Feminism has been one of the hot topics during the last decade, so there are great movies empowering women in the early 2000s. There are movies like ‘Legally Blonde’, ‘She’s The Man,’ or ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ that would become your new feel-good comedy.
Movies Like ”Legally Blonde”
‘Legally Blonde’ (2001) is one of the classics about social stereotypes and cliché, which is a favorite for many people. Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) seems to have it all but then loses her boyfriend just because of her being too blond. Elle gives her best to get into Harvard to win him back but eventually learns more about herself and that there is more to her than just looks. ‘Legally Blonde’ is rated 70% by Rotten Tomatoes critics and is one of the most popular movies empowering women.
Movies Like “Legally Blonde”: Miss Congeniality (2000)
One of Sandra Bullock’s most successful performances in her career, “Miss Congeniality,” follows an F.B.I. Agent into a beauty pageant to do her job. Gracie (played by Sandra Bullock) had to go undercover as a contestant to stop a terrorist threat to bomb the Miss United States pageant.
Gracie knows too well of her lack of refinement and femininity, but she overcame all to fulfill her job. This movie got a 6.3/10 on IMDB and a 41% on Tomato-Meter. “Miss Congeniality ” made a gross profit of $106.8M in the USA alone, leading to part two of the movie in 2005.
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Movies Like ”Legally Blonde”: Clueless (1995)
Considered one of the defining films of the 1990s, ‘Clueless’ follows Cher, a Beverly Hills high school student, through the ups and downs of her adolescent life. By surprise, what caught viewers is that Cher (played by Alicia Silverstone) is witty, charming, and intelligent beneath the superficial demeanor.
Undergoing a spiritual makeover, Cher realized that life is so much more than clothes and popularity. ‘Clueless’ top cast includes Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, and Stacey Dash, among many others. The movie got 81% ‘Fresh’ from Rotten Tomatoes and 6.8 out of 10 from IMDB.
Clueless Trailer. Source: TheWorldofTrailers
Movies Like ”Legally Blonde”: The Princess Diaries (2001)
‘The Princess Diaries’ is a stunning story of the transformation and self-realization of Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway). She has to go from an average geeky teenager to become the heir to Genova’, a European country. Mia’s life is wholly overturned amid the spotlight that Mia is thrust into as the heir to the throne.
‘The Princess Diaries’ is one of the most prominent milestones in Anne Hathaway’s career, making her one of the top stars. IMDB rates the movie a 6.4/10 while Rotten Tomatoes audience scores it 68%.
Movies Like “Legally Blonde”: Easy A (2010)
‘Easy A’ sends a strong message about the dangers of labelling people and rumors. Viewers around the world consider “Easy A” an excellent tribute to John Hughes. The movie swept through the United States and Canada, making a whopping $17.7M during its opening weekend. ‘Easy A’ is believed to be Emma Stone’s stepping stone towards her stardom, thanks to her outstanding performance as “Olive”. Rotten Tomatoes votes 85% for the movie, while IMBD gives ‘Easy A’ a 7/10.
“Easy A” Trailer. Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Uptown Girls (2003)
‘Uptown Girls’ is a touching story of empowerment and independence, starring Brittany Murphy as the protagonist. Molly (Brittany Murphy) was born a single daughter of a rock-star, and hence inherits his wealth and leads a carefree lifestyle.
However, when Molly finds out she is running out of money, she has to work as a nanny for Ray (Dakota Fanning). The movie follows how Molly learns to bond with Ray and learns to become an adult. Though Rotten Tomatoes only voted ‘Uptown Girls’ at 13%, the movie got a 6.2 out of 10 from IMDB.
Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
78% of Rotten Tomatoes’ audience vote that they enjoy watching “Sweet Home Alabama”, a gentle romantic comedy about returning to one’s roots. Despite her successful career as a fashion designer in New York, Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) still has ties to cut. She sneaks back home to Alabama to end everything with her redneck husband, Jake (Josh Lucas).
However, this trip shows Melanie how her roots play a big part in her personality. The movie was released close to the Christmas holiday in 2002 and made an estimated gross of over 180 million dollars worldwide.
