When I was younger, I loved watching classic movies with my mom. Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Vivien Leigh, and Ingrid Bergman were just a few of some of the actresses that I looked up to. I watched movies where they played women defying odds, wearing the pants in a relationship, while leaning on each other for support. They weren’t afraid to make things happen and they showed me the value of determination and courage. They were fearless; they were feisty; they defined the meaning of badass as well as girl power.
Flash forward to 30 something years later and now I’m the mom of a 14 year-old. If life truly imitates art, I want to show her films about women doing amazing things; films made by women, produced by women. I seek out girl power movies that feature women defying the odds, making things happen, offering hope for the future, particularly during this dark era in which we are living.
When “Hidden Figures” was released a few months ago, I emailed a dozen mom friends and asked if they wanted to take all our girls to the cinema on a weekend afternoon. The movie had girl power written all over it and I thought of nothing better to do. After some back and forth on timing, at least half of the moms I contacted and their teenage daughters piled into the cinema, several of whom knew nothing about the movie before my prompting. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to watch the 13-14 year-old girls watch a movie about brilliant women who worked for NASA. It taught the girls so many things – that education is important; that careers in STEM are good for women; that if one reaches for the moon, it’s attainable. When we left the theater, the conversation was brimming with positivity and confidence for all the things they were going to do in life.
So I decided to make these girl power movie parties a tradition. After all, moms see these invites as opportunities to see the kinds of movies they want to see, too. It’s kind of tricky to find dates and times that work for everyone, so I always invite a lot to get a good group of attendees. Teens are busy, so it’s impossible to get everyone to come. Our next outing is on a Saturday night so it will be interesting to see who comes (it happens to be “Wonder Woman,” mentioned below).
Here are two movies, one currently playing, one coming soon to a theater you that could be worthy options for your first girl power movie party:
Adapted from Nicola Yoon’s bestselling YA novel of the same name, “Everything, Everything” follows a teenage girl with a medical condition that requires her to stay inside her germ-free, super anti-bacterial home. The film is helmed by a woman and directed by a woman, Stella Meghie. Kids know the book, many of them love it. The story is about a multifaceted, nuanced teenage African American girl that many girls will relate to. She has the same dreams that my daughter has but an obstacle or two to conquer, and the story elevates one’s conscience in a very powerful, meaningful way.
Growing up, Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman on the tube was everything. She was fierce and made everything seem possible. That was a long time ago, and the world is ready for a female superhero. That’s why I can’t wait for the new version “Wonder Woman” starring Gal Gadot to come out this Friday. This movie has girl power movie party written all over it. It’s also the first major studio superhero film directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. This is the kind of badass, feminist movie I crave to watch with my daughter, and I hope it lives up to our expectations.
When the movie ends, don’t make a bee line for the exit. Linger in the lobby with the other moms and girls and talk the hell out of the movie. Hear what the girls have to say, react and listen. Share your thoughts with each other. Inspire, encourage and thrive on the work of female bad asses.