Forget the hearts and flowers, forget the mushy cards, forget Valentine’s Day — instead, grab your gal pals and celebrate “Galentine’s Day” on February 13! Not sure what this great day is?
In 2010, Amy Poehler gifted us with this “non-holiday” as Leslie Knopes on “Parks and Recreation,” declaring, “Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home and we just come and kick it, breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies.” So, we’ve come up with the best movies that celebrate those female friendships.
It’s only fitting that we include Poehler’s collaboration with her real-life best friend Tina Fey, with their “Baby Mama” making the list. And if you’re looking for more laughs, grab your girlfriends, a bottle of wine and enjoy “Girls Trip” or “Bad Moms” or “Bridesmaids.”
In the mood for a good cry? It’s a toss-up between “Beaches” and “Imitation of Life” as to which one you need the biggest box of tissues for. Or if you want to laugh, cry and laugh again, you can’t go wrong with “Steel Magnolias.”
Don’t be “Clueless” about Galentine’s Day. Even if you’re working “9 to 5,” gather with “Thelma and Louise” and enjoy all “The Women” on this list!
Tour our photo gallery featuring the 25 best female friendship films. Happy Galentine’s Day!
25. Imitation of Life (1959)
In this stylish soap opera, aspiring stage actress Lora and her daughter Susie befriend Annie and her daughter Sarah Jane. The two women form a lifelong friendship that gets them through Lora’s career struggles and Annie’s difficult relationship with her daughter. One of the great tearjerkers, Lana Turner and Juanita Moore turn in heart-wrenching performances.
24. Now and Then (1995)
Samantha, Tina, Roberta and Chrissy made a pact as young girls to always be there for each other, but have grown apart as adults. However, they easily reconnect as Chrissy is about to give birth to her first child, reminiscing about an eventful summer that reminds them of the importance of their friendship, and they renew their vow to always be there for each other.
23. Bad Moms (2016)
It’s hard being a working mom, trying to be a perfect worker, perfect wife, perfect mom and perfect PTA member. Overstressed moms Amy, Carla and Kiki are determined to retake control by challenging overzealous PTA mom Gwendolyn, eventually proving that “bad moms” make the best friends.
22. The First Wives Club (1996)
Friends can lose touch, but when reunited, it’s as though time hasn’t passed. After years apart, Annie, Elise and Brenda are brought together following a tragedy, and find themselves in similar predicaments: they are the first wives of husbands cheating with younger women. As they band together as “The First Wives Club,” the husbands get their comeuppances, with the friends letting the scoundrels know “you don’t own me.”
21. How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe star as the savvy Schatze, the bubbly Loco and the scatterbrained Polo. The three beautiful best friends join forces to find rich husbands in New York City, but together find that giving in to true love is more profitable than digging for gold.
20. Pitch Perfect (2012)
Beca is unenthusiastic about college, and reluctantly joins the Barden Bellas, where she soon forms unexpected friendships. Although there’s infighting among the a cappella group, co-leaders Chloe and Aubrey, with Beca’s fresh outlook, pull the group together for a “pitch perfect” performance at the national championship.
19. A League of Their Own (1992)
During WWII, sisters Dottie and Kit join the women’s baseball league, becoming fast friends with their teammates despite a strong sibling rivalry. The teammates support one another through personal crises, lending a shoulder even though there’s “no crying in baseball,” and rallying around each other through difficult decisions.
18. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Marilyn Monroe is at her best as Lorelei, who’s looking for a wealthy husband, to Jane Russell’s Dorothy, who’s looking for fun with good-looking men regardless of their finances. Although Lorelei contends that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” she knows her real bestie is Dorothy, who has her back as the two find love despite a series of mishaps.
17. Girls Trip (2017)
Ryan, Sasha, Lisa and Dina, friends from college known as the “Flossy Posse,” head on a road trip to New Orleans. Conflicting personalities and romance dilemmas stir up trouble amongst the group of friends, but they stick together through hallucinations from a little absinthe, dance offs and a bar fight. Even though their friendship is fractured for a bit, the women’s relationship comes out even stronger in the end.
16. Muriel’s Wedding (1994)
Socially awkward, slightly overweight and treated cruelly by her father and her supposed friends, Muriel fantasizes about the perfect wedding that she thinks will make her life better. But it’s her friendship with the zany Rhonda that gives her the confidence to stand up to her father and to live life on her own terms – and rides off into the sunset with a best friend instead of a man!
