Unfortunately, My Best Friend’s Wedding is no best streaming. Photo-Illustration: Maya Robinson and Photos by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images, Showtime, TriStar Pictures, Roadside Attractions, Paramount Pictures and IFC Films
This column was adapted on April 8, 2016 to reflect Netflix’s accepted offerings.
Movies are meant to accomplish us feel understood. Actually, let me adapt that: Movies are meant to make men feel understood, at atomic in today’s cultural altitude — aftermost year, women made up only 12 percent of protagonists and aloof 30 percent of speaking roles in the top-grossing films. Needless to say, as women, it’s boxy to acquisition films that represent us, that accomplish us feel seen, that advice us to activity our experiences. (Not to say that women can’t chronicle to macho protagonists, or carnality versa, but appear on, Hollywood — 12 percent is bleak.)
Enter Netflix’s “Featuring a Strong Changeable Lead” categories, which do abundant of the difficult assignment by allocation through amaranthine films and TV shows starring acceptable white dudes, afire them in amount (I think), afresh confined up hundreds of examples of complex, absolutely fatigued women activity through some bits onscreen. But this long, bulky account of lady-centric media creates yet addition problem: What to watch when, and why?
Why not baddest a bulk of movies and shows that allege anon to your present experiences, whether by giving you a faculty of angle (“Damn, the mom from The Babadook sure has it a lot worse than I do, what with a children’s-book appearance aggravating to drive her to filicide”), presenting you with accessible solutions to your troubles (“Oh, so I can just adulteration my biased bang-up to death!”), or artlessly empathizing with you (“Yes, girl, it doessuck aback your brigand admirer uses you as a assurance in his arduous d while you’re aloof aggravating to get it with your hot developed neighbor”). To help, we’ve created a accessible adviser to which of Netflix’s “Featuring a Strong Changeable Lead” films (and a few TV shows) beyond categories you should watch aback you acquisition yourself activity some blazon of way.
What to Watch Aback You’ve Done Article Terrible (and Appetite to Feel Bigger About It by Watching Somebody Do Article Significantly Added Terrible):
Top of the Lake Jane Campion’s air-conditioned 2013 mini-series follows Elisabeth Moss as detective Robin Griffin, a apparitional adolescent woman who cautiously allotment to her tiny New Zealand hometown to breach the abstruse dematerialization of a bounded boyhood called Tui (Jacqueline Joe). The added Robin pries into Tui’s departure, the added appalling are the secrets she uncovers, both about her own ancestors and the bodies she’s investigating. While I don’t appetite to blemish annihilation actuality — it’s account falling bottomward this dark, askance aerial aperture — answer to say that any poor choices you may accept fabricated afresh anemic in allegory to alike the best amiable affaire of the townspeople of Laketop, New Zealand.
About Elly Did you balloon to ambition your grandpa a blessed birthday? Hey, don’t diaphoresis it. The characters in Asghar Farhadi’s aphotic psychodrama About Elly “forget” to acquaint a woman’s ancestors that she disappeared. They additionally lie to anniversary added and themselves, convenance alarming group-think and moral relativism, and comedy amaranthine circuit of bank volleyball while their adolescent accouchement are pond in the affronted Caspian Sea. Ultimately, About Elly asks how far one should go to bottle a apocryphal faculty of adjustment to additional addition actuality grief. The answer: not as far as anybody in About Elly goes.
The Acquaintance of NightFeeling a little Regina George–esque lately? Well, some of the high-schoolers in The Acquaintance of Night accomplish Mean Girls’ affronted queen bee attending like, I don’t know, Jerry Seinfeld’s bee in Bee Movie. In Caryn Waechter’s modern-day riff on the Salem witch trials, an angry, anxious boyhood called Emily Parris (Kara Hayward) decides to exact animus on her pretty, ambiguous acquaintance Mary Warren (Georgie Henley) by cogent a abject account about Mary — namely, that she’s the arch of a atrocious cult. Soon, parents get involved, agents get in trouble, and bodies alpha annihilation themselves, all because Emily was activity array of affronted about not accepting a allotment in the academy play. So don’t feel too bad about that abuse acclaim you aloof gave your co-worker.
ElectionHowever accusable you adeptness be activity about your own behavior of late, you’ll feel absolute mired in moral courage afterwards attending the walking clusterfuck that is Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) in Election. Over the beforehand of Alexander Payne’s acerbic 1999 satire, McAllister, a once-respected teacher, pits his high-school acceptance adjoin one another, commits small-scale balloter fraud, charcoal his marriage, and has his eyelid stung badly by a bee (… Jerry?). It should be noted, because our overarching category, that all of McAllister’s poor decisions axis from a abstruse affliction with Reese Witherspoon’s Strong Changeable Lead Tracy Flick. It can be adamantine to watch a woman succeed!
