Sunday night I was arguing with the OxBoys about movies every woman should watch. It all started from some bullshit Esquire list about records every man should own. From there they started to list movies every man should see from what I remember they included Caddyshack, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and a bunch of other movies I had never seen.
I expressed my fear that they would soon turn to movies women should see and one of them would say Pretty Woman or 27 bridesmaid dresses or some such bullshit and then I would barf all over my keyboard. They didn’t say anything, instead they challenged me to come up with ten movies every woman should see. I rattled off my first two really quickly, but then I had to spend some time thinking about.
Now, I have my list of 10 Movies Every Woman Should See:
Whale Rider: A young Maori girl is a huge disappoint just for being a girl and apparently unable to ride the whale, which is really important for reasons I can’t remember. She challenges the tradition and rides the damn whale anyway. Let’s hear it for little girl power. I love this movie because I think there are so few movies about the strength and ingenuity of young girls.
Bend it Like Beckham: While it’s good to listen to your parents and be a good girl, sometimes cultural norms are not what’s right for you. It takes a lot of courage to rebel against your parents especially when you know they only want whats best for you and don’t understand when you know what’s best for you.
Kit Kittredge: It’s got a lot of schmaltz, I can’t deny it. But this story about hobos, the great depression and the unstoppable young Kit is all about good stuff like tolerance, generosity, and not listening to people who say no, you can’t do that.
Muriel’s Wedding: You might think the white dress and the wedding and the husband will make you happy but it’s no replacement for friendship.
The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy had everything she needed to get home within her power, she only needed a wiser, older woman to remind her of that.
Almost Famous: Sure, sure Penny Lane might seem like just another pretty groupie, but not only does she nurture the whole bunch of rock and roll ragamuffins, but in the end she realizes that they are indeed using her. So she ditches everyone and jets off to Morocco to take care of herself.
A League of Their Own: Women getting out of the home to play baseball. Turns out they kind of like being more than housewives. Plus, what I love about this is the way they look out for and take care of each other.
Mona Lisa Smile: I love this one. Art + feminism + you don’t have to settle for a house in the suburbs = awesome.
Before Sunrise/Before Sunset: I lump these together because they go together. Though the one that really needs to be seen by women is Before Sunset (it just works better if you’ve seen Before Sunrise). There is a scene in Before Sunset where Julia Delpy talks about being lonely and men and it’s so true and so devastating and just shows that we are not alone.
Mean Girls: This is the movie I wished had been around when I was in 7th and 8th grade when Heather Whatshername and Tonya Whorebitchmeanie were making my life miserable. It’s important for girls to see that even the pretty, popular girls don’t have it all that easy.