25 Female-Fronted Comedies You Should See (Rom-Com Free!)


13. Pretty Persuasion (2005)

Evan Rachel Wood bisexual. Evan Rachel Wood stars in Pretty Persuasion as a bisexual teenager who gets into lots of trouble and is probably a psychopath. Her Dad is a totally offensive lunatic and everything he says is hilarious.


12. Election (1999)

Election is about a very ambitious young lady named Tracy Flick played by Reese Witherspoon. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Sarah Palin was smart and 17, it’s Tracy Flick. BUT FUNNY. Co-starring Ferris Bueller. I don’t know why this wasn’t more popular.


11. Saved! (2004)

Saved! is about a girl who gets impregnanted by her gay boyfriend which causes problems with her friends who are all devoted born-again Evangelical Christians. It’s like if the kids from the Christian Side Hug video had a movie all to themselves. Stellar performances from unlikely places include Macauly Culkin & Mandy Moore, stellar performances from likely places include Mary-Louise Parker and Jena Malone.



10. Big Business* (1988)

I remember being in The Comedy of Errors in middle school and thinking, “this is just like Big Business.”


9. Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion* (1997)

I saw Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion ’cause the movie we wanted to see sold out. Weird right. We tried to sneak into the other movie but we couldn’t so we had to go see the movie we’d bought tickets for, which was this one.. Now that feels like Columbus discovering America, or the Levi guy inventing jeans. Lisa Kudrow is like the unsung heroine of comedy, right? Also Mira Sorvino, Janeane Garofalo, Alan Cumming and amazing fashions, catch-phrases and dance sequences.


8. Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

Welcome to the Dollhouse changed my life though I can’t tell you exactly how. It’s complicated. It’s dark and honest and mean but it’s funny too. Dawn Weiner (Heather Matarazzo) brother’s on point, hilarious. But it’s like every line, every everything, is just perfect. When I showed this movie to my best friend and told him that it was my favorite movie (his were Fanny and Alexander and The Witches of Eastwick) he told me at the end: “Is this what your brain looks like? If this is your favorite movie, you must be really fucked up.”


7. Juno* (2006)

I feel like any well-designed hipster time capsule would surely include a copy of this movie.


6. Clueless** (1995)

Clueless is one of those movies where if somebody tried to analyze whether or not it was “good for women,” I would probably break Moff’s Law and tell them they shouldn’t think too much about it, they should just enjoy it. Alicia Silverstone, Stacy Dash, Brittany Murphy (RIP), Jeremy Sisto, Paul Rudd, Donald Fasion, BAM.


5. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is about a pretty and smart girl who lives in a nice apartment by herself and is totally independent and will not be tethered and also is a little tricky. You musn’t give your heart to a wild thing, for real. There’s a love story but it’s not difficult to ignore.


4. Heathers (1989)

Heathers is about a very popular girl named Veronica and her friends named Heather. Then she meets Christian Slater’s character, and then they kill everybody. It’s very empowering.


3. But I’m a Cheerleader** (1999)

Definitely one of the best lesbian movies of all time and Clea Duvall’s never looked so good in pink. It’s ex-gay camp, but campy, and relatively perfect and fun.


2. A League of Their Own* (1992)

A League of Their Own is about a women’s baseball team called The Rockford Peaches starring Tank Girl, Madonna, Rosie, and Geena Davis. Their coach, played by the loveable Tom Hanks, is surly, but surrounded by so many lovely tomboys, he, like us, probably became a lesbian.


1. Mean Girls* (2005)

If there’s anyone left on the Planet of Girls who has not seen Mean Girls, you really should because otherwise you’re not gonna ever know what anyone is talking about. Like ever.

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Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2834 articles for us.


  1. Keira Knightley shirtless in Bend It Like Beckham changed my life forever. True story. And then when I found out it had originally featured a lesbian plotline…GIANT LIGHTBULB MOMENT EXPLAINING WHY I LIKED IT SO MUCH.

    Saved! may be one of my favorite comedies of all time, considering all the time I spent in youth groups during my middle and high school life. The last two years, whenever I was forced to attend and listen to “hip” 35-year-old white guys with soul patches talk about how cool Jesus was and how teens shouldn’t be afraid to be Christian because like, it’s really hard to be upper middle-class white and Christian, I thought of Saved! and almost actually burst out laughing a few times.

