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20 Films That Celebrate Female Friendship To Add To Your Watchlist

Female friendship has a long cinematic history, and there's been an explosion of films in recent years about women friends of all ages (albeit the focus seems to be on high schoolers). Given the overwhelming number of films on the subject, we decided to look at some of the best movies that celebrate female friendship so you'll you know exactly what to add to your watchlist.

While there are certainly some iconic films that celebrate female friendship (looking at you "Thelma & Louise"), we've focused our list on dramas, comedies, and movies that perfectly meld the two to give a real taste of life's joys and pains. But that doesn't mean there isn't a wide variety of films below. 

The movies selected cover decades and nations, highlighting that as much as some things change, friendship always remains a key piece of women's lives. Many of the movies below are about tweens and teens, but others center on adults whose lives make friendship a bit more complicated. Whether you're looking for movies about women looking back on their childhood, or scrambling to sort out their future, there's a movie here for you.

Now and Then

Written by I. Marlene King, who would go on to create and show-run another piece of quintessential female friendship media in "Pretty Little Liars," "Now and Then" tells the story of four women, some of whom haven't seen each other in years, who gather in their hometown in 1991 for the birth of one of their children. The women reminisce about the summer of 1970 and the movie flashes back to that earlier period for most of its runtime.

The film follows four friends, each of whom is dealing with personal and family issues, as they embark on a quest to discover what happened to a boy who died very young decades prior while also working to save enough money to buy a treehouse. Both premises are somewhat ironic because the undeniably dark concept of researching a child's death serves as the backdrop for a story about four girls coming of age, while their collective goal of buying a treehouse belies that their coming of age largely means their growing apart.

And yet, the greatest strength of "Now and Then" is the chemistry between the four leads that can make any viewer feel nostalgic for their youth. The movie draws viewers into the group of friends, letting us feel like we are a part of the group as we grow to deeply care about each of these girls and want the best for them.


"Daisies" follows two friends, one blonde and one brunette, both named Marie (Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová). The two women decide that,  because the world is corrupt and terrible, they will be terribly spoiled, too. For them, that largely means taking advantage of men and making a mess of polite society. The Maries go on dates with wealthy old men and spend their money on food and drink before ditching them. They ignore men's plaintive cries of unrequited love, they drunkenly disrupt floor shows at upscale clubs, and even make a mess of their own apartment in the name of being spoiled.

"Daisies" is equally full of feminine joy and rage, and often shows how the two can mix together in ways that allow the Maries to take a sort of revenge on polite society through their chaotic joy. What makes "Daisies" even more remarkable is that its punk attitude extends to the formal elements. Co-writer and director Věra Chytilová plays with continuity, color, and even the bodies of her heroines who in one scene literally cut each other up like collage pieces on screen.

"Daisies" is a special movie not just for its celebration of female friendship, but for the way that it shows that female friendship can itself be a revolutionary act.

The Trouble with Angels

Based on the memoir "Life With Mother Superior" by Jane Trahey, "The Trouble With Angels" tells the coming-of-age story of two friends who attend a Catholic boarding school for girls that's run by nuns. The movie has almost no men in it, and the story is entirely focused on the relationships between the women at the center of the plot.

Mary (Hayley Mills) and Rachel (June Harding) are free-spirited girls who enjoy causing trouble for the sisters at the school and playing tricks on their more obedient classmates. "The Trouble With Angels" certainly focuses on Mary and Rachel's friendship, making it an indispensable female friendship movie, but it's also about more than just friendship. The film also allows the nuns to show that, while they may be strict disciplinarians and teachers, they are also people with distinct personalities and traits.

"The Trouble With Angels" is a wonderful movie that highlights the importance of friendship and mentorship between women during adolescence. It's also a hilarious flick that is immensely quotable, something that's helped by the great performances from the two leads and the serious yet kind character Mother Superior, played by Rosalind Russel.


"Girlfriends" tells the story of Susan (Melanie Mayron), who struggles to direct her life as a young woman in New York in the late 1970s. When Susan's best friend and roommate, Anne (Anita Skinner), gets married and moves out of their apartment, Susan's life is set even further adrift. And yet, while you can feel that Susan is struggling with direction and going after what she wants (becoming a professional artistic photographer), "Girlfriends" moves along surprisingly quickly.

