Celebrate Women’s History Month With 10 Movies About Friendship

By Patricia PuentesLast Updated Apr 15, 2021 3:56:00 PM ET
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Photo Courtesy: Universal Pictures, Annapurna, STX Films

We’re entering Women’s History Month with some movie suggestions: titles that celebrate women’s friendships. So prepare yourself for laughter, solidarity, brutal honesty, girls' nights out and the occasional tear.

You might miss some titles here, so feel free to add suggestions in the comments section.

Also, all the movies on this list have at least either a woman director, a woman screenwriter, a woman producer or all of the above.

Clueless (1995)

If there’s an author who’s captured female friendship repeatedly, it’d be Jane Austen. Her stories tend to focus more on the friendships between sisters (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility). But with Emma, the author portrayed the relationships of the young and a bit spoiled heiress between her older sister Isabella, her governess and mother figure Miss Taylor and ultimately the unassuming and highly influenceable Harriet Smith.

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Photo Courtesy: Paramount Pictures

Check out Autumn de Wilde’s 2020 version — Emma. — for a very poignant take on how toxic the friendship between Emma and Harriet is when Emma treats the latter as an inferior. Or opt for a cult classic like Amy Heckerling’s Clueless for the 1990s take on it. The outfits in both are full of ideas for those who prefer not to be ensembly challenged.

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

What happens when Jess (Parminder Nagra), an 18-year-old girl from London whose British-Indian family doesn’t approve of her playing soccer, meets the player of a local women's football team named Jules (Keira Knightley)? Jules convinces Jess to try out for the team and the two of them revolutionize just about everything.

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Photo Courtesy: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Gurinder Chadha (Bride & Prejudice) wrote and directed this coming-of-age story about cultural differences, staying true to oneself, romance and friendship.

Frances Ha (2012)

Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig co-wrote the script of this movie that he also directs and in which she also stars. Gerwig is Frances, a 20-something-year-old aspiring dancer who lives in Brooklyn with her best friend from college, Sophie (Mickey Sumner). Things start falling apart when Sophie tells Frances she is moving to Tribeca, a neighborhood the dancer can’t afford.

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Photo Courtesy: IFC Films

The film reflects on the ways friendships evolve in our late twenties and proves there’s always a way to reconnect.

Tangerine (2015)

Indie filmmaker Sean Baker (The Florida Project) shot his 2015 film Tangerine entirely on an iPhone 5S and with a very modest $100,000 budget. The movie tells the story of Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), a transgender sex worker who just finished a 28-day sentence in jail. Her best friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor), also a trans woman and sex worker, spills out that Sin-Dee’s boyfriend and pimp is cheating on her with a cisgender woman.

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Photo Courtesy: Magnolia Pictures

Both women end up trying to get to the bottom of the affair and embark on a search throughout Los Angeles during a Christmas Eve day that proves how important friendship is.

Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures joins Taraji P. Henson (Katherine G. Johnson), Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughan) and Janelle Monáe (Mary Jackson) to tell the real story of a group of Black women mathematicians who worked at NASA and played a crucial role during the Space Race of the 1960s.

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When given the right opportunity, these scientists made a difference. But the movie is also a great example of how mentorship and support among them empowered these women to be their best selves.

The Beguiled (2017)

They might not always feel like a traditional group of best friends, but the women in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled sure know how to unite against adversity. Based on the novel of the same name, the film tracks the story of an all-girls boarding school in Virginia during the Civil War.

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The lives of the school’s headmistress (Nicole Kidman), teacher (Kirsten Dunst) and students get shaken when a wounded soldier (Colin Farrell) from the Union Army, who has deserted, ends up at the school.

Girls Trip (2017)

This laugh-out-loud comedy was directed by Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man Holiday) and assembles Regina Hall (Ryan), Queen Latifah (Sasha), Jada Pinkett Smith (Lisa) and Tiffany Haddish (Dina). They’re the Flossy Posse, four friends from college who have fallen out of touch over the years and head out on a girls-only trip to the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans to rekindle their friendship.

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Expect absinthe-fueled nights gone wild, pajama parties and a lot of tenderness from these four besties.

Hustlers (2019)

Lorene Scafaria’s movie about a group of strippers who stole from some of their clients is based on a New York Magazine article relating real events.

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Granted, the movie would be worth it just to see Jennifer Lopez’s pole-dancing moves and trend-setting fashion choices. She plays Ramona, a seasoned stripper with the habit of taking club newcomers under her wing and befriending them. You can argue against the white collar crimes committed by these women, but regardless of its moral dilemma Hustlers can also be seen as an example of women’s camaraderie.

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Booksmart (2019)

Olivia Wilde’s feature directorial debut is a coming-of-age story about two overachievers and best friends — Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) — who realize they have one last night before graduation to make up for lost time in high school.

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Look out for a murder mystery party with a lot of production value and the portrayal of a friendship in which encouragement and acceptance are key.

Unpregnant (2020)

In 2020 there were two movies — Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Unpregnant — that focused on a couple of teenagers and friends having to leave on a road trip. In both movies, one of the teenagers was pregnant and needed to get an abortion in a state where parental consent wasn’t necessary.

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And whereas Never Rarely Sometimes Always is certainly a superior movie that explores the need for accessible reproductive healthcare and rights for all, Unpregnant is the more humorous version of that story. Prepare to be inspired by Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) and her bestie Bailey (Barbie Ferreira), someone who fortunately doesn’t hold a grudge.