These quirky, female-lead flicks will leave you feeling intellectually satisfied in a way chick flicks never could.
Picture this: It’s a Friday night and you’ve had a long week. The last thing you want to do is head out to a wild party or even leave your apartment. So you get into comfy clothes, flick on the TV and start browsing Netflix. But where to start? (P.S. This is so me.) Before you continue your Scandal or Pretty Little Liars marathon (yup, still me) - take a pause and consider Frances Ha, The Lifeguard or L!fe Happens. They’re not romantic comedies or chick flicks, but rather stories about women who are imperfect and fascinating… just like you and me.
You’re missing your BFF, who’s states away and you’re not in the mood for a silly love story…
Go for: Frances Ha
The who and what: Frances (Greta Gerwig, above right) is left in the lurch after her closest friend and roomie Sophie (Mickey Sumner, above left) moves out of their apartment. Her life quickly turns into a lot of awkward moments, impulsive traveling and bad decision making. Yet her character is incredibly (sometimes painfully) real and the filmmaking is gorgeous. Don’t expect a perfectly tidy ending here - as with all of these films - Frances Ha makes you think: about friendship and the messiness of being yourself.
The awesome costar: Mickey Sumner, daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler!
Tragic-meter (how sad/devastating is the film, from super light to super heavy?): medium light
You need a good laugh and a reminder that things could always be worse… also, eye candy please!
Go for: L!fe Happens
The who and what: Krysten Ritter (above, far left) is amazing as twenty-something Kim, who becomes a mom after a (way) unplanned pregnancy. Think: friendships tested and life direction totally rearranged, with a hot man or two thrown into the mix. The best part is the friendship between quirky-cute Kim and sexy feminist Deena (Kate Bosworth, far right). L!fe Happens is a perfect example of the struggle to remain close, as two friends find they have less and less in common.
The awesome costar(s): Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson (above, middle) and Kristen Johnston (yes!).
You kinda miss being a teenager… so much so that you keep mistaking hot 16-year-olds for 22-year-olds. Oops.
Go for: The Lifeguard
The who and what: Kristen Bell goes darker in this poignant Graduate-style story, as Leigh, a reporter who moves back in with her parents after quitting her job in NYC. She decides to lifeguard at a nearby pool and starts causing trouble in her Connecticut hometown — dragging her rather unwilling childhood friends along for the ride. Get ready for some steamy scenes between her and a much younger guy - my friends say I’m crazy for liking this highly mismatched (and er, illegal) couple - but I think there’s something sweet about their relationship. There are also some very low moments. What The Lifeguard does so well is speak to the part of us that sometimes feels detached or disillusioned with life — whether we’re almost 30 or 16.
The awesome costar: Mamie Gummer (Meryl’s daughter, duh!)
Already seen any of these films? Going to watch one this weekend? Let me know what you think!
Photos, from top, via The Guardian.