This one may seem like a silly choice for a strong female rom com but Cher (a ditsy high schooler) is actually a fairly strong character. She doesn’t let immature high school boys turn her head, she stands up for what she believes in (even if it’s giving sports equipment to disaster relief), and is nice to everyone, even the school “losers”. She’s very much her own person for all her valley girl ways. Plus, her whole talk about her virginity being an important thing is a great message.
[about keeping her virginity]
Cher: “You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet.”
Jenna is an insecure 13 year old girl whose only wish is to be popular. She makes a wish and wakes up as a 30 year woman with a successful job in publishing. While at first her life seems perfect, she soon realizes her success and popularity were due to acting in a horrible manner to the people around her, including her friend from when she was young (a boy). Lots of soul searching with the boy from her past (now a hot man) she realizes that friendship and being a good person are the keys to happiness and not being popular. This leads to love and a new future of happiness.
Jenna: “Who are these women? Does anyone know? I don’t recognize any of them. I want to see my best friend’s big sister, the girls from the soccer team, my next door neighbor, real women who are smart and pretty and happy to be who they are. These are the women to look up to.”
Paige is a smart, driven, woman in her senior year in college with dreams of medical school. Edward is a carefree, spoiled prince from Denmark. Edward come to the US in pursuit of “Girls Gone Wild” type women and ends up falling for Paige when he realizes there is more to life than fast cars and faster women. I love how Paige teaches him that kindness, hardwork, and fairness are keys to happiness and love. The ending is especially great because Paige holds to her values and dreams but still gets the prince (who respects her even more because of it).
Edward: “I want you in my life Paige. I want to marry you. If that means I have to wait until you finish medical school, become a doctor and anything else you would like to do then I will do it. I will wait.”
Paige: “Denmark isn’t ready for a Queen like me.”
Edward: “But then they will have to be. Because I am.”
There isn’t as much “romance” in this movie as others but there is enough to put it in the rom-com category. Georgia is a shy, introverted woman who has big dreams but limits herself to a small quite existence. When she learns she is “dying”, she takes her life savings, travels to Europe and learns to live like she has always wanted. Along the way she learns to be strong, confident in who she is, and to enjoy life. When the guy she has always loved but never let herself pursue come to “rescue her” she ends up saving those around her instead.
Georgia: “Next time… we will laugh more, we’ll love more: we just won’t be so afraid.”
Oh how do I love this movie. It used to be in the regular rotation for my mom and I as one of our go-to rentals when my dad and brother were out of town (back when you had to drive to the video store). It has everything a a girl needs in a rom-com. Strong female lead in Joan (Kathrine Turner), handsome male lead in Jack (Kurk Douglas in his prime), comedy, adventure, romance, and subtle message that a woman can bring a man along for an adventure but doesn’t need him to save her. Seriously, no matter what the movie poster shows, for all of Jack’s effort, by the end of this movie you will realize that Joan ends up saving herself every time they get into a pickle.
The story revolves around a shy romance writer named Joan who dreams of being swept away in a grand passion by a strong “manly man”. Her sister gets kidnapped by a drug lord who wants a map the sister’s husband sent Joan. She travels to Columbia to exchange her sister for the map, gets on the wrong bus and meets Jack. Lots of adventures later they find the treasure, save her sister, and live happily every after. Or at least until the sequel which isn’t worth watching.
Publicist: “Joanie, you are now a world-class hopeless romantic”
Joan: “No, hopeful. Hopeful romantic”.
Do you know of any other romantic comedies that star strong female characters that do more than wait around for “the right guy”? I would love to hear about them.