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Are These The 7 Best Movies Of All Time For Celebrating Female Friendship?

Read on and see if you agree.

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photo gif of the color purple, beaches, and 9 to 5 movies
Everett Collection (3)
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The 1980s gave us wonderful, iconic movies that paved the way for box office hits like Thelma & Louise, The Joy Luck Club and television series like Sex and the City and Firefly Lane. Their success is built on ’80s films that showcased the power of female friendships.

These relationships have been featured in every film genre from comedy to horror, but the theme is always the same: Girlfriends are an emotional lifeline, our ride-or-die co-pilots for life — "Louise, no matter what happens, I'm glad I came with you."

Studies have shown female friendships are vital to our well-being due to their therapeutic nature — we rely on them for honesty, loyalty, support, advice, and sometimes just a shoulder to cry on. We thrive on emotional connection and intimacy because these remarkable women give us a sense of belonging. We relate in ways we can't with men and the females in our inner circle empower us to do more with our lives.

So, grab your besties and some snacks and binge these classic films that showcase girlfriend power:

BEACHES, from left, Barbara Hershey, Bette Midler, 1988
Touchstone/Courtesy Everett Collection

Beaches (1988): Better Midler, Barbara Hershey

Two young girls become close childhood friends while on holiday in Atlantic City, and the relationship lasts for decades despite their diverse personalities and backgrounds. After experiencing love, divorce, self-doubt, and death, their loyalty prevails even when it’s disrupted by jealousy, competitiveness, and disagreements. No matter what happens, they always have each other's back, proving that a powerful female friendship can survive any emotional storm.

NINE TO FIVE, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda
20th Century Fox/Everette Collection

9 to 5 (1980): Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda

This female-centric comedy depicts three secretaries who decide to take revenge against their tyrannical, sexist boss in a male-dominated workplace. Rather than compete against each other to climb the corporate ladder, they discover that joining forces is the key to defeating their chauvinistic boss and taking over the business. Kidnapping and hijinks are involved, but the overall message of female equality, friendship, and empowerment is inspiring.

THE COLOR PURPLE, Akosua Busia, Desreta Jackson
Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

The Color Purple (1985): Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, Akosua Busia

The movie focuses on Celie, an African American woman who has endured years of violence and bigotry in the South. Friendships with the women in her life — Shug, Sofia and Celie's sister Nettie — help boost her confidence and give her the courage to leave her abusive marriage. One of the underlying messages in this coming-of-age story is the power of emotional support, encouragement, and acceptance, pivotal in long-lasting female friendships.

STEEL MAGNOLIAS, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine
Everette Collection

Steel Magnolias (1989): Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Daryl Hannah

Steel Magnolias beautifully shows how female bonds develop, strengthen and become unbreakable through tragedy and good fortune. The story revolves around Truvy's beauty shop in a small Louisiana town where beauticians and clients often share personal joys and sorrows. Honesty, trust, emotional support, and accepting each other's faults are what cement between these women and send a clear message: our female friends are the ones who get us through the best and worst moments in life.

MYSTIC PIZZA, Annabeth Gish, Julia Roberts and Lili Taylor
Samuel Goldwyn/Courtesy Everette Collection

Mystic Pizza (1988): Julia Roberts, Annabeth Gish, Lili Taylor

This romantic comedy-drama delves into the lives of three Portuguese American teenage girls who are best friends working as waitresses at a pizza restaurant in Mystic. It's the summer after high school, and the girls have common aspirations to leave their small town, hoping to find a better, more exciting life. Although sentimental at times, the film also focuses on class distinction, a strong work ethic, ambition, and the power of female friendships. The three girls lift each other emotionally while encouraging one another to reach for their dreams. The message here is that anything is possible if you have the support of close friends.

BAGDAD CAFE, Monica Calhoun, Whoopi Goldberg
Everette Collection

Bagdad Cafe (1987): Marianne Sägebrecht, CCH Pounder

Bagdad Cafe is a quirky comedy-drama that takes place at a truck stop/motel in a remote area of the Mojave Desert. Sägebrecht plays a German tourist stranded on the roadside by her husband and ends up staying at the motel. In need of a job, she is hired by the cafe owner, a tough-as-nails character played by CCH Pounder. Although they are from completely different backgrounds, an unlikely friendship forms between the two. Their growing bond helps resurrect the cafe and transform the lives of its eccentric customers.

THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK, Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer
Everette Collection

The Witches of Eastwick (1987): Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon, Cher

Three headstrong women in the small town of Eastwick have lost their spouses and yearn for "Mr. Right." But each woman is subjected to the town's puritanical belief that a woman's role is to please a man. The trio discuss the qualities they'd prefer in a future spouse if such a man existed. Unknowingly, their desires conjure up the "man of their dreams." Enter Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson), a randy devil who courts each woman at his lavish mansion. Despite living in a polyamorous love square, the three friends get along well until Daryl tricks them into using their witchcraft to do harm. Together, they combine their powers to exorcize the demon from their lives and end up living together in the mansion, raising the children they conceived by Daryl. The message of this dark fantasy-comedy is that women should embrace their feminine powers in support of one another against patriarchal beliefs that restrict women's roles in society.

If you're looking for more female buddy flicks, check out these fun, heartwarming movies:

Just Between Friends (1986) Romance-Drama

Big Business (1988) Comedy

Little Darlings (1980) Comedy-Drama

Heartaches (1981) Comedy

Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985) Romantic Musical Comedy

Times Square (1980) Drama

Which of the above films could you watch over and over again? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Lifestyle