Advantageous Maybe you’ve afresh done article ambiguous to accumulate your job or beforehand your career, like bandy a aide beneath the bus. It’s vital, then, that you watch Jennifer Phang’s Advantageous, a dystopian, affected sci-fi that sees advocate Gwen (Jacqueline Kim) accomplishing article absolutely batshit to herself so she won’t lose her job at a celebrated tech company. Sure, Gwen’s basal activity is admirable — sending her babe (Samantha Kim) to a acceptable academy — and her accomplishments are added than barefaced aural the hopelessly misogynistic apple the blur presents, which perceives women as unemployable already they adeptness average age. But what Gwen decides to do in the name of career advance greatly alters her family’s adherence and happiness. Also, it makes it adamantine for her to airing up stairs.
When Your Job Is Sucking the Activity Out of You (and You Need to Be Inspired and/or Gain Some Perspective):
9 to 5 Alternatively, conceivably your job absolutely does blot and it’s time to get a new one. Or conceivably it’d be easier to booty a folio out of Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin’s book and try to advance the austere abode you’re ashore in. The aboriginal step, of course, is to about adulteration your boss, afresh accomplish him a captive in his own home. Next, feel chargeless to coin his signature on dozens of memos announcement new appointment policies. Lastly, watch as he’s alien off to Brazil and accept a giggly smoke at his desk. Be abiding to abrasion a dejected pleather covering throughout.
Zero Activity It seems absurd that one of the best greatly amusing movies of the accomplished year would be set central an Israeli Defense Forces outpost. But Talya Lavie’s admission blur — which appearance an about absolutely changeable casting — strikes aloof the appropriate antithesis of atramentous and deadpan applesauce in cogent the belief of Zohar (Dana Ivgy) and Daffi (Nelly Tagar), two IDF soldiers assigned to jobs so menial, they’ll accomplish castigation assume absolute scintillating. Daffi’s absolute job consists of shredding paper, which makes her bawl on a circadian basis. In theory, Zohar sorts the mail; in practice, she psychologically tortures her advantageous administrator and works to exhausted her own Minesweeper scores. Never afresh shall you accuse about color-coding your boss’s GCal.
In a Apple … We all accept canicule area we feel like the patriarchy is conspiring adjoin us (because it is). For Carol Solomon (Lake Bell, who additionally writes and directs the film) — an ambitious annotation artisan disturbing to accomplish a name for herself in a career bedeviled by thunder-voiced males threatened by her actual attendance — that day is every day. Rather than let a bulk of silky-piped men get to her, though, Carol doubles bottomward on her dream and works her ass off to prove her articulate prowess. We can all apprentice article from Carol, whether it’s how to allowance a war adjoin insidious ism in the workplace, or how to stop talking like developed babies.
Beyond the Lights Speaking of the patriarchy: Imagine if your job appropriate you to attending and act like a frat boy’s animal fantasy at all times. That’s absolutely the bearings in which Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) finds herself in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s admirable agreeable ball Beyond the Lights. Noni — a afraid pop-star with a helicopter date mom (Minnie Driver) who insists her babe breach “face down, ass up” at all times — is so afflicted in her “choice” of profession that she attempts to jump off a balustrade aural the aboriginal ten account of the movie. Fortunately, there’s a hot cop (Nate Parker) there to save her. I’m not absolutely abiding how that aftermost allotment adeptness affect to your accurate able situation, but if you can, acquisition a hot cop.
Two Days, One Night Here’s the allotment area I accomplish you feel bad for accusatory about your job in the above way that your parents acclimated to accomplish you feel bad for not finishing your dinner: Some bodies don’t alike HAVE jobs. For instance, there’s Sandra (Marion Cotillard) in the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night — a woman who, afterwards accident her abiding position in a factory, charge put on a acceptable face for her children, activity off her looming depression, and advance her faculty of pride as she begs her co-workers to abandon their bonuses so she adeptness resume her post. This cine will bend your affection appropriate out of your , and additionally affect you to go into assignment super-early the aing morning.
When Your Significant Added Has Pissed You Off Considerably (and You Crave Adherence With the Sisterhood)
Girlhood No arena in contempo anamnesis bigger exemplifies acquaintance adherence than the afterward breach in Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood: Our advocate Marieme (Karidja Touré) — a boyish babe who’s ambidextrous with a burst ancestors activity and a contempo attack into drugs — rents a auberge allowance for an atramentous with her three best accompany in an accomplishment to balloon her asperous reality. The aggregation primp, donning new dresses, putting on makeup, and assuming in advanced of the bath mirror. Already ready, rather than go out, they accumulate in the average of the room, about-face on Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” and alpha dancing exuberantly. Sciamma lets the camera amble on the girls for the absolutely of the song as they lip-sync the allotment lyrics, animated wildly. In added words, bang your adumbral S.O. out for the night and awning this one with your ladies.
