25 movies every girl should watch before turning 25
There’s more to life than Mean Girls
Whether it’s the people you surround yourself with, the books you read or the films you watch, there’s a lot that you can learn from before you turn 25. You’re probably not making enough money to go out every night or go to the cinema, so put those nights spent on the sofa watching hours of Netflix to good use and at least give yourself a cinematic education with this lot.
Oh, and we’ve deliberately not included Mean Girls because I mean come on, who still hasn’t seen Mean Girls? No-one.
1. Mona Lisa Smile
“It has a stellar cast- Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ginnifer Goodwin. It’s about a woman in her 30s who comes to be an art history professor at an elite all-girls college. She’s very progressive and all the students are brilliant but their only aspiration is getting a “Mrs. degree” because it’s 1952/53 and they all plan on getting married as immediately as possible. The professor tries to show them what they can do with their brains” – Ashley-Sarah Mooney, Philadelphia.
2. The Virgin Suicides
“Sofia Coppola’s debut tells the story of obsession, isolation and adolescence. The tragic story is framed through dreamy cinematography and suburban mundanity, making it both beautiful and somewhat relatable. The Lisbon sisters are trapped by their extremely religious family, but they still go through similar experiences as all teenage girls do, as do the boys who watch them and obsess over them” – Sophie Wilson Sheffield.
3. Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging
“It’s the most hilarious and realistic film I’ve come across in regards to being a teenage girl” – Saskia Bamber, Bristol.
OK, so we didn’t include Mean Girls, but Clueless is a classic. If we didn’t include it we’d be like, totally bugging.
Veronica doesn’t want to be like the Heathers. Veronica wants to be a Veronica. Before Clueless, Jawbreaker or Mean Girls gave us bitchy teenagers, Heathers did it with more plaid and Winona Ryder on a crime spree.
6. 10 Things I Hate About You
“Kat Stratford is everything I want to be” – Maisie Anteney-Tipper, Norwich.
7. Bridget Jones’ Diary
OK so yeah, admittedly, there’s a lot of feeling sorry for herself, crying, drinking wine and getting with the wrong people. Bridget Jones isn’t what you’d call a role model in the traditional sense, but it’s hard not to identify with her mis-steps. It makes you feel better about yourself if you too “smoke like a chimney, drink like a fish and dress like your mother.”
Tracy Flick is high-achieving, ambitious, political, confident, blonde. She knows she has what it takes to be a truly great Student Body President. She’s worked for it her entire life after all. But for some reason people don’t like her because of her admitted air of self-importance. So instead she has to put up with a slack-jawed, less-qualified but somehow more popular guy running alongside her. Sound familiar?
9. Erin Brockovich
“Who doesn’t love angry activist Julia Roberts?” – Emili Stevenson, London.
10. Thelma and Louise
Yeah, it’s the one your mum will tell you to watch. But you know what, listen to your mum. It’s a classic for a reason, and it also looks like a (mostly) pretty fun road trip.
11. The Craft
It’s October right now, which means that you’ll enjoy this film about a supernatural girl gang a lot more. Sarah, Bonnie, Nancy and Rochelle have been wronged by the world, so they decide to get back at it in their own way. Although things don’t go exactly to plan for the group of friends, watching them get their own back is amazing nonetheless. The soundtrack is excellent too.
12. Bend It Like Beckham
Everyone remembers baby-Keira Knightley as the star of Bend It Like Beckham, but let’s be honest Jess was the real MVP.
13. 500 Days of Summer
Now hear me out. Don’t watch it for the sad-nice-guy act Joseph Gordon-Levitt puts on for the whole film. Instead bear in mind how Chlöe Grace Moretz sums up the whole sentiment of the movie with this line: “Just because some girl likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soulmate.”
14. Easy A
“The social commentary on slut shaming and how we view female sexuality is both informative an hilarious. Plus Emma Stone is amazing” – Saskia Bamber, Bristol.
15. The Devil Wears Prada
It sounds cliché to say “this film teaches you about the importance of being yourself”, but it kind of does. Andy changes herself to fit in with a job she wants to do well in, but doesn’t like, and ultimately finds out that it doesn’t make her happy. It also explores the pressures of being a woman in a high-pressure job.
And yeah, OK, Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway look great in those wardrobes to be fair.
It might be OTT and aggressively 80s but if you say you don’t ugly cry right along with Bette Midler while watching it you’re literally a liar.
An adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer winning novel, Beloved is half-paranormal half-historical drama, all amazing. Plus, Oprah is in it.
Jennifer Lawrence’s fairytale isn’t a completely positive one, but it’s still pretty uplifting. And though she improves her life and doesn’t let anyone fuck with her, she also doesn’t fuck anyone else over to get there, because she remembers that “life doesn’t owe her anything”.
19. The Color Purple
If you’ve never seen The Color Purple and don’t know yet why it’s important that you do, just watch Oprah talk about how she got her part below and feel inspired. Yes, you will cry.
20. Girl, Interrupted
It might not be as good as the book, but the film is a pretty good adaptation. Despite the fact that mental healthcare has improved massively since the 60s when the film and book are set, If you’ve ever felt stressed out or confused about your place in the world it’s hard not to relate to some of Kaysen’s life. And the soundtrack is excellent.
21. Whip It
Ellen Page is parred off by some fuckboy so instead she starts spending all her time with a group of badass roller-derby girls with incredible nicknames. Which is obviously the right life decision to make.
Like a 90s, murderous Mean Girls.
This amazing biopic of artist Frida Kahlo will tell you more about her life than those mugs you can get off of eBay with her face on them. Just please, please don’t dress up as her for Halloween – only Salma Hayek can do that.
It’s a grim watch, but worth it.
25. Legally Blonde
When you get dumped by a dickhead you have two choices. You can cry about it, or you can graduate top of your class from Harvard Law. Choose the latter.
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