold Mountain, at least the parts that focused on Renee Zellweger & Nicole Kidman struggling to survive the war on the homefront.

    Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain a very obscure 90s Christina Ricci movie that’s kinda like The Goonies. I liked it as a kid, no idea how well it aged.

    Thirteen is really spectacular in the way it portrays not just female friendships, but the entire experience of being 13 and trying to discover the world. I cannot over-recommend that film.

    But I’m A Cheerleader, about a Christian anti-gay-therapy camp. The whole cast is incredible, but the story centers on the friendship, and later love affair, between the confused Cheerleader and the angsty punk girl. So great!

    I also loved The Journey of Natty Gan as a girl, tho the story is a one-woman show as far as I recall. John Cusack plays the hobo love-interest.

  142. Kes
    Kes April 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm |

    Oh, and the ultimate non-dudebro guy-buddies movie is, of course, Stand By Me. Duh.

  143. Lu
    Lu April 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm |

    Attenberg is a rather interesting unconventional movie, also depicting female friendship.

  144. Emily
    Emily April 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm |

    Although it wasn’t mainly about two female friends, The Hunger Games was a beautiful representation of how strong a woman can be (and is). Also Katniss and Rue formed a deep, albeit short-lived, friendship. What I particularly loved about this movies is that Katniss’s “woman-ness” did not even play a factor. No one questioned her abilities because she was a girl. She was strong, independent, and fierce and that’s what the film focused on.

  145. Yan
    Yan April 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm |

    On a lazy weekend, I caught Australian film “Hey, Hey, It’s Esther Blueburger” on demand. It’s pretty much about the importance of female friendships during the coming of age period.

    Book-wise, I really enjoy that UK author Freya North’s protagonists develop female friendships as well as (heterosexual) relationships in her chick lit novels.

    Television — Lost Girl has an awesome female lead and best friend/partner in crime. Canadian (airing on SyFy in the US).

    Funny, but it seems that everything I can think of is NOT US based.

  146. Ruchama
    Ruchama April 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm |

    I’d add Mamma Mia to the list. There’s a lot of other stuff going on in that movie, including several romances, but the friendship portrayed among the Dynamos is very nicely done, I thought. (There are also the three younger women, but there’s not as much focus on them.)

  147. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig April 13, 2012 at 12:26 am |

    136 and 137: Thanks for the explanation. I know I may seem astoundingly dim in regard to socialization, but there are a whole lot of personal reasons that contribute to my cynical view of the concept of friendship. I think I prefer science fiction and fantasy because I really have very few real-world things I care about.

    Elena: Oh, I hated Mona Lisa Smile. The start was great, but.. all of that talent, wasted, because those women were born at the wrong time, in the wrong society. And was it just me, or were almost all the relationships the main characters were in borderline abusive?

  148. jeffliveshere
    jeffliveshere April 13, 2012 at 11:44 am |

    I have a soft spot for Boys on the Side. Makes me cry Every. Single. Time. It’s not a perfect movie, but (I think) good on friendship.

  149. orangedesperado
    orangedesperado April 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    Non Dude-bro film classic about male friendship: Midnight Cowboy

    Someone above mentioned New Waterford Girl. Yes, yes, YES ! It is such a great funny film, with lots of small town Canadian references and a soundtrack which includes the Stampeders.Lots of great Canadian actors, too, all giving excellent performances. If you were a hopeless weirdo, growing up in an isolated small town, you will easily relate to outsider Moonie, who forms a fast friendship with a girl who moves to New Waterford from New York. Watch the trailer and track it down to watch:

  150. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays April 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

    Did anyone mention NANA yet? Passes the Bechdel test in the very first scene.

  151. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays April 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |

    Should have scrolled further into the comments…I’m so glad I’m not the only one who loved Bring It On. The thing that bothers me a bit though is how many of the good ones are about teenagers. When you start looking for movies about friendship between older women they’re a lot more thin on the ground.

  152. Pat
    Pat April 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm |

    This is a great question. I think most films that have a central woman show her often as surrounded by men–even as best friends. I am a lover of old movies so this made me go back through my favorites and this is all I came up with as far as great or interesting female friendships:

    The Wild Party (early 30s) directed by Dorothy Arzner. Clara Bow stars as a college woman with lots of close friends.