    (No joke, one time that 35-year-old balding guy with soul patch actually addressed Saved! in one of his talks/speeches/sermonds. He used it as an example of how Christians are really oppressed in modern American culture.)

    Anyway, thanks for this list cause now I have a bunch of movies I need to watch/re-watch ASAP!

    • I remember watching this movie for the first time with my friend, who quickly informed me that her mother had told her that Keira Knightley was a lesbian. I was all “NO SHE’S NOTTT,” and then she ripped her shirt off, and I was all “Maybe I am?”

    • Hi, I think we nearly had the same experiences but I had to deal with the “hip 35 year old white youth pastor” using a “black accent” whenever he talked to me. Until I actually OPENED MY MOUTH TO SAY SOMETHING, he stopped, realizing “oh she is one of *those* “Cosby kids” (Which he actually referred to me as, I have so many stories, I don’t know where to being with that). Anyway that was one thing that annoyed me when I used to go youth ministry camps and meetings.

      But there’s more…

      His favorite phrases he used in being “hip” with the kids/teens:

      “Yo what’s up? God.”

      “G-O-D in the hizzouse”

      “Jesus is a homie”

      And my favorite only because he used to only say it around me: “Sometimes I think Jesus could have been black.”


      I wish I was kidding but when I saw Saved! and the character Pastor Skip(?) I literally did a double take because he was just like him. Ridic.

      I remember those days fondly as I am now a atheist, not because of that, that was just a hot ass mess, a hot ass mess that makes me smile with a contentious edge.

    • I had an argument with some friends in which I insisted it was ages since I’d seen Bend it Like Beckham but I was POSITIVE the girls ended up together! It was DEFINITELY a gay film! And then I realised that they didn’t :-(

      But I was so convinced, that Idid some googling, found out they were MEANT to be -> victory! Or, I thought so anyway…

  2. Love, love, love pretty much all of these movies, but I really prefer the short story Breakfast at Tiffany’s to the movie, so I’m inserting Drop Dead Gorgeous into that slot instead:)

  3. I am ashamed that I haven’t seen a lot of these movies. I guess a lot of things are being added to my netflix queue tonight!

    Saved! is definitely one of my all time favorite movies ever. And But I’m A Cheerleader was a big part of realizing my homogayness because I saw the lead character and went “HOLY CRAP THAT IS ME.”

    • But I’m A Cheerleader was a huge part of how I figured out once and for all that I definitely was into girls as well.
      The whole “everyone looks at other girls, all the time!” part? 100% me.

      • This! I definitely believed that until I was 20. Also, it was ok for other people to be lesbians, but not me. I was going to be normal, dammit! If I had seen But I’m A Cheerleader in high school, I think I would have figured things out way sooner, and had a much better time there.

        • Ha my problem was mostly that I like men as well, so I just kinda ignored the constantly checking out other girls and finding girls hotter than guys thing. Also I did the whole ‘well I find girls attractive but I couldn’t date one’ thing without thinking anything beyond that. Fail.
          Totally could have figured out I liked women way earlier if I’d seen this movie before this fall.

          • I was the same way! This movie made me think about so many things differently- like the part with the Melissa Etheridge poster. I was totally that girl and had no idea….. No wonder NO ONE was surprised when I finally came out!

  4. I absolutely LOVE The House of Yes.
    I’ve already seen Bridesmaids twice. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Kristen Wiig’s performance was relatable and genius… Also, Wilson Phillips!

  5. I love “Election” but it took me years to see it. Years. I didn’t see until it was on local TV a few years ago. I guess the HS/politics thing is why, but I associate it with “Dick.” That’s another good one: Kristen Dunst, Michelle Williams and Richard Nixon high on hello dollies.

  6. Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, is pretty much my favorite comedy of all time. I quote this movie every day of my life.

    btw. if anybody needs to make a call, I’ve got a phone….


    I can’t look at Parker Posey’s unsafe gun handling in that photo. Booger hook off the bang switch, honey, and don’t be pointing that thing practically at your own heel. Hammer is cocked too, gives me the creeps.

