Watching movies is the ultimate form of escapism, and sometimes you need to escape just to stay calm. Unlike reading a fantastic piece of literature or a mindless beach read, watching a movie is different. For a few hours, the film completely takes over. Without knowing it, your emotions are transferred from the stresses of the day-to-day and intertwined with the characters on the screen. It’s distraction at it’s finest.
What we need, though, is to watch films that motivate us to be better, stronger, more confident women. Let’s band together and surround ourselves with strong, female leads that inspire us to lead amazing lives.
Here are the 5 best movies with strong female leads:
Usually, when you hear about a teenage pregnancy, you don’t hear about the wicked smart, independent, and sarcastic girl behind the big belly. Juno MacGuff, played by Ellen Page, faces an unplanned pregnancy with more grace and maturity as anyone could hope. She’s the opposite of a thoughtless, irresponsible, boy-crazy teenage stereotype. Juno’s wit and practical thinking shows her authentic character as she handles her difficult situation with grace and ease.
Disney princesses are known for their flawless skin and obedience, not for being strong female leads. In fact, most Disney princesses passively wait for the prince to save them. Not Mulan. Mulan doesn’t have time to worry about her household chores or her evil stepmother. Mulan sacrifices herself and her femininity to save her family. She teaches us that we’re stronger than we think, we can rise above our station in life, and we can learn any new skill with enough effort. If she can learn sword fighting, any of us can.
3. Erin Brockovich
Based on a true story, Erin Brockovich (played by Julia Roberts), doesn’t hold back her authentic self. She’s very relatable: a single mom, a hard-worker, and she only wants the simple things in life. Her determination to fight for the little guy is a respectable cause. She doesn’t hold her tongue in boardroom meetings, and she’s gritty enough to turn up on private property and collect her own samples. Erin Brockovich pushes past traditional gender roles (personally and professionally) to be her true, proud, stubborn self.
4. The Blind Side
Another non-fictional story makes this list is the story of Leigh Ann Tuohy, starring Sandra Bullock. She might just be the fiercest lady to hit the big screen. She may be a polite, American lady busy with her interior design work, but her outspoken, no-BS attitude lets everyone know that she means business. She doesn’t give up on people, especially people in her family. She doesn’t care about stereotypes or backlash from her friends. She knows she’s doing the right thing, and she’s not willing to step aside just because the rest of the world sees things differently.
5. Legally Blonde
Yes, she wears too much pink. Yes, she obnoxiously carries around her tiny dog, but Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon, is also a Harvard law student who is smarter and more resilient than her blonde hair and peppy personality let you believe. At face value, Elle seems to be a joke: the clichéd sorority girl who somehow got into Harvard Law in an attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend. But when you look deeper, you’ll find a classy, capable, intelligent woman who keeps her promises and refuses to give into the pressures around her.
These 5 movies will make you laugh, cry, and proud to be a woman. Escapism is nothing to shy away from. Spending a few hours being inspired by these women sounds like a great way to spend an evening.