    Three on a Match (early 30s). Bette Davis, Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak–what more could you want?

    Stage Door–women in an actress’s boarding house in NYC, some good stuff.

    All About Eve, Bette Davis again and Eve Arden–everybody’s best friend.

    One of my all time favorite films–two young girls who are best friends:
    The World of Henry Orient (1960s)

    Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1970s).

    Also, independent filmmakers like John Sayles–Return of the Secaucus Seven– and Joan Micklin Silver–Between the Lines and Claudia Weill–Girl Friends.

    Wow, this makes me realize how few there are.

    I also think this contributes to film’s objectification of women: we only see women through male eyes. Think Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. She needs a girl friends and she gets Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis.

  153. Alexandra
    Alexandra April 14, 2012 at 4:12 am |

    For TV – I majorly co-sign on The Gilmore Girls, and would like to add Drop Dead Diva. Outside of being a total Ally McBeal (BTW, another good friendship example!) meets Ugly Betty guilty pleasure, with a plethora of problems from a feminist POV, it actually has an amazing depiction of Deb/Jane and Stacey being the very literal version of BFF.

  154. Alexandra
    Alexandra April 14, 2012 at 4:17 am |

    Anne of Green Gables
    Little Women
    But most especially Anne of Green Gables. I can’t recommend Anne of Green Gables enough so…yeah…Anne of Green Gables.

    It was actually soul-crushing re-reading Anne of Green Gables last year, and remembering once again what bothered me about it the first time, 10 years ago. Namely – how she gives up her career and dreams to become the all-American Goodie-two-shoes breeding machine.

  155. debbie
    debbie April 14, 2012 at 8:51 am |

    Anne of Green Gables would be the all-Canadian Goodie-Two-Shoes :)

  156. Alexandra
    Alexandra April 14, 2012 at 9:10 am |

    I know, but it reads all-American ;)

  157. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve April 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |

    If you like this…

    But I’m A Cheerleader, about a Christian anti-gay-therapy camp. The whole cast is incredible, but the story centers on the friendship, and later love affair, between the confused Cheerleader and the angsty punk girl. So great!

    then you may like this…

    For TV – I …would like to add Drop Dead Diva.

    Both directed by my one of my best friend’s gf…who is brilliant.

  158. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve April 14, 2012 at 10:46 am |

    Johnny Guitar is not about female ‘friendship’ in the buddy sense of the word, but it’s worth noting how Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge, are ‘enemies’ in a style that is traditionally male.

  159. Chataya
    Chataya April 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm |

    Since someone brought TV shows and anime into this.

    Puella Magi Madoka Magica – 12 episode anime revolving entirely around a group of 14-year-old girls and their friendships, rivalries and struggles as they choose to become Magical Girls (rather dark and sad)

    Revolutionary Girl Utena – 39 episode anime with various story arcs about a woman fighting to protect her best friend. Basically a Knight/Princess dynamic, except they’re both women.

  160. fifthpevensie
    fifthpevensie April 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm |

    It was actually soul-crushing re-reading Anne of Green Gables last year, and remembering once again what bothered me about it the first time, 10 years ago. Namely – how she gives up her career and dreams to become the all-American Goodie-two-shoes breeding machine.

    this may be the super-Canadian side of me coming out (we have so few internationally loved, remaining-Canadian heroines so maybe I am really blind to Anne’s shortcomings)
    but I think that’s kind of an unfair reading. sure, Anne gets married and has a bunch of kids, but that’s not until after she teaches in Avonlea, gets her BA, and works as a principal and teacher at a high school. I think Anne of the Island is a really great portrayal of female friendship, with Anne and Phil and Stella and Priscilla renting “Patty’s Place” and having 1914-versions of university hijinks. her friendship with Diana remains strong even though Anne is really disappointed when Diana decides to get married when she does. she has really great female role models (Marilla, Miss Stacey, even Katherine Brooke). she stops teaching after she and Gil get married, but I don’t know, I guess I feel like since the series is kind of autobiographical (though not as much as The Story Girl ooh! Road to Avonlea! another show with good female friendships!!!) it’s not fair to insist that Montgomery did something wrong by writing Anne’s life as similar to her own.

  161. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve April 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm |

    It was actually soul-crushing…the all-American Goodie-two-shoes breeding machine.

