For the first time ever, a woman will occupy the office of the vice presidency. Therefore, on the heels of this historic victory for women everywhere, it’s only fitting your Friday night movie fix should be about empowering women in leading roles. Here are our favorite movies on the topic, that range from women kicking ass (literally) to historic gender-bending norms.

Our New Favorite: Chick Fight (2020)

woman fight club KO
Chick Fight Trailer via YouTube

The new movie Chick Fight, starring Malin Akerman, Bella Thorne, and Alec Baldwin hits theaters and streaming Friday (Nov 13). Oola got a sneak peek of the movie. We recommend it as an easy watch that’s both funny and packed with a strong girl-power vibe. Thanks to an incredibly diverse cast (more of this Hollywood!) and female empowerment messaging throughout, the movie is part attractive women fighting MMA style, part finding inner-strength and confidence in the face of diversity.

Synopsis

Chick Fight follows Anna (played by Akerman) as she navigates a particularly low point in her life. Her dating life is non-existent, her business is less than successful, and she’s dealing with the recent death of her mother. Knowing Anna needs to be abruptly shaken and stirred from her deep funk, her best friend Charleen (Dulcé Sloan) takes Anna to an all-female underground fight club. It's here that Anna encounters an eclectic cast of characters, including the intimidatingly perfect and most brutally efficient fighter of the club, Olivia (played by Thorne), who quickly becomes a rival in and out of the ring. With the help of an eccentric and reclusive trainer Jack Murphy (Alec Baldwin), Anna slowly rediscovers herself, her inner strength, and true purpose in the most primal of ways.

Who to Watch With

Grab some girlfriends and watch these women kick some serious ass. I saw it with my husband, who also very much enjoyed watching those same women kick serious ass (insert eye-roll).

Favorite Documentary: Hillary on Hulu (2020)

Hillary Official Trailer on Hulu

She is a polarizing figure, no doubt, but her life story is beyond fascinating. True story, I’ve watched this three times. Once by myself, once with a conservative republican, and another time with a group of older women. The end result is that—love her or hate her—you will be inspired by how groundbreaking she was for women.

Synopsis

Emmy-nominated Hillary explores how the former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton became “one of the most admired and vilified women in the world.” The four-part docu-series starts at the beginning of her childhood in Chicago, follows throughout the White House years, and interweaves interviews and never-before-seen footage from her 2016 presidential campaign.

Who to Watch With

With your mom, grandmother, or an influential woman in your life. I loved getting real-time feedback on what it was like for women during different decades.

Favorite Historical Drama: Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures via Facebook

A wonderful, historical biography, Hidden Figures not only educates the audience on a forgotten/overlooked piece of history, but it also leaves them in awe of its subjects. This is the kind of film that makes you want to learn more about the undocumented role of women in historical milestones, as well as the many untold stories of people of color.

Synopsis

Hidden Figures is a biographical drama loosely based on the 2016 non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. The movie is about three remarkable African American female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race. They serve as some of the brains behind one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of the space program: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.

Who to Watch With

Your whole family. I loved showing this film to my kids and getting to teach them the history of our country first hand.

Favorite Female Entrepreneur Flick: Joy (2015)

Jennifer Lawrence as Joy staring down a shotgun
JOY Official Trailer via YouTube

If you are working towards a seemingly impossible goal, you’d be hard-pressed to find as inspirational a movie as Joy. This rags-to-riches story revolves around a headstrong, and unstoppable female lead. Although it didn’t receive widespread critical success, this movie is downright amazing and hits in all the right places.

Synopsis

Joy is a biographical drama, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire who created her own business empire. The story picks up on Joy as a single mother, scraping by as an airline booking agent. After her breakthrough invention—a self-wringing mop—she navigates the tricky business world as a woman, where adversity abounds, and allies become adversaries. But in the end, Joy is the story of a woman who becomes a true boss in an unforgiving business world.

Who to Watch With

This is a great story that is a must-watch with any entrepreneur-minded pals or for a shot of self-confidence if you’re feeling down and out about your career.

Start’em Young—Favorite Animated Film: Moana (2016)

Moana in the dark carrying a torch
Moana Official Trailer via YouTube

Isn’t it refreshing to have a Disney movie where the plot has nothing to do with a man coming to the woman’s rescue? I love watching Moana with my daughter because of how it encourages curious spirits to push boundaries and to not be afraid to chart your own course.

Synopsis

The film tells the story of a strong-willed and curious teenager, Moana. The daughter of a chief of a Polynesian village, Moana is chosen by the ocean to reunite a mystical relic with the goddess Te Fiti, and ultimately save her people. The plot centers around Moana’s journey across the ocean as she overcomes obstacles, faces her fears, and ultimately saves her village.

Who to Watch With

Anyone! This is a family-friendly film that can be enjoyed with or without kids.

Dark Horse Pick: G.I. Jane (1997)

G.I. Jane Trailer via YouTube

G.I. Jane rocked my world and changed the way I thought about women in the military back in the day. This is one of those movies that has stuck with me and been an inspiration for decades. Not only did Demi Moore shave her head for this role and get into badass shape, but she also put a face to women who were fighting for equality on the battlefield (even if it was “just a movie”).

Synopsis

Lt. Jordan O’Neil (played by Moore) is selected as the first and only female trainee to undergo the US Navy Seals program, which would eventually allow and pave the way for the integration of women into its services. Chosen specifically for her femininity; O'Neil enters the grueling training program under the command of John James Urgayle (Viggo Mortensen), who unfairly pushes O'Neil until her determination wins his respect.

Who to Watch With

If you haven’t seen this, it’s a must-watch! My advice is to just get it in the queue as soon as possible. It’s got enough action to watch with your guy or is plenty enjoyable to watch by yourself.

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