Chick Flicks: Female Bonding

And now my Chick Flicks guide, takes a diversion from the strictly romantic variety into a form that is still appealing... the female bonding flick.

Interestingly, the female bonding flick seems to be a relatively new phenomenon.  I am searching my mind for an example from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, or 70s (not that I'm that up on the 70s) and can't come up with one. I think they pretty much started in the 1980s.  If you have some pre-1980s examples of female bonding flicks, tell me - I'm very curious!

Little Women
4 stars
Little Women the book held such a place in my heart since childhood and although this movie isn't exactly as I imagined it, I think it does it justice.  Seriously good casting all around. And I love a good costume chick flick.  Which one do you identify most with? I always sort of identified with Jo with a little bit of Amy mixed in.

Fried Green Tomatoes
4 stars
I have not seen this movie in SO long, but I swear I saw it enough times when I was a kid to make up for it.  Towanda! (Sorry for the poor picture quality here - I wanted to find the right photo to capture the feeling of the movie and I didn't quite succeed).

Ballet Shoes
3 stars
Three orphaned sisters, each with their own dreams of adventure, make their way together in 1930s London populated by eccentric characters.  This is a sweet little movie. It reminds me of something I would have loved as a girl.

Anne of Green Gables
3 stars
Something I DID love as a girl.  The books and the movies... We had a poor-quality VHS recording of this and I watched it over and over. Anne of Green Gables was about many things, but her "kindred spirit" relationship with Diana was a big element.  I love how they were always sharing secrets and getting into mischief. Although, it's interesting to me how in many ways Anne and Diana somewhat grow apart and change over the years - very true to life! A kindred spirit was something as a little girl I longed for, and as a big girl I still do. 

Bride Wars
3 stars
I talked about this movie in the category of marrying the wrong person, but I think it's very much a movie about female bonding and it's opposite female destruction - often these two seem to go together... Funny how female friends can be like sibling rivals, always competing for attention.  And a wedding is the perfect setting for female foibles to be revealed. This movie takes that to an extreme and lets you laugh at it.

Steel Magnolias
3 stars
This is a female bonding classic - a group of small town southern women with big hair and lots love,  friendships, rivalries, and misunderstandings.

Divine secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
3 stars
This is one of those complex, multi-character tales of four forever friends in Louisiana (a wacky, colorful bunch to be sure).  The movie takes you back and forth between the past and present and somehow brings it all together. Starring perennial chick flick favorites Ashley Judd and Sandra Bullock.

How to make an American quilt
3 stars
I love that Winona Ryder's character is a smart, intellectual, artsy booksy sort in this film.  And she's not a caricature.  You don't get to see that too often. She gets immersed by the circle of women full of experience and wisdom.  All the characters (terrifically cast) are so unique and different, each with their own little vignette.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants One and Two
3 stars
I can't help it.  I liked these movies.  In some ways, the ladies don't do a TON of bonding since they are apart most of the movies, but they come back together and help each other through key moments.

Because I Said So
3 stars
I wasn't sure exactly how to categorize this movie - but I figured it could be here, since it's so centered around a mother (Diane Keaton) whose hellbent on fixing up her daughter (Mandy Moore). Maybe I just liked the movie because these characters are all about food (a caterer and a baker) and I loved Mandy Moore's hair, clothes and apartment.  Call me shallow.  But it was a fun lighthearted flick.

Practical Magic
3 stars
I like the chemistry between the solid down to earth sister (played by Sandra Bullock) and the flightly wild child (played by Nicole Kidman).  And I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that the real attraction for me in this film are the amazing settings. See more of them here in Hooked on Houses.

Girl, Interrupted
3 stars
What happens when crazy girls bond in the sanitorium.  Hey, I felt kind of crazy as a teenage girl (and a middle aged one) - it's the hormones!

Mona Lisa Smile
3 stars
I know alot of people didn't love this movie, maybe because it wasn't your typical rom-com - more of a slow paced drama.  But I think the casting was great - Julia Roberts as the subversive art professor stirring things up with a bunch of young ladies looking for a MRS degree in the 1950s, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kirsten Dunst, and Julia Stiles.

Recommended double features:
Separated at birth: How to make an American quilt and Divine secrets of the Ya-Ya sisterhood
Sweet and innocent: Little Women and Ballet Shoes and Anne of Green Gables
Southern ladies: Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias

Probably classics which I have never seen or can't remember exactly or didn't personally love enough to add to my list above:
A League of Their Own
Thelma and Louise
Now and Then
Terms of Endearment

Any female bonding chick flicks you would add to the list?


  1. what, oh what, would we do without them?
    i love all of your suggestions, a few i seem to be missing on my own little repertoire of goodies. ann of green gables i have missed all the way, both in books and visually. every now and then i hear the name drop...

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