by JAMILA RIZVI
I truly believe that there are some kinds of hurt that can only be healed with a tub of Neapolitan swirl, a chick flick and your girlfriends.
I don’t have a scientific basis for this pronouncement but back in the day, a group of old American dudes declared some self evident truths and now I’m going to do the same.
My girlfriends and I have our ‘dealing with heartbreak’ routine down to an artform and it always involves some variation on the essential items above.
Exactly which variation depends on the length of the offending relationship and the level of evil doing committed by the man involved.
And somewhere between the heartbreaking romantic climax of the first film and the laugh-so-hard-you-wee-a-little-bit moment in the second – somehow everything just seems: a little bit less awful.
The strange thing is – this little exercise isn’t too dissimilar to what we do when we’re gossiping about a new relationship, or mourning the loss of a grandparent, or celebrating someone’s work success or in fact, just hanging out together.
And that’s because a girls’ night in is always infinitely more enjoyable than a girls’ night out.
Critical though, is the correct choice of film. In fact, the wrong film can spell DOOM for a girls’ night in. Okay, notsomuch. But still, if you’re having a girls’ night in, you may as well do it properly.
And that means not being suckered into hiring some trashy try-hard piece of crap, with more Hollywood stars than can fit comfortably in a Tarago (Valentines’ Day anyone?)
Here are my top five film picks for a girls’ night in:
(1) First Wives Club.It’s disgustingly rare to find a good film about a group of women over 40 – but this is one of them. And it’s fabulous. Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler form a club in order to get revenge on their ex-husbands, who have all left them for younger women. What I love best about this film is that it is seemingly focused on the three women’s romantic relationships but ultimately the moral of the story is actually one about girlfriends supporting one another. And then at the end they all dress up in white suits and sing and dance about the power of the sisterhood. Rock on.
(2) Little Women. It’s not every day that a film does justice to a book as good as Lousia May Alcott’s Little Women but the 1994 Gillian Armstrong version does just that. The storyline follows the lives of four very different sisters who are growing up during the American Civil War. Highlights include a rather delicious, young Christian Bale as Theodore Laurence declaring a wanton and obsessive love for Jo (before promptly taking up with his sister) and the ever-wise words of Susan Sarandon as Mrs March.
(3) Crazy Stupid Love. Ryan Gosling: Without. A. Shirt. On. Need I continue? I suppose not but in the name of completeness I shall provide you with a convincing spiel nonetheless. This is 2011 romcom follows the fumblings of Steve Carrol’s Cal Weaver after his wife asks him for a divorce. Cal seeks to rediscover his manliness (AKA pick up chics at bars) with the aid of newfound buddy Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who at the same time is chasing girls himself. It’s worth a watch simply for the beyond-awesome reaction from Emma Stone’s character Hannah to Gosling’s abdominal muscles: “Will you take off your shirt… fuck! Seriously? It’s like you’re Photoshopped!”
(4) Mean Girls. “… And none for Gretchen Wieners.” Mean Girls gets a gurnsey in the top 5 because let’s face it – is there anything more fun than reflecting on the bitchiness of high school and congratulating yourselves on the fact you’re no longer there? This is a teen movie with bucketloads more class and smarts than its competitors. Plus, it features Lindsay Lohan back when she was a feisty redhead with a promising career ahead of her. So you won’t be stuck for conversation.
(5) Dirty Dancing. This absolute classic from 1987 has everything a good chick flick needs: A hot male lead, a stellar soundtrack and – some dirty, dirty dancing. Baby falls in love with her dance teacher (Patrick Swayze – who could blame the girl) and things get a little out of hand thanks to some ‘hungry eyes’ and the carriage of a watermelon from A to B. I’m not sure quite what it is that makes this such a girls’ night in success but THAT lift in the water is just about the hottest thing that will ever grace your small screen.
A girls’ night out can sound enticing but once all the dress buying and shoe matching and make up perfecting is done – then the reality is it usually ends in disappointment.
Whereas a girls’ night in means: no losing one another on the dance floor, no excruciating pain from too high heels, no complaining about the DJ who only plays crappy unce-unce music and no Macy Gray, no desperate 3am cab search parties and no appalling pick up lines from men.
Plus you can watch one, if not all of these amazing films. What’s not to love?
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Bring It On
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What are your best films for a girls’ night in?