While it is true another Galentine’s Day has come and gone, as far as I’m concerned every day should be treated as Galentine’s Day.
What is Galentine’s Day you might ask? Just heed the wise words of Ms. Leslie Knope, the founder of Galentine’s Day, herself:
With that in mind, whether you’re new to the world of Galentine’s Day or you happen to let this one come and go with little recognition of your best gal-pals (shame on you!), make an excuse to get your lady friends together to kick back and watch one (hell, why not all?) of the following movies. You’re sure to have a bitchin’ time.
No list would be complete without this gross, giddy, and all-around genuinely fun movie. Establishing that women could be funny and raunchy, this film highlights the comedic chops of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Rose Byrne, not to mention introduced the world (thank, God!) to the comedic giant that is Melissa McCarthy. This is one that we’ve watched on the night before our friends’ own wedding day or during a Bachelorette weekend (cliche’, I know), but, this one, truly, can be enjoyed on any day of the year, $10 bottle of wine in tow.
2. Now and Then
This is one of those movies that most define my adolescence. Like every other young, awkward, insecure girl, my female friendships were (and are) everything. This movie touches on that delicate balance of youthful hopefulness and the chaos of coming-of-age amidst the colorful backdrop of the late 60s and a kick-ass soundtrack. Plus, it features some serious female heavyweights: Christina Ricci, Gaby Hoffman (I LOVE Gaby Hoffman), Thora Birch, Melanie Griffith, Rita Wilson, Rosie O’Donnell, Bonnie Hunt, and Demi Moore. This is one of those movies that will make you feel instantly nostalgic. You know, the kind that will make you want to instantly Youtube “How to French-braid your hair” until you get bored and break out the box wine instead (or is that just me?).
3. The Sweetest Thing
Every once in a while, Hollywood will bestow us a rom-com that’s a little more rough around the edges. The kind that reminds us that, yes, us females do enjoy gross-out, perverted R-rated humor, too, but in a way that doesn’t decimate any braincells (I’m looking at you post- Jason Biggs – American Pie franchise). I’m not sure if there is a more perfect, more irreverent, more filthy yet fun-loving movie than this one (I severely disagree with the Rotten Tomatoes rating). I think the fact that it was written by a woman about she and her female friends (the character of Courtney is modeled after the screenwriter’s BFF, Kate Walsh!); stars some fantastic female heavyweights: Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate (girl crush!), and Selma Blair; features the charms of Thomas Jane and Jason Bateman (guy crush!); and makes fun of all those kinds of romantic tropes we love to hate – creates the perfect movie for a night-in with your besties.
(BTW: if the version you watch doesn’t feature the *ahem* Chinese restaurant dance scene…you gotta Google it.)
4. Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion
Oh, my gosh, how I love this movie. As I child, watching Romy and Michele get ready for their 10 year high school reunion had me so excited about my own one day. And while I’d like to blame this movie for leading up to my own eventual disappointment in the whole experience (unlike Romy & Michele’s, my 10 year occurred in a cramped, dark bar with the likes of people who pathetically peaked in high school and were still trying to convince us that they were still ‘cool’), I still enjoy rewatching this movie (and keep hoping this could be real life). Maybe it is because I will never grow out of my love for 90s fashion full of faux feathers and sheeny polyester. Maybe it is because, I too, fantasize what it would be like tell off that bitch from high school. Maybe it is because Lisa Kudrow is a comedic gift from heaven. Maybe it is because, I too, have imagined (*mock performed*) my own Cyndi Lauper inspired dances in my living room. It certainly could be all those things, but, more than anything, I think it reminds that no matter how shitty things get, life is best spent alongside your BFFs.
5. A League of Their Own
Is there a more feminist film than A League of Their Own? The mere fact that it is a story of women, made by women, portrayed by a diverse cast of women is telling of the progressive and brave project that was this film. Not to mention, the whole film is about women kicking ass at stuff men have been telling them can’t do forever. And while, it is true, the films deals with some pretty heavy themes – sexism in our society [then and now], disillusionment in a post-war era, drug and alcohol addiction, the societal pressures on both men and women – it is also just a fun, funny, and fun-loving movie. Plus, like, everyone is in this movie, which serves perfectly as the starting point of a girls-night-in rendition of ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’.