  8. These include some of my favorite movies ever!

    Also, I went to see Bridesmaids this weekend, and though it was hetero-centric, it was effing hilarious. Kristin Wigg is one of my new faves.

  9. I’m putting my vote in for ‘Dick’. because I loved it when I was 12. And I remember it being funny? It was, right? Anyways. Young Michelle Williams, such a cutie, roller skates, and teenage girls bringing down Richard Nixon.

  10. Ugh, these are all my fav movies, but Romy and Michele’s singlehandedly made my middle school/high school existence survivable.

    “I DID NOT HAVE A THING. I was very much in love with him, very much in love, and there’s a difference. There’s a difference.”

  11. DOMINO, not a comedy but ridiculously awesome.

    Also, Love and Basketball and She’s the Man aren’t directed by women but still reside by my copies of A League of Their Own, But I’m a Cheerleader, Hard Candy, etc.

    If we’re not sticking completely to comedies Gia should be mentioned. Gia should be mentioned as many times as possible really. Gia
    Great list!!!!!!

  12. Why nod to Tank Girl but not actually include Tank Girl? I feel cheated.

    Amazing list otherwise. Fun fact about Heathers is that the writer actually created an entire new language of teenslang for the film in order to make it more timeless… too bad he didn’t tell this to the costumer.

    ALSO, to be nitpicky, the folks in Saved! Were actually not born-agains. They were most likely Baptist as my fiance and I went to separate schools and/or churches that were EXACTLY like that one and they were both Baptist. If they were born-agains, the tongue-speaking would be much less of a surprise (See Jesus Camp).

    Agreed about Drop Dead Gorgeous needing to be a part of this… and what about JAWBREAKER?!?! This is where I first heard everyone’s favorite insult: carpetmuncher.

  13. Mean girls is the most quoteable movie of all time but it could not have happened without the best movie you will ever see, Heathers. i mean really, best. ever. end of story. christian slater is damn sexy (bi-pride woop woop, no? okay not the place)

  14. Once I get over the fact that a dark comedy with Toni Collette AND Lisa Kudrow has been in existence all this time without my knowledge, I will update my Netflix queue with these awesome pics.

    Thanks, ladies!

  15. Awesome list–thank you!

    It might be more of an ensemble cast thing, and is debatably a rom-com in one sense, but how’s about Miranda July’s stupendous, darkly humorous “Me and You and Everyone We Know?” BACK AND FORTH FOREVER, AMIRITE?

    Also, I know a lot of folks have totally legit issues with Almodovar’s more recent work, and the fact that it’s a dude at the helm might disqualify it from the running, but what about 1988’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” which is a smart, hilarious deconstruction of gender politics in telenovelas? Carmen Maura FTW.

  16. I’m gonna use the appropriate number of question marks and ask, Easy A??? And Whip it??

    Great list, though. Btw, I always see an inordinate number of kitten avatars in the comments. Cool.:)

  17. Okay, so I hadn’t read the list before I posted that last comment, I just assumed that it was awesome because AS wrote it and then went back and read it to update my Netflix queue, and I then I discovered that all the movies fell in to two (almost equal) categories: a) awesome movies I have seen already and totally agree with, and b) movies that have been hiding in the depths of my Netflix queue already and are now bumped to the top.

    Wow. That was a single sentence.

  18. I feel like Legally Blonde should be on this list, because of how it made you think that a heterosexual relationship was the point of the movie but then it ultimately wasn’t. Also for just being awesome and hilarious.

  19. Welcome to the Doll House is my all time favourite flick! I brought it to a Cinema class once to watch and I’d say half of my peers were definitely weirded out. I’ve always identified with Dawn and her struggle against an unfair, shallow, materialistic world. She symbolizes the inward doubt; the lack of self-accpetance that most young girls and even women secretly harbour.

  20. WOW, some of those hit * way* closer than I remember. I’ve just rewatched “Pretty Persuasion” and “Election” and they seem like prescient dystopic visions of the world.
    I’ll leave a couple of articles here that say it better than I do :

    So, nine years later, thank you for this list <3

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