Heel to Toe
5 Favorite Movie Clips of Women Helping Women

Have you ever watched a film with a lead female character or two and enjoyed it so much that at the very end you felt a little bit…emotional? And has this feeling perhaps led you to think, “I need to watch this again with (insert BFF’s name here) and I need to call her RIGHT NOW and tell her all about it”?

It happens. It happens and it doesn’t have anything to do with quantifiable evidence. A feel-good-about-the-sisterhood movie might not have won any Oscars or stars or thumbs up, but it can make you feel lucky to have your girlfriends and it might make you want to be a better one.

A strong group of girlfriends is like having a pot of gold and it’s always a delight to see that magic happen on the big screen (or even the little screen if you're anything like me in college).

Here’s a very short list, in somewhat chronological order, of our favorite movies featuring women helping women. 

1. Thelma & Louise (1991)

    Iconic; Thelma & Louise is what every woman thinks of when she thinks of films about women helping women. World-weary Louise helps doe-eyed Thelma out of uncomfortable man situations while fleeing to Mexico in a convertible mustang. Their decision-making, how the stakes get higher and higher, the scenery and that soundtrack! This film surpasses the term chick flick and is more a spiritual thriller with some seriously young Brad Pitt eye-candy thrown in. Best movie ending ever. I’d probably floor it off a cliff if Harvey Keitel was chasing me.

    2. Steel Magnolias (1989)

    Another one not to miss, I think of this film as paving the way for Thelma & Louise. A high-voltage cast of southern women see their friend's (Sally Field) daughter (Julia Roberts) marry and then die a tragic death. The life challenges they face together and the way these old and new friends communicate is so subtle and sensitive it is a good friendship lesson to us all. Full of excellent one-liners and killer scenes (armadillo cake anyone?), this is a woman's classic.

    3. Practical Magic (1998)

    Okay, this didn’t get many stars, not many good reviews or any thumbs up. There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it... but it’s fun to watch with your girlfriends anyway. The basic plot is that two sister witches have been cursed upon. The curse entails that the men they fall in love with will die an early death. They also drink piña coladas and have dance parties in the middle of the night. Need I say more? Goran Visnjic -- Dr. Luka from ER, hello! (that’s who put Croatia on the map for me) -- is the swarthy bad guy. The sisters have to work together to exorcise them out of their lives. Maybe not technically a classic, but a fun watch, especially around Halloween.

    4. Sex in the City-Movie #1 (2008)

    This could not be left out. Like it or not, Sex in the City is the TV series of our generation that taught women to speak to each on another level. The movie features the characters we all know and scenes that we’ve all been through before, packing up and moving, escaping from the love of your life. Buying your wedding dress at a vintage store and then ditching your penthouse -- oh, wait-that would NEVER happen. Regardless of reality these are four friends that stick together through the best of times and the worst of times.

    5. Bridesmaids (2011)

    Bridesmaids is a great example of women helping women and the dark jealous resentment that some women have the capacity to harbor. This is a film about two frenemies planning their friend’s wedding. Lots of funny and tragic things happen. Actually, many tragic things happen. However the grand finale is the wedding scene featuring the band Wilson Phillips singing “Hold On”, which is an awesome way to show the women had united.

    Why We Love Films About Women Helping Women

    A few themes stood out in compiling this list: tragedy, bonding, sensitivity and above all, a sense of humor. Leading lady characters carry a depth and grace that isn’t often seen in their male counterparts, and the traits of depth and grace are exemplified when they are helping each other.

    Obviously, this is an abbreviated list, but there are so many! Please share your favorites and explain why.

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    10 Ladies Night Themes That Don't Include Beads or Bars

    If you have a handful of lady friends you know that it doesn't take a lot to have a great time together.  Two for one drinks and stale taquitos do have their merits however some aspects of the standard ladies night theme tends to get a little worn over time.  Here are ten ladies night themes that don’t include bars, beads or even serious shopping.

    Spa Night

    Get some friends together for facials, foot soaks, manicures and pedicures. There is no shortage of over-the-counter products or find an all-natural recipe on the internet and try your hand at whipping up a facial mask. Enjoy a night of nurturing and rejuvenation. Remember, ladies only, and hold the camera, no pictures please!

    Champagne Flights

    The French flight takes off at 7:00pm sharp! No passport required. What’s a more wonderful treat than some bubbly with friends? So many to taste and so little time! You could do tastes by region, pink champagnes, or sparkling wines, even non-alcoholic for those who do not imbibe. Let your imagination run wild.