15. Bridesmaids (2011)
Weddings are hard on friendships, especially when one friend is down on her luck. Annie, whose life is falling apart, is nonetheless determined to be the best maid of honor to her lifelong bestie Lillian, despite competition from Lillian’s new friend Helen. But the women soon discover that two bridesmaids are much better than one.
14. Clueless (1995)
It all starts with good intentions when pretty and popular best friends Cher and Dionne “adopt” the “tragically unhip” new girl Tai. Of course, Cher’s meddling in Tai’s romantic life bombs, causing friction. Luckily, they aren’t completely “clueless,” and forgiveness leads to an even more solid friendship.
13. Waiting to Exhale (1995)
Savannah, Robin, Bernadine and Gloria listen to each other, and offer comfort and advice as all good friends do. As they despair about the men in their lives, show concern over their families and vent about careers, they take time for each other and make each other laugh during trying times.
12. Baby Mama (2008)
We can’t forget the lady who gifted us with “Galentine’s Day,” Amy Poehler, and her real-life bestie Tina Fey. Just like romantic love, opposites often attract in friendships, as is the case with the straight-laced Kate (Fey), who hires the immature Angie (Poehler) to be her surrogate. Hilarity ensues as Angie tries to con Kate and the two navigate rocky romances, but ultimately become the best of friends.
11. The Women (1939)
Skip the 2008 remake, and go back to this version starring real-life rival actresses Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford as a scorned wife (Shearer as Mary) up against a husband-stealing hussy (Crawford as Crystal). En route to obtain her divorce, Mary bonds with fellow future divorcees Miriam, Peggy and Countess de Lave. Hilariously catty, these women help Mary to “grow claws. . . Jungle Red!”
10. Joy Luck Club (1993)
Strong friendships can form from shared culture, as is the case of Lindo, Ying-Ying, An-Mei and Suyuan. Having each immigrated to America from China after personal hardships and tragedies, the four women bond over mahjong, sharing stories and their hopes for their daughters.
9. Mamma Mia! (2008)
Rosie and Tanya reunite with their longtime friend and former fellow Dynamos singer Donna, whose daughter is getting married. But Donna’s old beaus, any of whom could be the father of her child, make a surprise appearance, and – “Mamma Mia!” – the “Chiquitita” needs help from her “Dancing Queen” chums to get to the “I Do, I Do, I Do. . .”
8. Booksmart (2019)
High school is hard, but a best friend who accepts all your quirks, flaws and melodramas eases the growing pains. Best friends since childhood, Molly and Amy unconditionally support one another (“malala!”) as they navigate their senior year as the class outcasts, and contemplate a future in which they are each on their own.
7. Hidden Figures (2016)
In 1961, African-American mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson fight racism, sexism and the threat of electronic computers replacing human computers to become an integral part of NASA’s fight to win the Space Race. Based on actual events, these smart and bold women rally for change, while advancing themselves and their female co-workers as well as raising families.
6. Little Women (1933, 1949, 1994, 2019)
They can be your worst enemy at times, but more often than not, a sister is a God-given best friend for life. Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy love each other fiercely, even as they sabotage each other and disagree, and even as life takes them in different directions. There are several adaptations of the beloved Louisa May Alcott novel, and all are worth a viewing.
5. The Color Purple (1985)
After years of abuse from her father and her husband, Celie comes into her own with help from Sofie, Shug and Squeak. All these women contend with abuse, poverty and deceptions, but they make each other stronger as they fight for better lives, forming a force to be reckoned with.
4. Beaches (1988)
Acquaintances come and go, but true friendships prevail despite love triangles, harsh words and jealousies. C.C. and Hillary grow close and then grow apart, but in the end when it matters, they are there for each other, proving what “wind beneath my wings” truly means. Really, can anyone listen to that song without bawling?
3. 9 to 5 (1980)
Judy, Violet and Doralee are tired of trying to make a living in a male-dominated world. Bolstered by their newfound friendship and a little marijuana, the women take matters into their own hands – and prove that misogynistic men better watch out when you mess with a group of smart, imaginative girlfriends.
2. Thelma and Louise (1991)
If a road trip is going to go bad, it’s best to have your bestie with you. Thelma and Louise may go down, but they’re going down together and living life to the fullest until the end.
1. Steel Magnolias (1989)
The best of friends are with you through the worst of times, cry with you while at the same time making you laugh outrageously and accept you for who you are while lovingly calling you out. M’Lynn, Truvy, Ouiser and Clairee quibble, banter and know that “if you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me!”