Our Top Ten:
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café
As Ninny says in this movie “I found out what the secret of life is: friends. Best friends.” Of course not all of us snatch our pregnant best friend from an abusive husband, take care of her and her baby, protect from said husband, aid in his murder and serve him up as barbeque to the investigating sheriff. But we would if we had to.
Yes, your best friend can be petty, silly, jealous, ludicrous and outrageously badly behaved and you’ll still forgive her. Especially if it’s clear it’s just an expression of how much she cares for you. Or just incredibly funny. Drunken moments, swearing, total humiliation notwithstanding, there’s a great rapport between Annie and Lillian – you can just tell they have a great time together for all the crazy wedding malarkey.
The Joy Luck Club
These immigrant Chinese mothers remind me of my mum telling tall tales about her daughters’ great accomplishments while secretly chiding us for lacking all the graces and achievements of our cousins. No wonder there’s rivalry and resentment among the daughters of the mah-jongg players. Still, like the novel, this movie shines with epic tearjerking stories of mother-daughter struggles, poverty and hardships in World War II China, and some tricky modern relationships in the present day. Luckily, although she had her share of problems, our Mum never drowned her baby in a bathtub or had to abandon any of us by the roadside…although I’m sure she was tempted.
Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion
Showing the deep bonded friendship you longed for in high school (and ever since.) Wouldn’t you love someone like Romy or Michelle with you at your high school reunion, making utter fools of yourselves, lying your asses off and basically having a much better time than all the cool successful people?! Living proof that all a girl needs is one great friend to back up her most outrageous claims…or crimes. Oh yes, and the girls know how to deliver a putdown. “I hope your babies look like monkeys.” Wish I’d said that.
Thelma & Louise
Well, who wouldn’t want to be Thelma or Louise – run off on a road trip with your best girlfriend, meet hunky Brad Pitt for some great sex, blast through the desert in your convertible with the top down, the wind in your hair and the radio on high, robbing convenience stores and shooting off guns along the way? If this was a male road trip movie, they’d be getting drunk and getting laid without learning a darn thing from the experience. Instead, realizing it’s unlikely they’ll ever have such a good time again (after all one is married and the other is wanted for murder) they drive off a cliff. Friends to the bitter end.
The Witches of Eastwick
Like many tangled friendships, Cher, Michele Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon are best friends until devilish Jack Nicolson comes into their life, seduces them each in turn and stirs up envy and rivalry. Unlike anyone we’ve dated, however, he gives them magic powers – big mistake! And once they’ve disposed of him they get to live in his mansion and can fly around on their broomsticks and presumably conjure up dinner without calling for take-out.
Sure, on the surface this movie is about three gorgeous karate-punching ass-kicking babes working for the mysterious Charlie, investigating crime and beating up bad guys. Not so different from you and me then. But what’s really appealing is the camaderie and fun – these are gals that really like their job and the women they work with – no bitchy office politics here, they’re too busy wisecracking and dressing up in really cool disguises.
A League Of Their Own
Who says women aren’t team players? True, there’s some bitchiness and cattiness as Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell etc take over from the guys as baseball players when the men are at war and prove they’re just as tough and talented as any male team. But it’s the chemistry between them that makes this movie sparkle, some great one-liners and, at the end of the day, it shows real female solidarity. There’s no crying in baseball after all.
Multi-generational women support each other through good times and tragedy in a small Southern town. These are funny argumentative women who are as likely to pull an all-nighter at your hospital bed as dance at your wedding… which is the way we like our friends. OK, the movie’s actually a wee bit sappy but it has a great cast and they’re always up for a bit of gossip. “Well, as somebody always said: if you can’t say anything nice about anybody, come sit by me!”
I didn’t WANT to but I had to include it. The two girls meet as kids. (Can’t help feeling would have been much easier if Facebook had existed back then instead of all those letters.) There is a love triangle: Bette Midler has the talent and personality, Barbara Hershey has looks, money and class. Guess who the guy falls for? Barbara Hershey, of course, but somehow Bette ends up marrying him. Once the husbands are out of the picture and the women – long estranged – admit their lifelong jealousy, the friendship resumes… until Barbara dies of a fatal disease and Bette has to raise her daughter – which might not be as drastic as barbecuing an abusive husband but still qualifies as serious payback.
For more insight on female friendships, good and bad, don’t forget to download When Good Friends Go Bad, free on Amazon.com this weekend through 4th August.