    Oscar Party

    Films aside, this is really an excuse to dish on celebrities and discuss how they are dressed. Oscar parties are fun and all you need is a TV, some simple appetizers and your friends. Cast ballots and see how they match up with the real winners; those with the best picks get to go home with a little gold man.

    Vinyasa & Vino

    Most yoga studios will have information on private lessons in your home, or even a different location like an event space or park. You could also tune into a number of DVD’s or online resources to lead a yoga class for close friends. After your mind and body has unwound, unwind everything else with a nice glass of wine.

    She's Crafty

    You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to enjoy a simple craft with friends. You will be surprised at how fun and relaxing a creatively infused evening can be. Keep it simple. Try painting flower pots and plant paper white bulbs to enjoy a winter bloom indoors! Again, the internet is full of clever ideas for using recyclables or other household items that you can easily transform.

    Plus One

    Try this for a holiday party, book club, or really any gathering will suffice. Each attendee is required to bring one girlfriend. It’s really fun and a great way to meet new people and expand the social circle. Try a white elephant gift or other party game to encourage mingling. 

    Clothing Swap

    An event best spent with closer friends. Invite people to bring clothes they would otherwise donate and then swap amongst your friends! Easy and entertaining, brainstorm awards for the most 80’s ensemble or prom theme; the possibilities are endless and you might wind up with a new outfit or two!

    Book Exchange

    The concept is similar to the clothes swap but with fewer wardrobe changes. Attendees bring books that are ready for a new home and trade amongst themselves. Add a pot of soup, rustic bread and some warm drinks and this makes for a cozy evening.

    Coordinated Dinner

    Pick a dinner item -- pizza, burrito, salad or calzone -- and each attendee brings an ingredient. You can also assign a side, drinks or dessert and have a fun night creating your dinner! It’s an easy plan to commit to and people can take home the leftovers as a party favor. 

    Movie Night

    It doesn’t take a lot of supplies to have a blast watching chick-flicks with your girlfriends. Some healthy popcorn, nachos and a hunk of chocolate is all it takes. Try one of these 30 chick flicks or one of your personal favorites. 

    Ladies night together doesn’t have to require a morning-after Advil or even a heavy hit to the wallet. A little creativity can go a long way and your friends will love you for it!

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    How Have You Helped a Fellow Woman This Week?

    The Chec-American Diplomat and Politician known for a long and distinguished career also knows of what she speaks. Her strongly worded quote, while perhaps not the most encouraging, can be used as a reminder that as women we have an obligation to help each other. There are so many facets to gender inequality that it can be absolutely dizzying, so a good way to refocus is to think of the small, everyday things that women have done for you that have made a difference in your life.

    When has a women done something nice for you? Of course you remember what it was and what it meant to you, no matter how small. Do it for another woman, and then do it again.

    Small Ways for Women to Help Women

    • Face-time, for real: Studies show that reaching out to a friend/relative/ acquaintance each day will make you happier, so make that person a female. That could be a phone call or spending some time together. Emails, texts and Facebook posts don’t count.
    • Notes: Flashback to middle school. What was it like to receive a note on that white paper with blue lines? Did you feel a sense of excitement and inclusion? If you hear about a woman you know or think of her during the day, write it on a note card and send it to her in the mail. It’s a small act, but one that goes miles, literally.
    • Volunteer with a women’s organization: Do a google search of women’s organizations in your area and you will hit the jack-pot. Depending on the mission of the organization, many prefer to work with female volunteers. You could become a mentor, aid in a micro-finance group, or simply grocery shop for a domestic violence shelter. Your time and efforts will be greatly appreciated.
    • Share a Memory: Do you have an old friend that you greatly cherish but have perhaps lost touch with? Reach out to your special friend to say a quick hello and share a memory that makes you smile. It's like #tbt, but in real life.
    • Hold the Door: Why does this always have to be one directional? We women should go out of our way to do little things like this.
    • Pay it Forward: In line for Starbucks or the dry cleaners? Pay for the female in line behind you. It will have lasting effects on their day.
    • Let's Do Lunch: Make way in your busy schedule to buy lunch for your friend or co-worker. Want to take it a step further? How about a ladies' night out?

    Once you put your mind to it, you can brainstorm lots of examples of how you can help another woman. Many times it’s something we do almost unconsciously like a smile in passing or a door held ajar. Think about what a difference it has made in your life and how you can continue reaching out to other women. That sounds better than hell, doesn’t it? 


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