“Sweet Home Alabama” Trailer. Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers
Never Been Kissed (1999)
Josie (Drew Barrymore) got the assignment to pose as a high school student to research contemporary teenage culture, despite being a grown woman with a career. Josie has no problem getting along with the coolest kids at school until she falls for her dreamy English teacher.
This movie is a sweet tale of delayed gratification, getting a 55% vote from Rotten Tomatoes and 6.1 from IMDB. “Never been kissed’ was released in 1999 and made more than eleven million dollars in its opening weekend, hitting the box office.
Mean Girls (2004)
‘Mean Girls’ is among the most famous comedies about social cliques internationally and brought Lindsay Lohan to her stardom. From the wilderness in Africa to the suburbs of Illinois, teenage Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) has the change of her life.
At school, Cady soon learns the harsh laws of popularity, which eventually gets the better of her. She becomes one of “the Plastics” girls, and that’s when she learns the hard way how they got that name. ‘Mean Girls’ is voted 84% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.0/10 on IMDB. The worldwide revenue of the movie is around 130 million USD.
“Mean Girls” Trailer. Source: Mean Girls
Bring It On (2000)
‘Bring It On’ could be the first and most successful movie about the competitive world of cheerleading. The PG-13 comedy is both loved by Rotten Tomatoes critics and viewers, possibly thanks to the cast’s brilliant performance. Though only a high school team, the Toro cheerleading squad has spirit and sass and killer routines.
The national championship is getting close when the Toro squad’s new leader finds out their killer routines are stolen from another team – The Clovers. At the time of filming, Kirsten Dunst as Torrance Shipman, Toro’s new leader, was only seventeen. Her performance won a lot of attention and laid a strong foundation for her acting career.
Movies Like ‘The Devil Wears Prada’
The 2006 comedy/drama is not only a mega box-office hit and an inspiration for girls worldwide. ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ earns more than 300 million USD worldwide, and multiple awards like:
- Women Film Critics Circle Awards
- Satellite Awards for Best Actress and Best Costume Design
- Rembrandt Awards
- and also the Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actress to Meryl Streep.
The movie is iconic and incomparable in its way. However, some films tell similar empowerment stories and at the heart of the plot was the back scene of the fashion world. If you love ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, these movies would also entertain you.
27 Dresses (2008)
Jane (Katherine Heigl) always puts others’ needs before hers and becomes the go-to girl whenever a wedding needs support. Jane has no problem helping as a bridesmaid at weddings until her younger sister gets married to the man Jane loves. She breaks down into a mental crisis, judging herself as a wedding junkie.
That’s when her story gets the attention of a young reporter (James Marsden) who considers it a ticket off the bridal beat. ’27 Dresses’ is an enjoyable romantic comedy, winning 57% of audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.1/10 on IMDB.
“27 Dresses” Trailer – Movies like “Legally Blonde”. Source: FilmTeaser
Julie & Julia (2009)
If you love Meryl Streep in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, you will again be amazed by her performance in ‘Julie & Julia’, the tale of two women separated by the generation gap but bonded by a shared passion for food. Julie Powell (Amy Adams) gives up her soul-killing job to pursue a daring project of preparing all 524 recipes in Julia Childs’ landmark cookbook.
Meanwhile, viewers get to see how Julia Child (Meryl Streep) conquers French cuisine with her passion and fearlessness. A tasty feminist movie with a fantastic cast is what ‘Julie & Julia’ brings to the table. IMDB rates the film a 7.0/10, while 77% of Rotten Tomatoes critics love it.
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Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
Fashion could be an obsession, and that is the story of Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher), who can not control her shopping addiction. Ironically, Rebecca lands a job as an advice columnist for a financial magazine and soon becomes an overnight success.
However, Rebecca knows too well that her little secret of drowning in debt would end both her career and her love life. IMDB rates ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ a 5.9/10 while the movie earns a worldwide gross of over 108 million USD. The film is considered a milestone success for Isla Fisher, winning her a nomination for Teen Choice Awards 2009.
“Confessions of a Shopaholic” Trailer – Movies like “Legally Blonde”. Source: finerjared
Factory Girl (2006)
The movie is set in the mid-1960s when Edie (Sienna Miller) meets and falls in love with artist Andy Warhol (Guy Pearce). She joins Andy’s famous Factory and becomes the muse for his works. Edie’s affection for Andy Warhol is never returned, and she soon turns into a charismatic musician (Hayden Christensen).
