Congrats, you survived Valentine's Day! Sure, it's a sweet holiday where we're all encouraged to celebrate love, but don't you hate it how the whole occasion focuses too much on romantic relationships? It's almost as if we as women can't be happy without men or romance in our lives. So enough about all that — this time, we want you to focus on yourselves with films about empowering women. Ahead, we list down must-watch Netflix movies with strong women leads that inspire.
Julie & Julia
When we speak of Netflix about strong, independent women, we almost always turn to The Devil Wears Prada. But browse deeper into the title list and you'll find another film starring Meryl Streep worth your viewing. For your weeknight viewing, stream Julie & Julia, which, with a series of flashbacks, details the lives of two women who move towards their own successes by pursuing their passions. The film jumps between the lives of Julia Child (Meryl Streep), an American woman who, in the 50s, works on a French cooking book for American housewives, and Julie Powell (Amy Adams), a writer in 2002 who challenges herself to cook all of Julia's 524 recipes in a year. This critically-acclaimed culinary drama will warm your heart and bring laughter to your night at the same time.
Those into period dramas should watch The Help. Adapted from a 2009 novel of the same name, the film features an ensemble class including Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, and Jessica Chastain. Set in Mississippi during the 60s, The Help tells the story of African-American housemaids who stir up the status quo by sharing their experiences to a young white writer. Though it deals with racial inequalities of decades past, the movie remains quite relevant up until today.
Always Be My Maybe
Now we're not saying romance is that bad. If you're a sucker for love stories but hate it when they downplay women's strengths by having them rely on their male leads, then make sure to watch Always Be My Maybe. It's one of the Netflix movies that gets love and representation right by featuring an Asian-American cast. Always Be My Maybe follows Ali Wong's Sasha Tran, a famous chef, who after 15 years, returns to her hometown and rekindles her relationship with her childhood friend Marcus Kim, played by Randall Park. We won't spoil the ending for you, but we'll tell you one thing: there won't be any women here who would be sacrificing their life and career to get the love they deserve.
Looking to add a bit of suspenseful action to your day? There are tons of Netflix movies that fall into that genre, but make sure to watch Salt if you haven't yet. Originally written for a male protagonist, with Tom Cruise set to lead, the whole film was scrapped and re-written for none other than Angelina Jolie. Here, she plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent accused of being a Russian spy who flees to clear her name and prove her innocence. Jolie gives it her all in this thriller, so ready yourselves for adrenaline-inducing twists.
For our movie nights, let's give some love to Asian titles too. If you're into sports, Dangal, produced and starring 3 Idiot's Aamir Khan is a definite must-watch. The Hindi film is loosely based on the Phogat family, detailing the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat, an amateur wrestler unable to realise his dream of being a gold medalist. With that, he dearly wishes to have a son, which he could train to be a champion, but soon realises that his daughters too have actual potential to achieve that goal. Dangal became one of the highest-grossing non-English film worldwide and was lauded for its honest depiction of family and societal pressures put against the women of India. Overall, the film hopes to inspire and get the message that girls are just as strong as boys across.
(Cover photo from: netflix.com)
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