While it helps that the movie covers at least two years in Susan's life, almost every scene feels lackadaisical, as if there's no rush to get anywhere and we can simply enjoy the moment. Well, there are some less-than-enjoyable moments, like the scenes of lovers' quarrels between Susan and some of her suitors, or the blowout between the two friends whose lives are drifting apart.

"Girlfriends" is a hilarious and deeply affecting movie that takes a realistic look at the ways people can grow in different directions in life without completely losing one another. It's also a quintessentially New York Jewish movie with a stellar cast of Jewish actors including Mayron, Eli Wallach, Bob Balaban, and Christopher Guest.

Plan B

The funniest movie to come out of the growing "young women seeking reproductive care" subgenre, "Plan B" is directed by actor Natalie Morales of "Parks and Recreation" and tells the story of two best friends who take a road trip to the nearest Planned Parenthood after being denied a Plan B pill at their local pharmacy. The movie plays out like a "one crazy night" story as the girls, Sunny (Kuhoo Verma) and Lupe (Victoria Moroles), make their way across South Dakota. They encounter kind convenience store clerks, creepy drug dealers, love interests, and more.

"Plan B" is an uproarious comedy that manages to perfectly thread the needle of acknowledging the seriousness of its premise without becoming overburdened by that gravity. It lets the teenage girls be teenage girls who love to laugh and tease one another while they're on a meaningful mission.

What makes "Plan B" unique in its subgenre (besides its great jokes) is its focus on two young women of color. Their pairing is not commented on by the movie, but the inclusivity of the cast makes the movie feel special.

One Sings, the Other Doesn't

Written and directed by legendary French filmmaker Agnès Varda, "One Sings, the Other Doesn't" tells the story of Pauline (Valérie Mairesse) and Suzanne (Thérèse Liotard), whose friendship spans decades and continents while remaining a constant in their lives. The two were friends as children, and they reconnect later in their lives around the early 1960s. When they come back together, Pauline helps Suzanne secure money for an illegal abortion and their lives are changed forever by the event.

Pauline is kicked out of her home by her parents and begins a career as a singer, while Suzanne's husband dies by suicide. These changes lead them away from each other for another ten years, but they find each other once again. They are reunited at an abortion rights rally, and this time, they keep in touch, writing to one another even when Pauline moves to Iran.

"One Sings, the Other Doesn't" is a movie about advocating for reproductive rights, but it is also about the friendship between these two women and the roles that they play in each others' lives. And by centering its narrative not on their searches for reproductive care, but their friendship, the movie becomes, as Roger Ebert called it, "a lyric voice instead of a preachy one" in the way it advocates for its feminist ideals.

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Actor and "Don't Worry Darling" director Olivia Wilde's first feature "Booksmart" is one of the rare movies that seemed to be an instant classic when it arrived in theaters in 2019. The movie follows best friends Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) as they try to find the best graduation party of their senior year, which also just so happens to be hosted by Molly's crush.

It's a "one crazy night" movie that includes a detour to two less-than-ideal parties, a rideshare with their principal, and a stop-motion drug trip. Molly and Amy's relationship is always the center of the movie, but what makes "Booksmart" such a great comedy is its fantastic supporting cast. Billie Lourd, especially, stands out as a truly unpredictable character who may have some supernatural abilities.

"Booksmart" is a movie that allows the audience to feel like a part of Molly and Amy's world, which makes it all the more emotionally impactful when the two get into a fight. It's a movie that deserves its status as a modern classic that will certainly stand the test of time as one of the best high school movies and one of the best movies about female friendship.

Skate Kitchen

An expansion of co-writer/director Crystal Moselle's short film "That One Day," "Skate Kitchen" follows teen Camille (Rachelle Vinberg) as she befriends and becomes a part of the all-girl skating collective known as "The Skate Kitchen." The movie follows Camille's awkward befriending of the other girls, and her growth to become a fixture of their friend group before drama ensues and endangers the friendship.

It's a quintessential New York movie, as we see the girls skate and take trains around the city together, often in gorgeous montages. And while the center of the movie is the relationships between Camille and the other girls in the group, the movie also spends a significant amount of time on Camille's tumultuous relationship with her mother.