Kill Bill Alright, so your man (or woman) fucked up again. Uma Thurman’s Beatrix feels you: Her ex Bill attempted to annihilation her assorted times, asleep all of her accompany (at her WEDDING), blanket her approaching child, afresh aloft it afterwards her adeptness or consent. Ugh. Men, am I right? Why not booty a folio out of Uma’s book and axis ‘em bottomward area they blow their head, afresh hit them with the Five Point Palm Exploding Affection Technique? Or aloof allocution it out, beddy-bye on it, I guess, whatever.
The L Word The ladies of The L Word could advise a adept chic in alternate support. Over the beforehand of Ilene Chaiken’s long-running Showtime alternation about a accumulation of attractive lesbians active in Los Angeles, women coin and set blaze to adventurous relationships with beauteous acceleration and regularity. Also, Shane (Katherine Moennig) has with absolutely everyone. But through it all, they activity one addition amateur to cry on, coffee shops to beef in, and beds to abatement into, afresh deathwatch up in and be all, “… So, that was a mistake.” In added words, the ladies of The L Word will admonish you of the adeptness of changeable friendship, and additionally of the adeptness of hot (you know, whenever you’re accessible to arch aback to the homestead, no pressure).
Bound We’ve all accidentally anachronous a con artisan or two in our day (I see you, Anne Hathaway). But what to do aback you agreeably access a abiding accord with a agitated mafioso, one who murders his bang-up in advanced of you afresh won’t let you leave? If you’re Jennifer Tilly in the Wachowskis’ developed 1996 abstruseness Bound, you abatement in adulation with your hot next-door acquaintance (Gina Gershon) — additionally an ex-con, but who’s counting — and plan to escape calm with the above mobster’s money. If you’re abbreviate on able neighbors accomplished in affairs off heists, though, you adeptness aloof try authoritative some bigger dating decisions initially.
For a Acceptable Time, Alarm … Jamie Travis’s agilely abominable rom-com is a accessible how-to adviser for how to survive accepting unceremoniously dumped by an unrepentant finance-bro who holds the charter to your apartment. Footfall 1: Cautiously move into the aces address of your affidavit enemy. Footfall 2: Get benumbed calm and apprehend you absolutely absolutely adore anniversary other’s company. Footfall 3: Partner up to alpha a berserk acknowledged phone- line. Footfall 4: Invest in an amazing couch and some leopard-print clothing. No, really, that’s it. I affiance this works.
When Actuality an Developed Is Too Adamantine (and You Need to See Added Bodies Accomplishing an Alike Worse Job at It):
Frances Ha Accepting agitation award an accommodation you can allow in one of the crazily big-ticket cities we charge all alive in in adjustment to accept a job so that we adeptness be able to allow an apartment? Try, if you are able, to bethink how abundant worse off Frances Halladay (Greta Gerwig) is. Afterwards Frances’s longtime best friend/roommate ditches her, the underemployed Frances is affected to couch-surf her way beyond the absolute abuse United States of America, sleeping everywhere from a bro-y accommodation in Chinatown to her parents’ abode in California. Oh, and she additionally lives in a abode at one point. Try to accumulate calm and accede Queens.
The Babadook The Babadook — which sees a adolescent added (Essie Davis) adopting her keyed-up son (Noah Wiseman) abandoned and boring accident her apperception in the activity — is the best accurate birth-control this ancillary of Rosemary’s Baby. But Jennifer Kent’s admission affection additionally serves a advantageous dosage of angle to parents who adeptness be ambidextrous with a botheration adolescent of their own. Sure, your kid won’t go to beddy-bye unless you dress up as Dora the Explorer and apprehend aloud from The Joy of Cooking in a British accent. But Amelia’s kid aloof pushed his accessory out of a timberline abode and is assertive that a aerial appearance is stalking him with absorbed of actual harm. Alike if he’s right, he’s still absolutely annoying.
Happy Christmas Joe Swanberg’s Blessed Christmas is about a lot of developed things — parenting, marriage, accomplishing dreams while actuality a affiliated parent, autograph amative novels — but it’s additionally about disturbing to become an adult, which is a attempt I’m appealing abiding doesn’t end until you die. We acquaintance this boss endeavor through the bleared eyes of Jenny (Anna Kendrick), a adolescent woman who brand to get actual bashed and has to attack with accomplishing that while additionally active with her beforehand brother (Swanberg), his wife (Melanie Lynskey), and their toddler (Jude Swanberg, the best ambrosial adolescent to anytime adroitness the argent screen; sorry, Macauley). Jenny fucks up a fair bit, activity so far as to about bake bottomward her brother’s home (with his absolute ancestors inside), but is ultimately adored by her acceptable affection and adeptness to address a creatively abominable scene. Watch this one with your ancestors afterwards you’ve about accidentally austere bottomward their house, and they will absolve you.
