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    23 Movies That Actually Represent Women Well

    No one-dimensional portrayals or stereotypes here.

    We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community which movie they believe actually represents women well. Here are the best responses.

    1. Ocean's 8

    Warner Bros

    What I love is that it's a big group of MANY strong, smart, complex women instead of the usual trope of "one strong woman and an ensemble cast of all men." I love that each woman in the movie has a distinct, different personality and skill set.


    The film portrayed women being whoever they wanted to be, plus they're all amazing, strong women in real life. Together they formed the most kick-ass gang and got what they wanted using everyone's talents. Oh, and they especially didn't need any men to help.


    2. Ghostbusters (2016)

    Columbia Pictures

    Name one other movie that not only has multiple female scientists but a diverse cast and a gender flip which depicts the men, not women, as flaky or flighty.


    3. Grandma

    1821 Media

    It's about a teenage girl who asks her lesbian widow grandma for help getting the money she needs for an abortion. They go on a mini-road trip where she learns more about who her grandma is and how she has been dealing with the loss of her partner. It is both hilarious and heartfelt.


    4. (500) Days of Summer

    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    The main character, Summer, refuses to be romanticised by Tom — which in his eyes makes her a bitch. But she is, first and foremost, a woman who doesn't want to be someone's girlfriend. She wants to be her own person and find love at her own pace.


    5. Black Panther


    Although the two main characters were male, it was so empowering as a woman to see an all-female army protecting a king. Not only that, but Shuri is so iconic. She's a smart badass technological genius, and as an engineer I look up to her.


    Women are featured in different environments of life — family, military, science, espionage — and there was depth in their motivations and behaviours. Okoye was portrayed as both a warrior and a loving partner, and when the time came she knew how to differentiate between them.


    6. The Sound of Music

    20th Century Fox

    It was well ahead of its time in terms of its depiction of women. Maria is kind but also human, and isn't afraid to call the Captain out when he's being a dick. Yes, she falls in love with him, but that was entirely her choice to make. The Reverend Mother doesn't judge Maria for her behaviour and understands that the holy life isn't for everyone. While "16 Going on 17" doesn't bare feminist analysis, Liesl does realise later on that she's more independent than she thinks. And shout out to the Baroness who is very magnanimous when she realises that her fiancé is in love with someone else.

    — Anna King, Facebook

    7. Mona Lisa Smile

    Revolution Studios

    The movie explores the different stereotypes of women in the 1960s when art professor Julia Roberts arrives at a girls' college to teach her students not only about art, but what it means to be a woman. She's confronted by Kirsten Dunst who believes that the woman’s role is in the home, Julia Stiles who has the potential for more than marriage, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s rebellious spirit and Ginnifer Goodwin’s naivety. She then works to help these girls broaden their horizons, and is still so applicable to the 21st Century.

    — Chelsea Byrne

    8. 10 Things I Hate About You

    Touchstone Pictures

    The two main characters, Katarina and Bianca, are completely different and demonstrate how women can be more than one-dimensional tropes. Kat is fierce and speaks her mind without fear of being labeled a bitch. But she is also vulnerable and makes mistakes. Bianca is vapid and self-absorbed but stands up for herself, her sister and Cameron when it matters most. The movie showed me that women can be more than just one thing and that being a strong feminist and a materialistic status-quo-follower are both OK. Neither of them changed themselves to get the guy either — something I always admired.

    — juliep4403c89fc

    9. About Time

    Universal Pictures

    There's a scene where Mary invites Tim up to her apartment and makes it clear that she wants sex. She isn't portrayed in a negative light, rather as a woman who knows what she wants. It also subverts the notion that if you have sex on the first date, he'll lose interest in you, because he goes on to marry her. BOSS.


    10. A League of Their Own

    Columbia Pictures

    It's an incredible movie with great AND realistic depictions of women. It was directed by a woman and stars Geena Davis, who created her own non-profit that researches equal representation in media.


    11. The First Wives Club

    Paramount Pictures

    It's a 90's classic that stands the test of time. A message about knowing your true worth and not settling for anything less.


