Unmarried Womenby Buckywunder | created - 05 Aug 2016 | updated - 28 Jan 2017 | Public
The Women's Movement hasn't been portrayed particularly well or sympathetically in film. Nor has the complicated depth and power of relationships between women, whether romantic or platonic, for that matter.
But in the few cases it has, complex characters as well as new social relations have emerged – mostly for the better. Here is a list of films that capture the long historical haul for equal rights for women or those that capture "women space" in the most powerful ways...
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1. An Unmarried Woman (1978)
R | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A wealthy woman from Manhattan's Upper East Side struggles to deal with her new identity and her sexuality after her husband of sixteen years leaves her for a younger woman.
Votes: 4,294 | Gross: $24.00M
2. Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)
R | 136 min | Drama
A dedicated schoolteacher spends her nights cruising bars, looking for abusive men with whom she can engage in progressively violent sexual encounters.
Votes: 6,403 | Gross: $16.90M
3. Thelma & Louise (1991)
R | 130 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama
Two best friends set out on an adventure, but it soon turns around to a terrifying escape from being hunted by the police, as these two girls escape for the crimes they committed.
Votes: 128,661 | Gross: $45.36M
5. Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2012)
TV-14 | 45 min | Comedy
The wild misadventures of Edina "Eddy" Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and her best friend Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), who live in a nearly constant haze of drugged, drunken selfishness.
6. Entre Nous (1983)
PG | 110 min | Biography, Drama, War
A Jewish refugee marries a soldier to escape deportation to Germany. Meanwhile a wealthy art student loses her first husband to a stray Resistance bullet; at the Liberation she meets an actor, gets pregnant, and marries him.
This French classic by Diane Kurys has been mostly lost to time. Terrific performances by the two leads, and the men are portrayed mostly sympathetically...
7. Bridesmaids (I) (2011)
R | 125 min | Comedy, Romance
Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride's best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef.
Votes: 258,533 | Gross: $169.11M
8. Ghost World (2001)
R | 111 min | Comedy, Drama
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
Votes: 109,794 | Gross: $6.22M
9. Beaches (1988)
PG-13 | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
A privileged rich debutante and a cynical struggling entertainer share a turbulent, but strong childhood friendship over the years.
Votes: 22,271 | Gross: $57.04M
I am including this under protest... but I guess it does fit the theme and I like both of the leads here.
10. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997)
R | 92 min | Comedy
Two dim-witted, inseparable friends hit the road for their ten-year high school reunion and concoct an elaborate lie about their lives in order to impress their classmates.
Votes: 40,299 | Gross: $29.21M
11. Dick (1999)
PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy
Two girls wander away from a White House tour and meet President Nixon.
Votes: 18,000 | Gross: $6.24M
This is an underrated classic with great goofy-girl leads and top-notch supporting cast (incl. early Will Ferrell) that takes just a few liberties with some recent American historical events for pleasing results...
12. Bring It On (2000)
PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Romance, Sport
A champion high school cheerleading squad discovers its previous captain stole all their best routines from an inner-city school and must scramble to compete at this year's championships.
Votes: 83,914 | Gross: $68.38M
Another guilty pleasure starring Kirsten Dunst. Extra bonus points for featuring female bonding across social AND racial divides...
13. Walking and Talking (1996)
R | 86 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Just as Amelia thinks she's over her anxiety and insecurity, her best friend announces her engagement, bringing her anxiety and insecurity right back.
Votes: 2,980 | Gross: $1.28M
This will have to stand in for *most* of Nicole Holofcener's work. She has slowly been building quite the "resume" (up to and including the present) of women-centered dramedy, mostly good, some stumbles, but never dull...
14. Margot at the Wedding (2007)
R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama
Margot and her son Claude decide to visit her sister Pauline after she announces that she is marrying less-than-impressive Malcolm. In short order, the storm the sisters create leaves behind a mess of thrashed relationships and exposed family secrets.
Votes: 18,963 | Gross: $1.96M
Have to admit that I found Margot much more underrated compared to Frances Ha. Not sure if it is because Baumbach cast older actresses Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh or what, but I thought it was more compelling in showing New England "losers" versus the hipster scene in Manhattan (which I think is why it got more critical traction)...
15. High Art (1998)
R | 101 min | Drama, Romance
A young female intern at a small magazine company becomes involved with a drug-addicted lesbian photographer, both of whom seek to exploit each other for their respective careers, while slowly falling in love with each other.
Votes: 9,548 | Gross: $1.93M
I think this is the slightly edgier work by Lisa Cholodenko compared with "The Kids Are Alright" and "Laurel Canyon." Ally Sheedy never looked more interesting (sorry to all the John Hughes fans out there). Special bonus points for Patricia Clarkson's portrayal of Sheedy's fading love interest. Her career really took off after her channeling of Marlene Dietrich as a lesbian heroin-addict...
16. Antonia's Line (1995)
R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama
A Dutch matron establishes and, for several generations, oversees a close-knit, matriarchal community where feminism and liberalism thrive.
Votes: 7,913 | Gross: $4.82M
I forgot about how good this film was...
17. Bagdad Cafe (1987)
PG | 95 min | Comedy, Drama
A lonely German woman ends up in the most desolate motel on Earth and decides to make it brighter.
Votes: 11,742 | Gross: $3.59M
Uh oh. My significant other would have *really* had my hide if I had forgotten to include this late '80's indie-classic...
18. Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
PG-13 | 130 min | Drama
A housewife who is unhappy with her life befriends an old lady in a nursing home and is enthralled by the tales she tells of people she used to know.
Votes: 63,906 | Gross: $82.42M
19. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
R | 99 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Two teenage girls share a unique bond; their parents, concerned that the friendship is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.
Votes: 57,317 | Gross: $3.05M
Powerful New Zealand film by some guy named Peter Jackson that really put him on the map. Ever hear of him? Also known as the film that launched Kate Winslet's career...
20. Muriel's Wedding (1994)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama
A young social outcast in Australia steals money from her parents to finance a vacation where she hopes to find happiness, and perhaps love.
Votes: 33,623 | Gross: $15.19M
21. Whip It (2009)
PG-13 | 111 min | Drama, Sport
In Bodeen, Texas, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.
Votes: 62,399 | Gross: $13.04M
22. Casa de los babys (2003)
R | 95 min | Drama
A brief look into the South American family life, while showing the hardships surrounding adoption in South America; as six woman are forced to stay in the country while awaiting approval of adopting a baby.
Votes: 2,006 | Gross: $0.48M
23. Passion Fish (1992)
R | 135 min | Drama
After an accident leaves her a paraplegic, a former soap opera star struggles to recover both emotionally and mentally, until she meets her newest nurse, who has struggles of her own.
Votes: 4,810 | Gross: $5.41M