"Skate Kitchen" is a movie that serves as a realistic portrait of a group of female friends, because it is a real portrait. The Skate Kitchen is a real life group of skater friends that Moselle met and became interested in portraying on film, leading first to "That One Day," then "Skate Kitchen," and then the series "Betty" on HBO Max. Each of those pieces of media are fantastic celebrations of not just one-on-one female friendships, but the friendships that grow within a group.


"Tangerine" follows a day in the life of two black, transgender, women who are sex workers and best friends. We see what happens when one of them, Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), gets released from a month-long stay in jail and learns that her boyfriend and pimp has been cheating on her with a cisgender woman. To say the least, Sin-Dee is displeased. She sets out, with the help of her friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor), to find him.

"Tangerine" was shot entirely on an iPhone by co-writer/director Sean Baker, which gives the movie a feeling that we're just watching real-life events play out in front of us. The movie is a visual marvel, as Baker and co-cinematographer Radium Cheung make the most of every image through their use of light and framing.

Overall, "Tangerine" is a chaotic movie that drops viewers into its specific world without much introduction, allowing us to find our footing as the story progresses and we begin to care for Sin-Dee and Alexandra. The movie creates an emotional equivalency between their most desperate endeavors (like getting paid by a scamming John) and their personal goals (Alexandra has a show she keeps trying to get people to come to), which is really unique and fun to watch.

And to top it all off, "Tangerine" is a Christmas movie, since Sin-Dee's release date is Christmas Eve. The California setting of the flick makes it one of the sunnier Christmas movies made. And Sin-Dee and Alexandra's friendship, despite the chaos, makes it a feel-good Christmas film, too.


"Girlhood" centers on African-French teenager Marieme (Karidja Touré) as she joins a group of girls at her school who get into trouble for stealing and fighting with other girls. The film's french title, "Bande de Filles," directly translates to "Group of Girls" or "Gang of Girls." The girls are essentially a gang, as they make appointments to fight rival groups and sometimes help local drug dealers with their work, but they are also extremely close friends.

The girls are tough and capable of violence, but we get to see them be sweet, kind, and loving when it's just the four of them. One sequence in particular, during which the girls get a hotel room, get dressed up, and sing along to "Diamonds" by Rihanna, is one of the most memorable moments of feminine joy.

"Girlhood" is a coming-of-age story that tells a beautiful chapter in Marieme's life, where she finds a community of young women who help her become herself, for better and for worse. It's not always a pretty movie, but that's exactly what makes "Girlhood" such a great film — it's an honest depiction of life for women who are struggling in many aspects but find some respite in their friendships.

Liz and the Blue Bird

The only animated film on this list, "Liz and the Blue Bird" is a sequel spin-off film from the "Sound! Euphonium" anime series that tells the story of two background characters from the show. "Liz and the Blue Bird" is a rare, anime movie based on an existing anime (itself based on the series of novels by Ayano Takeda) that doesn't require any preexisting knowledge of the world or characters.

The film follows friends and bandmates Mizore (Atsumi Tanezaki) and Nozomi (Nao Tôyama) as they practice a musical piece based on a fairy tale. That fairy tale is about a young woman named Liz becoming close friends with a blue bird, but eventually, the bird must fly away. Mizore feels that the piece reflects her and Nozomi's relationship, especially as Mizore is much more introverted than the popular Nozomi.

"Liz and the Blue Bird" is a movie about growing apart but never forgetting the importance of friendship. It's a devastatingly sad movie at times, yet it ultimately offers a bittersweet, almost melancholic, recognition of friends who pursue different paths in life while still caring about and loving one another.

It's also a gorgeous movie to look at and listen to. The story's focus on music means that there are stunning pieces of music throughout. And the animation, which switches between a standard anime style and a watercolor-inspired style to show the story of the fairy tale, is impeccably beautiful from start to finish.

Frances Ha

While actor-writer-director Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird" may be her first feature film as a director, you can also see her creative fingerprints all over "Frances Ha," a film she starred in and co-wrote with director Noah Baumbach (who also happens to be her romantic partner). The movie follows the titular Frances (Gerwig) as a New York City woman in her late 20s whose life is thrown into chaos when her best friend and roommate Sophie (Mickey Sumner) decides to move out.

