comScore 50 Female-Directed Movies You Should Watch (Part 1) | The Mary Sue
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50 Female-Directed Movies You Should Watch, Part 1: The Mainstream

It's party time! Party time! Excellent!

Fast Times at Clueless High, dir. Amy Heckerling
Remember that thing I said up top about “one film per director”? Surprise! I’m breaking my own rule, because the idea of not including arguably the greatest Jane Austen film adaptation of all time (sorry, Colin Firth) gives me a sharp pain in my chest, but at the same time how could I leave this defining Sean Penn moment out? [NSFW for background boobs.]

Is it on Netflix Instant? Yes for Clueless, no for Fast Times.

Bend It Like Beckham, dir. Gurinder Chadha
It’s been 12 years since the world fell in love with a fun little indie soccer movie called Bend It Like Beckham. I know. Take a moment. In the years since Parminder Nagra, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and pre-Pirates of the Caribbean Keira Knightley kicked the old soccer football around, Chadha’s directed other films, notably a Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, based on the first book in Louise Rennison’s excellent YA series Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. Angus got poor reviews, and personally I didn’t dig Bride and Prejudice (even though it has a scene where Sayid from Lost is “the Indian MC Hammer.”) Bend It Like Beckham, however, has more than stood the test of time.

Is it on Netflix Instant? No.

Jennifer’s Body, dir. Karyn Kusama
I’m not sure why, exactly, it took me so long to watch Jennifer’s Body. No, wait, I do—it stars Megan Fox, which means it had the dead specter of Transformers over it. Not exactly fair, but there it is. I gather a lot of people had similar ehhhh feelings toward the movie, since after an incredibly wide-reaching marketing campaign that began over a year before its release date, Jennifer’s Body earned a minuscule $16 million domestically. I guess everyone was tired of hearing about “DIABLO CODY! MEGAN FOX! DIABLO CODY!!!” But you should give this one a shot. It’s not a groundbreaking movie, but it’s not stupid, either. And Fox is basically playing a horror movie parody version of herself—or, rather, of her public image—which is actually pretty clever.

Is it on Netflix Instant? No.

A League of Their Own, dir. Penny Marshall
I’d feel a little empty inside if I didn’t include in this series a movie starring Geena Davis, who’s dovetailed her acting career into one of crusading for representation for women both behind and in front of the camera. In 2007, she founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media, self-described as “the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence the need to dramatically improve, gender balance, reduce stereotyping and create diverse female characters in entertainment targeting children 11 and under.” Needless to say, we’re pretty big fans around these parts. We’re also pretty big fans of Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own, which taught us a valuable lesson about what’s not allowed in baseball.

Is it on Netflix Instant? Yes.

Half Baked, dir. Tamra Davis
For the tenth spot on this list, I could have included any number of critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated movies, like The Piano (Jane Campion), Monster (Patty Jenkins), Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola), Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Peirce)… or I could include this 1998 pothead comedy starring Dave Chappelle. And screw it, I’m going with the pothead comedy. Half Baked will always have a special place in my heart, because—like its spiritual twin (at least to me) Airheads—I saw it in ten-minute chunks on Comedy Central probably ten times before I actually sat down and watched the whole thing. The (bleeped-out) version of Half Baked smells like childhood to me. Childhood and weed.

Is it on Netflix Instant? No.

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