Who says that girls nights in have to stop during this period of social isolation? Many stories are emerging online of people enjoying virtual film group nights via platforms such as Zoom, so we wanted to offer a little inspiration of our own.
Here, then, are five classic girl gang movies to lift your spirits when things are seeming a little gloomy.
1. Heathers (1988)
Greetings and salutations! We’ll come on to Mean Girls in a moment, because Heathers came first. The dark high school comedy/fantasy hardly made a dent in the box office back in 1988, but word of mouth turned it into a cult: the clothes, the make-up and that longing for revenge all struck a chord and still does.
A young Winona Ryder, Kim Walker and Shannon Doherty (two of them were called Heather – you couldn’t make it up!) form the clique at the centre of the story, all disrupted by the arrival of JD (Christian Slater). At the ripe age of 32, it still has plenty to say about friendship – the good and the not-so-good.
2. Steel Magnolias (1989)
Like we said, it’s not all about teenagers. A stellar cast including Oscar-nominated Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton and a bespectacled Daryl Hannah all came together for this look at female friendship which was just as much a drama as a comedy.
Set in and around a beauty parlour in Louisiana, the drama deals with heartache and loss as well as love and happiness as the friends do what they do best – gossiping and sharing. Serious issues sit side by side with the lighter side, all the while exploring the complexities and intricacies of the women’s relationships. Bring tissues. Lots of them.
3. Mean Girls (2004)
Wearing pink is compulsory when watching this one – on Wednesday or any other day! See what we did there? This Tina Fey-scripted portrait of high school cliques is one of the most quotable films going and, while it’s not necessarily about female friendship as such, it’s definitely one to watch with your girl gang.
Former child star Lindsay Lohan is at the centre of all the shenanigans, as the new girl in school who quickly joins the ‘in’ crowd but finds she’s unwittingly upset its leader, ‘Queen Bee’ Regina (Rachel McAdams, reminding us how great she is at comedy). There’s only one thing to do. Bring down the Queen. Their plans are brilliantly funny and the result is another must-see movie that’s achieved cult status.
4. Bridesmaids (2011)
We’d all do anything for our bestie, right? But when Annie (Kristen Wiig) is asked to be maid of honour at Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding, a run of bad luck throws her plans into confusion, and the gang starts to splinter – something they never could have imagined.
Director Paul Feig’s hilarious portrait of the ups and downs of female friendship – and the dreaded friendship envy – had a great ensemble cast, which included Rose Byrne and a newcomer called Melissa McCarthy, who also earned one of the film’s two Oscar nominations. Girl gang films don’t come funnier – or much better.
5. Ocean's 8 (2018)
Here’s a girl gang of the criminal variety – and one that was more than a match for the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon and their rogues' gallery. The Ocean's 8 gang may not be friends as such, but the likes of Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson and Awkwafina made a formidable team when it came to plotting their high-class crime – and getting away with it.
OK, so the film wasn’t to everybody’s tastes, but the chemistry was most definitely there. And there’s no denying this was a fun experience, which makes it perfect for a girls’ night in – with added glitz and glamour.
Which of these is on your virtual movie night watchlist? Let us know @Cineworld.
Freda Cooper is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team. Follow her on Twitter.