This affair with the musician pushes Edie to pursue her independence from Andy Warhol and again gets a grip on reality. Despite its not-so-successful debut at the theatre making only 3.5 million USD worldwide, ‘Factory Girl’ gets a 6.4/10 on IMDB.
Movies Like “She’s The Man”
‘She’s The Man’ could be the earliest and most known movie about girls pursuing hobbies which have always been considered ‘boys-only’. Viola Johnson (Amanda Bynes) has to disguise to become her twin brother to join his football team, without knowing that she will soon fall in love with her handsome roommate, Duke (Channing Tatum). ‘She’s the man’, in a way, started the trend of movies about girls in sports, and there are other exciting films also fighting social stereotypes against females in sports.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Hilary Swank has the chance of her career when she wins the role of Maggie Fitzgerald, acting along with Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman in ‘Million Dollar Baby’. Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) is an aspiring boxer who asks Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) to train her into a champion.
Though Frankie refuses to train a girl, Maggie’s grit in the ring has eventually persuaded him to become her trainer. Soon, Maggie’s career skyrockets, and she becomes the boxer that Frankie always wants under his wing. However, an accident in the ring soon changes everything for both Maggie and Frankie. IMBD rates this classic an 8.1/10, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it 90% on the Tomato-meter.
“Million Dollar Baby” Trailer – Movies like “Legally Blonde”. Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers
Bend it Like Beckham (2002)
Imagine a daughter of an Indian family in London who rebels against her family’s traditionalism by running off to Germany for football. That is the story of Jess (Parminder Nagra) and her dream to play soccer professionally like her hero David Beckham.
Soon, Jess’s excuses that helped her play football for fun after class could no longer cover her desire to go to Germany for a football game. That is when Jess’s family has to choose whether to support her dream or protect their traditional beliefs. ‘Bend it like Beckham’ got an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.6/10 on IMDB.
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A League of Their Own (1992)
‘A League of their own’ is critiqued as “sentimental and light, but still thoroughly charming” with solid performances from a fantastic cast. When America seems to have run out of athletic young men during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league starts its first championship. Two sisters, Dottie and Kit, join the baseball team initially to get out of Oregon.
The baseball team is coached by Jimmy Dugan, a former player who’s now a grumpy drunk. How will the people react to an all-female baseball league, and which team would win? IMDB rates the movie a 7.3/10, and Rotten Tomatoes also considers it a good movie to watch by giving a 79% rating.
“A League of Their Own” Trailer – Movies like “Legally Blonde”. Source: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Believe in Me (2006)
On the poster of ‘Believe in Me’, the tagline is visible: “never let them tell you what you can’t do”, and that’s precisely what the movie is about. Clay Driscoll (Jeffrey Donovan) thinks of coaching girls as unthinkable because he is preparing to coach a boys’ team.
However, Clay is stuck with the Lady Cyclones, who seem to have no previous proper training. The team works through it all, with female members training like the boys, and their story soon gets attention. Though the movie only makes around 200,000 USD at the box office, it has won good ratings on both IMDB (7.1/10) and Rotten Tomatoes (60% from critics).
Grace Bowen (Carly Schroeder) is just a teenager and daughter of a former soccer star, and she wants to give women the opportunity to play competitive soccer. Despite her father’s disbelief in her football talents, Grace is not discouraged but gathers her strengths to change everyone’s beliefs in her capability. Her toughness and beautiful soul have brought the family together to overcome their tragedy. ‘Gracie’ earns almost 4 million USD worldwide and is rated 6.2/10 on IMDB.
Top Movies Like ”Legally Blonde”: Conclusion
Movies like “Legally Blonde”, “She’s The Man” and “The Devil Wears Prada” are so popular because they are wholesome: they tell girls to follow their dreams and fight for their beliefs. These movies don’t paint everything pink but show the world as full of ups and downs and prejudices against women. The world is in a better place now than it was twenty years ago, and hopefully, more movies about female empowerment would continue to raise awareness about gender equality.
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