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Parents

31 Movies All Mothers Should Watch With Their Daughters

Life lessons in celluloid.

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1. The Joy Luck Club

Buena Vista Pictures

Why it's awesome: The adaptation of Amy Tan's beloved novel nails the struggle of relating across generational lines.

When to bust it out: When you and your daughter aren't understanding each other and need a good dose of perspective.

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3. Aliens

Twentieth Century Fox

Why it's awesome: Sigourney Weaver's Ripley is one of the baddest ass women in film history. The sequel to Alien sees her play mother figure to an equally badass little girl, and the final battle pits human mother vs. alien mother.

When to bust it out: When you both need to roar a little.

4. Stepmom

Columbia Pictures

Why it's awesome: The laughs, the tears, the song and dance parties.

When to bust it out: When things are changing and you both need to be reassured that everything will be okay. Or just when you need a good cry.

5. Akeela and the Bee

Lionsgate

Why it's awesome: Akeela sets her sights high and learns to work hard, despite tough competition and a mom who doesn't understand her dreams.

When to bust it out: The first time your daughter suggests she can't do something.

6. Brave

Disney

Why it's awesome: Merida breaks the mold on Disney princesses and teaches her Queen mama a thing or two along the way.

When to bust it out: When you're ready to admit that mother isn't always right.

7. Little Women

Columbia

Why it's awesome: It's a classic story of four young women growing up in civil-war era New England with a strong and independent mother.

When to bust it out: When your daughter thinks that classic American literature is only for English class.

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8. Mommie Dearest

Paramount Pictures

Why it's awesome: This adaptation of Christina Crawford's memoir of life with her famous (and now infamous) mother Joan has had moms mockingly decrying the use of wire hangers since 1981.

When to bust it out: When you find a wire hanger in the closet.

9. Thirteen

Fox Searchlight

Why it's awesome: Teenage rebellion in a nutshell. Bonus points that it served as Catharine Hardwicke's (Twilight) directorial debut.

When to bust it out: When you want to scare your kid straight. (Or just be generally terrified.)

10. Bend It Like Beckham

Twentieth Century Fox

Why it's awesome: Jesminder Bjamra is an incredible soccer player with a shot at the big leagues, if she can balance her love of the sport with her devotion to her close-knit, conservative family.

When to bust it out: When she needs help taking a leap.

12. Heartbreakers

MGM

Why it's awesome: This campy flick starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sigourney Weaver brings new meaning to mother/daughter bonding.

When to bust it out: When you just need to chill out and laugh.

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13. Rosemary's Baby

Paramount Pictures

Why it's awesome: All kinds of unsettling themes on motherhood run through this film.

When to bust it out: Near Halloween. Also a great companion for when you're ready to have the sex talk.

15. Moonstruck

MGM

Why it's awesome: It's a romance in the messiest sense of the word.

When to bust it out: When her heart is broken, or she needs a little perspective on love and life.

16. Now and Then

New Line Cinema

Why it's awesome: Flashing between the 70s and the 90s, this crazy fun and empowering movie reminds girls and women that it's okay to be different, and testifies to the true power of female friendships.

When to bust it out: When you need a healthy helping of girl power.

17. Real Women Have Curves

HBO Films

Why it's awesome: America Ferrara's debut role follows a young girl learning to love herself, curves and all. Lupe Oliveros plays her difficult but loving mother in this coming-of-age story.

When to break it out: When she needs to find her own way.

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18. Pretty In Pink

Paramount

Why it's awesome: This story of a girl coming of age without a mom is one of the greatest teen movies of our time.

When to bust it out: When she has her first crush.

19. Hairspray

New Line Cinema

Why it's awesome: This movie is a cornucopia of mother/daughter turmoil and triumph. Plus it has Ricki Lake and Devine as the inimitable Turnblads.

When to bust it out: When the mean girls get to her.

20. Freaky Friday

Buena Vista Pictures

Why it's awesome: Jamie Leigh Curtis and Lindsey Lohan get a dose of each other's reality in this body switching comedy.

When to bust it out: After a fight, with some popcorn, and maybe some ice cream.

21. Soul Food

Twentieth Century Fox

Why it's awesome: Like a warm hug, Soul Food gets to the heart of what makes a family. Bonus if you watch with your sisters, too.

When to bust it out: Any time the importance of family is questioned.

22. Terms Of Endearment

Paramount

Why it's awesome: The quintessential mother/daughter film, Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine take us through 30 years of relationship ups and downs.

When to bust it out: When you need to appreciate each other. (On a rainy day, with a box of tissues. Preferably two-ply.)

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24. This Is My Life

Twentieth Century Fox

Why it's awesome: Nora and Delia Ephron wrote this comedy about an ambitious single mom raising two daughters from the road. Samantha Mathis nails her role as a resentful and angst-ridden teenager forced to come to terms with the mom she's got.

When to bust it out: When puberty hits.

25. The Sound Of Music

Twentieth Century Fox

Why it's awesome: This movie should be called the POWER of music. amiright?

When to bust it out: When you just need to feel good. And maybe twirl a little.

26. Sister Act

Touchstone Pictures

Why it's awesome: Whoopi Goldberg's vegas showgirl turned nun was the greatest thing to happen to church choirs since organs.

When to bust it out: When all feels lost.

27. Steel Magnolias

Tristar Pictures

Why it's awesome: Lady bonds of steel, and some of the world's most epic one-liners make this tale of female friendships both hilarious and a tearjerker.

When to bust it out: For some good old fashioned girl bonding.

28. Matilda

Sony Pictures

Why it's awesome: Based on Roald Dahl's beloved book of the same name, Matilda is a little girl so smart her brain power can literally knock you over. And the love she shares with her teacher Miss Honey will hit you straight in the feels.

When to bust it out: When reading seems less interesting than friends or shopping.

29. Dirty Dancing

Vestron Pictures

Why it's awesome: It's a little sexy, but not over the top. Just enough to show you trust her, and respect her as a burgeoning adult. Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

When to bust it out: When it's time to talk about birth control, and not sneaking out of the house.

30. Troop Beverly Hills

Columbia Tristar

Why it's awesome: Shelly Long plays a down-and-out Beverly Hills mom who steps up to the plate when her daughter's Wilderness Girl troop finds itself without a leader.

When to bust it out: When you're feeling nostalgic for your 80s youth and want to reinforce the power of female friendships.

31. Mad Max: Fury Road

Warner Bros

Why it's awesome: Fury Road has basically become an instant feminist classic that all growing girls should see.

When to bust it out: When she's about to get her driver's license.

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