The move forces Frances to consider her financial prospects and what kind of life she wants to lead. "Frances Ha" is first and foremost a character study of Frances, but her relationship with Sophie is the only constant in her life over the time that we spend with her. Even as the two travel across continents, grow apart, and fight, they ultimately reconcile.

"Frances Ha" is a movie for adults about growing up, and it's a movie about the importance of friendship at all stages of life. It's a beautiful film that often feels like a hangout movie, despite how much plot is actually stuffed in. The two leads have such an inviting chemistry that we can't help but fall in love with both of them.

Mean Girls

Inspired by the non-fiction book "Queen Bees and Wannabes" by Rosalind Wiseman, Tina Fey wrote the script for this iconic movie about the dangers of high school girls. The movie's impact on internet culture can't be overstated, as we continue to see people celebrate October 3rd as "Mean Girls Day" and the dozens of memes that have been created, as documented through the meme archive site Know Your Meme. movie has its own entire page full of sub-entries on the meme archive site Know Your Meme.

"Mean Girls" centers on Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) as she begins attending a high school in a Chicago suburb after a lifetime of home-schooling and living in Africa with her zoologist parents. It's an overwhelming new eco-system for the teen, and she's introduced to it (along with the audience) from two perspectives early in the movie. The outcast Janice Ian (Lizzy Caplan) initially takes Cady under her wing to help the new girl understand how things work, but soon Cady's invited to join the popular girl clique known as "The Plastics."

"Mean Girls" is a high school classic because it manages to perfectly blend incredibly silly comedy with real heart. Plus, the story is not only about female friendship. It's also about high school and the broad importance of kindness. It's a movie that might even seem sweet if it weren't so incredibly funny.

In Between

"In Between" tells the story of three young Palestinian women living in an apartment in Tel Aviv as they struggle with racism, homophobia, predatory men, and repressive social structures. It's not always an easy movie to watch, and it spends a lot of time on each woman's individual struggles, but at its center is the relationship that blossoms between the women.

The film begins when the devout Muslim Nour (Shaden Kanboura) moves into an apartment with the non-religious Leila (Mouna Hawa) and Salma (Sana Jammelieh). The three women start out by having a difficult time finding common ground. But as the movie progresses, the women begin to care for one another and support each other through their individual difficulties.

It's a powerful movie that paints a nuanced picture of the lives of Palestinian women living in Israel, yet it never feels like an explicitly political film because it is so primarily grounded in the personal narrative. "In Between" celebrates female friendship as an anchor for women whose lives are beset by a variety of challenges, both from within and outside their familial and chosen communities.

Whip It

As the first feature film directed by beloved actor Drew Barrymore, "Whip It" tells the story of teenager Bliss (Elliot Page), who finds a place to belong on a roller derby team. It's a movie about team dynamics and how women of all ages can learn from one another in meaningful ways.

When Bliss joins the team, she struggles to balance her new friendships with her teammates and her friendship with her best friend from school. On top of that, she doesn't understand why her parents treat her the way they do and she feels like they just want to control her life. She's not exactly confident in most aspects of her life. But the team, and their victories on the track, build her confidence and help her discover what is most important for her in her life, while also challenging her assumptions about her parents.

"Whip It" is a joyous movie that uses the undeniably thrilling sport of roller derby as a backdrop to explore Bliss's relationships with a variety of women in her life. It's the rare movie that highlights the importance of intergenerational friendships between women and is also a blast to watch from start to finish for its humor and incredibly well-directed roller derby scenes.

Book Club

While most movies on this list, and most movies about female friendship in general, focus on the lives of young women, "Book Club" follows the stories of four women in their 60s and 70s. Vivian (Jane Fonda), Diane (Diane Keaton), Sharon (Candice Bergen), and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) have been close friends and members of a book club for decades at the start of the movie. When they decide to read "50 Shades of Gray," they're inspired to reassess how they go after, or don't go after, what they want in life and relationships.

Most of the plot revolves around the women's romantic relationships, whether they're just getting back into dating after years away from it or struggling in their marriages, and relationships with their families. But the heart of the movie is the friendship between these four women who are always there for one another. It's an incredibly cozy movie to watch as we get to simply enjoy the company of these absolute icons of cinema who all have incredible chemistry together.