    ‘Breeding machine’? Really? There are a lot of women from Middle America with multiple children on this site, so I’ll leave it up to them if that’s offensive. But I certainly wouldn’t use that term here and I’m not exactly known for my tact.

  162. Clarence
    Clarence April 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm |

    I submit Butterfly Kiss.

    As for male friendship movies, I feel like there are thousands and thousands, but what did you mean by “dudebro”?

  163. katrina
    katrina April 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm |

    passion fish, i think might do. It also has a disabled woman as the lead:
    love Antonia’s line
    Hilary & Jacky; um, a bit of a twisted relationship. Asking to fuck your sister’s hubbie
    oh, secret & lies

  164. Weekly Feminist Reader
    Weekly Feminist Reader April 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

    [...] next time you’re looking for a good flick about female friendship, check out the 163 comments on this Feministe [...]

  165. A.
    A. April 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

    yes, definitely enjoy Passion Fish and Bagdad Cafe too

    and the british series Rosemary & Thyme (also here : against ageism = “mature women” and women sleuthing)
    as well as the soc. period drama-series Cranford (friendships of women of various ages in the 1840ies – just watched it again this weekend and The Making Of as well)

    sry if i didnt do a TW for Antonia’s Line – as usual i would/recommend to just check any movie/film on the web and see if it potentially triggers me or others (before i buy the dvd or watch it)

  166. Sarah
    Sarah April 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm |

    Lo these many moons ago, I took a college class called Race, Racism and the Feminist Movement. For our final class, we watched a movie picked by the two instructors. They had strict guidelines: It had to be centered around a friendship between two women who were not the same race, and they had to support each other.

    Their choice? The Long Walk Home.

    From television:
    Daria
    The Middleman – I adore this show, if only because of the friendship between roommates who mostly talk about art and jobs, giving only passing conversation to boys.
    My So-Called Life
    Criminal Minds – Yes, there’s lots of murder but good team bonding.

    Movies:
    Just Between Friends – Mary Tyler Moore and Christine Lahti become friends and then have a serious falling out for good reason. Bonus points for Sam Waterston in a supporting role.
    Indian Summer – Grownups go back to camp for a mini-reunion. There’s plenty of relationship angst, but also some solid female-centered friendships.
    Bad Girls – No, it’s not an awesome movie but it is centered around the friendships.
    Clockwatchers – Temp workers become friends and try to support each other under crazy work circumstances & pressure.
    Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – A governess takes a job working for a younger actress and hilarity ensues.
    Experience Preferred, But Not Essential – If you ever have the chance to see this, please do! A little gem about a teenaged girl who takes a job in a hotel for the summer. It has the obligatory Boy, but mostly centers around her journey and growth and relationships.

    Thanks for all the suggestions!

  167. Erin
    Erin April 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    Me Without You
    Shag
    Norma Rae
    Harlan County USA
    Coal Miner’s Daughter (Loretta Lynn/Patsy Cline)
    Housekeeping
    Auntie Mame
    Working Girl
    Fast Times at Ridgemont High
    Walking and Talking

  168. rat_bastard
    rat_bastard April 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm |

    Tank Girl

  169. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve April 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm |

    This is the kind of topic that’s more fun the more comments that it gets, allow me to add the following continental contributions :

    Babette’s Feast
    Zus en Zo
    Gooische Vrouwen
    The Dinner Club (De Eetclub)

  170. Alexandra
    Alexandra April 16, 2012 at 11:33 am |

    Now and Then.

    Seriously, has no one mentioned that yet? It was probably one of the most perfect female friendship movies that totally helped form who I was as a young woman.

  171. Kendra
    Kendra April 16, 2012 at 11:55 am |

    Time Square is amazing. The relationship was romantic but unfortunately was dramatically altered in the final editing process. There are definitely still lesbian undertones but the friendship based on mutual respect and admiration as well as self actualization is the best I’ve seen in any movie. EVER (and the one I most want to emulate).

  172. Colleen
    Colleen April 17, 2012 at 11:09 am |

    A couple other commenters have already mentioned it, but when I think of movies about female friendship, I think of Boys on the Side. It’s a really great examination of the sorts of things that tie women together, and how the lines can become blurred between friendship-love and love-love (but that’s okay).

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