Ah! I love this movie. While one might look at a picture of the movie or watch the trailer and get the wrong idea that this is just another dumb, cliche’, teenage comedy, you would be dead wrong. This is one of those films that is both smart and satirically funny – the kind in which, unless you’re not really paying attention, you’d miss out all the clever and sarcastic and witty humor. Plus, its loosely based off of Jane Austen’s Emma, which tickles the fancy of this lit-loving gal. Amy Heckerling – the genius director – spearheads a stellar cast, a quotable script, and kick-ass soundtrack, which has transcended this film into the zeitgeist of the 1990s. Plus, it showed us – even then – the perfection that is Paul Rudd.
7. Pitch Perfect
While it is true this movie got way overplayed and the sequels have proven to be a bit lackluster, Pitch Perfect still makes for such a fun-night in with your #squad. A movie that touches on how a group of misfits can still come together – awkwardness and all – to prove how awesome they are (what’s not empowering about that?) Plus, it established the routine of Rebel Wilson/Fat Amy, a trope that, while arguably, has grown somewhat routine, is still really fun to laugh at. And, call me cheesy, but I always get weepy at the end when they pull off their final kick-ass routine.Also, be prepared to have a plastic cup nearby as watching this movie will induce a midnight marathon viewing of “The Cup Song Tutorial” until you have it perfect (you have been warned).
This is another one of those kind of raunchy, smartly written, and smarter than most chick flicks that you should totes bring out for an epic girls night. Who doesn’t love the idea of traveling to Spain with your lady friends to drink and dance the night away?
Ibiza is the story of three friends – played by the gorgeous Gillian Jacobs, brilliant Phoebe Robinson, and freakin’ hilarious Vanessa Bayer – and their wild exploits whilst traveling through Ibiza. It’s nice to know that, yet again, this film was actually written by a woman, and knowing that it was produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay helps to pinpoint the specific humor of the film. Also, kudos to the film for casting Richard Madden as the man-crush of the film. While perhaps not the best Stark sibling, we’ve all been pretty worried about him since the Red Wedding (or is that just me?).
Side note: It is the kind of film that will immediately have you searching Travelocity for the
best cheapest trip you can take with your besties in tow, so you may seriously consider your life choices before cracking open that second bottle of wine.
9. 13 Going on 30
I think because I distinctly remember watching this movie with my childhood bestie at age 17, fantasizing about who I would be by 30, this movie resonates in my mind as the perfect chick flick. And, cliche’s as it is, I also watched this movie on the eve of my own 30th birthday, reflecting on all things that I had hoped to achieve – but never really could – by age 30.
Still, this movie touches on what real, meaningful friendship looks like. Jennifer Garner graces the screen with a genuine sense of adolescent innocence, and, while I believe Judy Greer would be a, legitimately, awesome best friend, she plays the memory of everyone’s childhood bully in the character of Lucy so perfectly well that between them both, you are instantly transported back to seventh grade – side-ponies and all. And, beyond all that, this movie was the beginning of my (and the world’s?) utter devotion to Mark Ruffalo, a self-proclaimed feminist, and his presence in the film makes more than enough of a worthy excuse to rewatch it (again and again).
10. Practical Magic
Although this is another movie to which I strongly disagree with the Rotten Tomatoes rating (20% are you kidding me?!), I would argue this movie could have made the final cut on so many of my lists: “Best Halloween Movies”; “Best Movies with the most Bitchin’ Hair”; “Best Movies to Watch when you want to Murder your Ex but Shouldn’t”…seriously, this movie fits into all the seasons of life. But knowing that it made my list for Best Galentine’s Day movies makes the most sense to me: it is a story of sisterhood, of the power garnered from the strength of our female friendships, of the magic that is our femininity. It took the abstract concept of witchcraft – the parts of our feminine selves that throughout history we’ve felt pressured to resist and repress – and transformed it into a movement of transcendence. The 90s was filled with these kinds of witchcraft themes (Practical Magic, The Craft, Sabrina the Teenage Witch), which was really just the precursor to the now ever present, ever powerful #METOO generation. And thank God for it.
Side note: If you haven’t watched any of the other trailers I’ve embedded in this article, you really should watch this one: it is so quintessential 90s (Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch” is the opening song?! Score!)