    12. Lady Bird


    It's about the struggles of a teen girl trying to find her place in the world, while dealing with poverty and opposition from her mother. She deals with realistic scenarios — ditching a best friend for a "better" one and regretting it, having sex with a boy and dealing with relationship issues, trying to fix her relationship with her mother and faith, and trying to get into the college of her dreams despite not having the money to get there. It taught me that it doesn't matter if I live on the "wrong side of the tracks" — if I put my mind to it, I can get to where I want to be. Overall, she's a character with faults, problems, hurt, anger and jealousy. She isn't perfect or sexy or trying to impress. She is her own woman and that makes her all the more endearing.


    13. Hidden Figures

    20th Century Fox

    It shows the characters excelling in STEM careers despite being black women in the 60s. The movie shows how these women literally paved the way for NASA despite how difficult this reality was, and how they kicked everyone's asses along the way.


    14. Steel Magnolias


    The women in this movie lead different lives and have different points of view, but they're always there for each other when it counts. They stick together and are stronger for it. And, what's more, every man in that movie is a secondary character.


    15. Clueless

    Paramount Pictures

    Cher Horowitz is a remarkably intelligent and beautiful woman, who is often mistaken as ditzy by other characters such as Josh and her father. She negotiates her way from a C average to an A-, and she makes it clear that she doesn’t need a man by saying finding a boyfriend is "as pointless as looking for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie." She's highly underestimated throughout the film and deserves more credit for her intelligence and self-confidence.


    16. Moana


    I watch the songs almost everyday with my daughter and it fills me with such hope when I see Moana saving her island and taking care of her people. It's an amazing movie and you don't even notice the lack of a typical love story.


    17. How To Be Single

    New Line Cinema

    The best part of the movie is the fact that Dakota Johnson’s character doesn’t constantly change herself to try to get her various relationships to work and how realistic her female relationships are. Plus, the fact that the ending doesn’t follow a classic rom com trope is just great.


    18. The Heat

    Dune Entertainment

    The movie is empowering but also presents the sad truth of women struggling to be respected in their fields. Both characters are regarded as too forceful, too strong, too competitive and too aggressive just because they wanted and got results. Despite the problems, Melissa McCarthy's character manages to work through issues with her family and Sandra Bullock's character is able to break out of her uptight and ultra-professional manner to become herself. Neither character has to change themselves either physically or emotionally for a love interest, and they're both super badass — a portrayal not seen enough in movies.


    19. Harry Potter

    Warner Bros

    Hermione Granger was smart and fearless. She fought against oppression and was unafraid to be the voice of reason when her male friends were being idiotic. As a bonus, Emma Watson is all of those things too and an excellent role model for women worldwide!


    Molly Weasley represented mothers particularly well. She was pretty integral in the war but she still didn't forget to be a good mom to her kids while being amazing and brave.


    20. Bring It On

    Warner Bros

    I was surprised when I rewatched it as an adult. The women in this movie are determined and assertive and the film celebrates that. When Torrance realizes that her relationship with her boyfriend is toxic she breaks it off with him immediately and goes on to continue to kill it at nationals. The women of color are portrayed as resilient and smart, and at the end they come together to mutual understanding and respect for one another.


    21. The Prince of Egypt


    Though the story is centred around Moses, it portrays the women in his life as equals who are strong and just as willing to fight for their people as the men are. Such an empowering film for younger girls!


    22. The Piano

    Ciby 2000

    It not only features incredibly strong female characters but they're realistic, relatable and most importantly, not written to be liked.


    23. Legally Blonde


    Yes, she started out following a man to law school, but she refused to be told what she could and couldn’t do. I aspire to be like Elle Woods.


    The movie portrays the struggles inherent in a society that judges women by their ability to either be "smart" or "fun and perky." Elle's strength and ambition to make something of herself when everyone else thinks she's going to fail is reflective of how many women feel in the workplace. Plus, the relationship between Elle and Vivian transforming from a loathsome distaste to a true friendship built on mutual respect shows the power of women supporting each other.


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