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Celebrating Galentine’s Day? 7 Movies About Female Friendship to Watch With Your Pals

February 13 is a day for the ladies.


Sure, romance is nice — but friendship is arguably just as important. Valentine’s Day is February 14, but did you know there’s a charming opportunity to celebrate your best pals on an unofficial holiday the day before? The concept of Galentine’s Day originated in a 2010 episode of the beloved sitcom Parks and Recreation. Leslie Knope (played by comedian Amy Poehler) describes the holiday thusly: “What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it… Ladies celebrating ladies.” 

“Ladies celebrating ladies” is certainly an idea we can get behind. Science even says that when you spend time with your girlfriends, you might feel more cheerful and less stressed or lonely as a result. So, if you want to pay tribute to friendship and give Galentine’s Day a try this year, consider planning a movie night in, complete with drinks and snacks for your gal pals. Here are seven of our favorite movies about female friendship that’ll be perfect for the occasion.

1. Book Club (2018)

For a bookish Galentine’s Day.

Book Club is an entertaining tribute to long-lasting female bonds starring some of the best: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen, and Candice Bergen. The four pals, who’ve been close friends for decades, decide to read the notoriously steamy book Fifty Shades of Grey for their book club — and are inspired to take charge of their relationships and open themselves up to new romantic possibilities as a result. If you’re in a book club with your friends, you’ll definitely get a kick out of this one — and maybe you’ll even make plans to see the sequel (which takes place in Italy!) in theaters when it’s released this May.

Book Club is available to stream on Paramount+.

2. The First Wives Club (1996)

For a divorced Galentine’s Day.

Feeling a little bitter? Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton play a trio of ladies who’ve all been betrayed by their husbands in this ’90s classic. While the plot features some over-the-top revenge schemes, it also highlights the ways in which women are often overlooked as they age, and showcases the importance of these characters sticking together and proving themselves smarter than the men who did them wrong. I bet you can’t resist singing along when they perform Lesley Gore’s defiant hit “You Don’t Own Me” in the movie’s most famous scene (watch it below).

The First Wives Club is available to stream on HBO Max.

3. 9 to 5 (1980)

For a working woman’s Galentine’s Day.

Watching Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin light up the screen together is always a pleasure. Add Dolly Parton to the mix and you have true movie magic. These three women star as office workers who are fed up with their sexist boss and decide to take matters into their own hands, with hilarious results. The movie came out in 1980, and more than four decades later its consideration of the discrimination women face in the workplace remains relevant. And the titular theme song, by Parton herself, definitely never gets old.

9 to 5 is available to stream on HBO Max.

4. Beaches (1988)

For a teary Galentine’s Day.

Galentine’s Day should be an uplifting time to celebrate female bonds — but sometimes you and your girlfriends probably just want to have to have a good, cathartic cry. Beaches will do the trick: This tearjerker stars Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey as longtime friends weathering life’s ups and downs, and ultimately ends with someone’s untimely death. The movie details the ways in which a childhood friendship between opposing personalities can change dramatically over time. Midler’s songs enhance the drama (“Wind Beneath My Wings,” anyone?), so make sure you have a box of tissues nearby.  

Beaches is available to buy or rent from various services.

5. Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

For a cross-generational Galentine’s Day.

Friendships that transcend generations are a beautiful thing. This 1991 film stars Kathy Bates as an unhappy 40-something housewife and Jessica Tandy as an elderly nursing-home-bound woman with whom she forms a bond. The older woman shares stories of her life and the people she used to know, and as a result Bates’ character is inspired to become more confident and assertive in her own right. This poignant story about the value of trading memories between friends may remind you not to take people outside of your age range for granted.

Fried Green Tomatoes is available to buy or rent from various services.

6. Thelma & Louise (1991)

For a vengeful Galentine’s Day.

Your Galentine’s Day flicks don’t have to be all cute and cozy. If you and your girlfriends are feeling feisty, Thelma & Louise is an ideal choice for movie night. This 1991 favorite stars Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon as best friends who are fed up with their everyday lives and decide to go on a road trip — with violent consequences. (Bonus: There’s an appearance from a very young, very hunky Brad Pitt.) While the film has a definite dark side (with a truly unforgettable ending to match), it also serves as a powerful illustration of how the bond between two women can be used as a shield against an often-cruel world.

Thelma & Louise is available to stream on Amazon Prime.

7. Steel Magnolias (1989)

For a southern Galentine’s Day.

Anchored by an all-star ensemble cast of Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Daryl Hannah, and Julia Roberts, Steel Magnolias pays tribute to friendship among women in a small Louisiana town. The movie mixes sassy one-liners with tragedy (spoiler alert: One character, a young woman suffering from diabetes, ends up dying shortly after giving birth) and Steel Magnolias serves as a tribute to the resilience of Southern ladies. You and your friends will likely start quoting lines back and forth at future gatherings; but you will also shed a tear or two, as scenes of these friends finding community and comfort in each other after losing one of their own tugs at even the sturdiest of heartstrings.

Steel Magnolias is available to buy or rent from various services.

Happy Galentine’s Day!

Any one of these flicks will make for ideal Galentine’s Day viewing — you may even want to do a double feature! So invite some of your closest girlfriends over, procure some wine and snacks, press play, and you’re guaranteed to have a memorable night. Maybe Galentine’s will become your new yearly tradition. 

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