The very best films about female friendship understand and evoke its richness and complexity.
That means the whole deal.
From the early days, joined-at-the-hip via distracting first loves and breakup buddies, spats and misunderstandings to adulthood, distance and rediscovering one another on the other side.
These five films just get it.
So share this with your friends, get a playlist going and celebrate your favourite ride or dies.
The heartwarming weepie one…
Beaches is the ultimate lifelong-friendship film. Beginning and ending by the ocean, the story of the unlikely but enduring friendship between scrappy born-performer C.C. Bloom (Bette Midler) and whip-smart but mild-mannered Hillary Whitney (Barbara Hershey) has more ups and downs than a Coney Island ‘coaster but always returns to the same place of love, respect and drop-everything support.
Love triangles and financial hardship, envy and illness; C.C. and Hillary navigate it all, flawed and fabulous throughout. Beaches is an emotional journey and one you absolutely owe it to yourself to take.
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café (1991)
Girls Trip (2017)
Four once inseparable college friends reunite for a weekend away at a music festival in New Orleans.
It’s a super simple premise that doesn’t begin to convey the brimming blender cocktail of risqué hilarity and got-your-back friendship feels that Girls Trip serves from start to finish.
Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish effortlessly convince as wildly different women committed to the kind of real talk and love in action that’s the hallmark of friends-til-the-end who infuriate us as much as they lift us up. To quote the Flossy Posse themselves, you deserve this. Especially Dina’s tutorial on ‘grapefruiting’.
Muriel’s Wedding (1994)
The First Wives Club (1996)
Lady Bird (2017)
The discovering-who-your-real-friends-are one…
Written and directed by the phenomenal Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha, Little Women), Lady Bird is a film about the stress fractures that can open up in our closest relationships as we grow up.
For the independently minded ‘Lady Bird’ – “a name given by myself to myself” – this means clashing constantly with a mother who wants her daughter to be the best she can be, but can’t yet see how she’ll get there. It also means trading in her closest childhood friend and ally, Julie for a shot at the popular clique.
As in real life, love and friendship in Lady Bird is equal parts messy and magnificent, and sometimes only truly makes sense when we get the opportunity to look back at what we had.
Frances Ha (2012)
Thelma and Louise (1991)
Waiting to Exhale (1995)
Pitch Perfect (2012)
The feel-good musical one…
Lasting friendships, International Championship of A Capella winners trophies – as the members of the Barden Bellas discover, nothing in life worth having comes easily.
Musical comedy, Pitch Perfect, is packed with believable characters who bicker, bond, challenge one another and ultimately discover that when their unique voices combine they make sweet music together.
The cast, including Anna Kendrick as the disruptive newcomer, Beca, and Rebel Wilson (hilarious as usual) as the brilliantly blunt Patricia ‘Fat Amy’ Hobart is, well, pitch-perfect, and who can resist a competition-based story that builds and builds to a climactic, winners-take-all performance?
Mamma Mia (2008)
Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2005)
The coming of age one…
‘Laugh. Cry. Share the pants.’ It’s not a tagline to inspire confidence, but this coming-of-age comedy-drama is so much more enjoyable than its trouser-based premise hints at.
The pants in question are a pair of mysterious jeans that inexplicably, perfectly fit four best friends – a shared purchase that they make on the cusp of their first summer spent apart.
Agreeing to share ownership of the jeans over the summer, we follow each of the teenagers as they experience love, lust and loss, ultimately discovering that the bonds of friendship are strong enough to span any distance.
Now and Then (1995)
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)