And while the movie's heart is the friendship between the women, it certainly doesn't hurt that the supporting male cast includes Andy Garcia and Don Johnson as love interests and Alicia Silverstone as the daughter of one of the four friends.

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

Based on the play "Ladies Room" by screenwriter Robin Schiff, "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" follows the titular Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow, who reprised her role from the play) as they prepare for their high school reunion. The two are best friends and roommates who live happy, unambitious lives as slackers in Venice Beach. But when they learn that their high school reunion is coming up and complete questionnaires sent out by the planning committee, they realize that they don't really have anything to brag about at the reunion. They spiral into a fear that they'll be made fun of again by their past bullies.

They scramble to improve themselves in a variety of ways, from finding more impressive jobs to landing boyfriends they can take to the reunion. Unfortunately, they aren't able to succeed in any of these endeavors, so they decide to simply pretend to have succeeded in all aspects of their lives. "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion" was meant to be a female response to "Wayne's World," and while it's easy to see the broad strokes of similarities (not so bright but incredibly sweet friends go on an adventure), Romy and Michelle are distinct characters and the movie is so delightfully feminine that it's impossible to compare to anything else.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Based on the novel "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" by co-screenwriter Fannie Flagg, "Fried Green Tomatoes" tells two parallel stories about female friendship. The first centers on the friendship that develops in the 1980s between housewife Evelyn (Kathy Bates) and the elderly Ninny (Jessica Tandy), who lives at the same nursing home as a relative of Evelyn's husband. The second story, which becomes the larger focus, is told to Evelyn by Ninny, and focuses on the friendship and the many adventures of two women in the 1930s.

Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker) became friends when Ruth was invited by Idgie's parents to help lift their daughter out of a depression over the death of her brother. It's a surprisingly dark start to a friendship, and things don't immediately improve when Idgie sees Ruth being abused by her husband. But things change when the women escape together to the town of Whistle Stop and open a cafe.

"Fried Green Tomatoes" is a movie about individual friendships and community and the ways that both are necessary for truly flourishing lives. The film's story takes realistic looks at some of life's cruelties, especially for women and people of color in the American South in the 1930s, but it does so with a light touch and a focus on the relationships that make those cruelties survivable.

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Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Written by and starring Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (the writing team behind the side-splittingly funny "Bridesmaids"), "Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar" is an absolutely ridiculous movie in the best ways. Barb (Mumolo) and Star (Wiig) are middle-aged best friends and co-workers who live a happy and simple life in their fictional hometown of Soft Rock, Nebraska. One day, the two decide that they should see more of the world and plan a vacation that will take them out of Soft Rock for the first time in their lives.

The pair take a trip to (the also fictional) Vista Del Mar, Florida where they meet the handsome Edgar (Jamie Dornan) and become involved in a plot to take revenge on the city by the villainous Sharon (also Wiig), who just so happens to be Edgar's boss. The movie's plot feels somewhat similar to an "Austin Powers" film, given its villain's parody level silliness, but the plot is the least interesting thing about this movie. The entire film features incredibly bright colors, includes more than one delightful music number, and, more than anything else, is built on the incredible comic chemistry and timing of Wiig and Mumolo.

If "Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar" is purely interested in being the most fun that a movie can possibly be, it succeeds. The fact that the movie's lead characters are female friends in their forties is just a bonus.

A League of Their Own

"A League of Their Own" tells a fictionalized version of the story of the real life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with a focus on one team, The Rockford Peaches. The movie follows Dottie (Geena Davis) and her sister Kit (Lori Petty), as they're recruited to try out for one of the all-women teams that will make up the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the early 1940s. The team served as a stand-in for Major League Baseball while many of the players went into the service in World War II.

The sisters are both picked up and join the Rockford Peaches, where they meet and quickly become friends with the other women on the team. "A League of Their Own" is a great movie for its story, but what makes it one of the best movies ever made (and one that's been preserved in the Library of Congress) is its incredible cast; rounding out the Peaches are Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell, and their manager is played by Tom Hanks. It's that all-star cast and their fantastic chemistry together that makes "A League of Their Own" such a special movie that feels like it's inviting you to be a part of the team and be friends with these women who all love one another, even if they do have their differences from time to time.