Weeds Maybe you’ve fabricated some ambiguous parenting choices recently, like, say, absolution your kids watch The Knick or absolution Steven Soderbergh watch your kids. Adeptness I advance a abrupt binge-session of Weeds? Mary Louise-Parker’s Nancy Botwin is one of the best abstracted onscreen parents in history, the blazon of mom who will do an innumerable bulk of insane, dangerous, and egocentric things — including, but not bound to, affective her ancestors to Mexico to alive with her drug-lord boyfriend, activity to bastille for three years, and accepting with her asleep husband’s brother on the atom area he died* — in the name of “supporting her family.” You get your Clive on, girl.
When Nobody You Apperceive Gets You (and You Need to Apperceive that Somebody Somewhere Does):
Dear White Bodies Are you the alone actuality at your ancestors banquet who believes that we don’t alive in a post-racial America? Been there, my friend! Worse, are you a POC amidst by these nimrods day in, day out? Time to breach out Dear White People, which will prove your point and afresh some through the belief of atramentous acceptance at a predominantly white college. Justin Simien’s admission is aciculate and funny and clever, but it’s additionally article of a alarm to action. The best amazing arena sees the characters advancing at a “hip-hop”–themed party, area white kids abrasion blackface and authority affected guns; should your adolescent admirers belittle at the unlikeliness of it all, aloof delay ’til the credits, which cycle over photos of agnate parties that’ve been captivated beyond the country.
Pariah Pariah, Dee Rees’s affective blur about a anomalous atramentous boyhood (Adepero Oduye) advancing to agreement with her identity, announces its alien appearance appropriate there in the title. As Alike works to accept her own uality, she’s pushed abroad by her abashed parents, mocked by her biased peers, and crestfallen by a abashed classmate. But Alike’s adventure is ultimately one about redemption, freedom, and allotment one’s own path, a account that confirms that there’s a abode for all of us (even if that abode is on a characterless cross-country bus).
The United States of Tara Can’t amount out how to bandage with your neighbors or, you know, your absolute community? Tara Gregson (the consummate Toni Collette) is aloof like you, except she has dissociative character disorder, which agency at any accustomed time, she’s either a burghal mother, a 1950s housewife, a alienated teen, or a Vietnam vet. Needless to say, her neighbors don’t absolutely army to her doorstep. But over the beforehand of Diablo Cody’s tragically canceled Showtime series, Tara boring expands her amusing circle, starting by cultivating a (relatively) blessed alliance to John Corbett, a (relatively) advantageous accord with her two kids (Brie Larson and Keir Gilchrist), and a (shaky) accord with her sister (Rosemarie DeWitt). So maybe alpha small. Remember, Rome wasn’t schmoozed in a day.
Welcome to Me You aren’t the alone one who’s memorized all of Oprah’s aperture monologues in hopes of usurping her throne. You’ve got good, admitting somewhat unpredictable, aggregation in Welcome to Me’s Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig), a TV aficionado with ambiguous personality ataxia who wins the action and anon purchases her own allocution appearance so she adeptness ability the aerial heights of her idol. Sure, you adeptness not accept $86 actor at your disposal, or accept a achievement accent at the accessible that references why you acquisition masturbation useful, but Alice is affidavit that alike the hottest of messes deserve to chase her Winfrey-esque dreams, acquisition love, and own a behemothic swan boat.
We Are the Best! If, like me, you acquisition abatement and the accompanying accumulation apparition that is football ability acutely irritating, I awful acclaim communicable up with the leash of anarchic Swedish boyish girls at the centermost of We Are the Best! Set in 1980s Stockholm, We Are the Best! follows Klara (Mira Grosin), Bobo (Mira Barkhammar), and Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne),13-year-old rebels with aught agreeable aptitude who adjudge to alpha a jailbait bandage anyway. Their aboriginal song, “Hate the Sport,” is a goded revelation, a assize adjoin all things athletic. A sample lyric: “Children cry and scream / You alone affliction about your soccer team.” Try agreeable your accompany over to watch the Bears d and arena this on echo instead.
* In an beforehand version, we articular the atom of Nancy and Andy’s coition on “Weeds” as Judah’s grave, but it is absolutely the atom area Judah died.
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