Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock hit the screen again this weekend with The Heat. Whether or not the comedy is your cup of tea (or, judging from the trailer, mug of beer), you’ve got to appreciate the fact that it features two badass ladies working together in the lead roles.
In honour of Mel and Sandy’s new partnership, I present some of my favourite girl-powered movie pairings of all-time.
5) THE CONFIDANTES: Aibleen and Minnie, The Help
I could really talk about any of the main lady duos in this movie, since it really is, at its heart, about women of all races, social status and economic brackets helping each other break out and declare their independence in some way. But there’s something truly special about Aibleen (Viola Davis) and Minnie (Octavia Spencer), two maids who have long been friends and decide to pair up with Skeeter (Emma Stone) to share their workplace stories — which they have just shared with each other for years — with the world. Although they have always accepted each other as they are, they are welcoming to helping each other change, as they attempt to rebel against their racist society, particularly their prejudiced employees. You can count on them to offer a shoulder or two to cry on when the home life stuff gets tough too (i.e. a loved one dies, a husband hits).
There is one scene near the end of the movie where a congregation audibly applauds these two. I always find myself doing the same.
SEE ALSO: Shug Avery and Celie (The Color Purple).
4) THE SISTERS: Hallie and Annie, The Parent Trap
These identical twin sisters (Lindsay Lohan and … Lindsay Lohan!) are a serious force to reckoned with. That is, after they finally meet. (Thanks for lying to us all these years and making us think we’re only children, Mom and Dad!) But honestly, the scheme that they dream up in hopes of getting their parents (Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson) back together after years apart, which includes switching lives for part of a summer, is kind of genius (also genius: their idea to dip Oreos in peanut butter). Sure, it’s a little selfish on their parts at first, but they also help match up their lonely butler and maid, and Mom and Dad end up — spoiler alert! — happy in the end. And both girls get a really cool new best friend that looks exactly like them and will grow up to star in Mean Girls and … oh, well.
SEE ALSO: Sally and Gillian Owens (Practical Magic.) These sister witches always keep each other close, even when they are at opposite coasts, writing letters like crazy and making good use of a blood bond they made once. And it is their love for one another is what I think really defeats Gillian’s truly dangerous boyfriend, Jimmy Angelov. (The magic helps too.)
3) THE UNLIKELIES: Idgie and Ruth, Fried Green Tomatoes
They say opposites attract, and that is sort of the case with these two. Years after their first meeting ended with one of their mutual loved ones falling prey to a runway train, these couldn’t-be-more-different-on-paper girls are forced together by Idgie’s (Mary Stuart Masterson) mother. Idgie takes the usually timid, prudish Ruth (Mary Louise Parker) on some big adventures — bee charmin’, train hoppin’ and lakeside drinkin’ — and suddenly, they start to bond. Eventually they come to co-own The Whistle Stop Cafe, a charmingly little diner-type dive that serves — you guessed it! — fried green tomatoes. But what truly defines them as a pair is what happens during off hours, as they are forced to battle the law, the KKK, abusive husbands, disease and feelings that they never thought they would have for each other.
SEE ALSO: The other lady friends in the movie, Mrs. Threadgood (Jessica Tandy )and Evelyn (Kathy Bates). By telling Idgie and Ruth’s story, Mrs. Threadgood helps Evelyn get the strength she needs to rise above her midlife crisis, shape up, face her all-too-stubborn husband and really come into herself as a woman.
2) THE HIGH SCHOOL BFFS: Romy and Michele, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
You know when a movie kicks off with the sounds of No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” in the background, and two women openly criticizing Pretty Woman, you’re in for some girlicious fun. And these gals — best friends since their days at Sagebrush High in the ’80s — are something else, with their outrageously awesome homemade outfits, 16-pound platforms, taste for Business Woman Specials and obsession with impressing the classmates that brought them down as teens. Although they do have a slight tiff before attending the event in the title (hey, it’s hard deciding who’s the Mary and who’s the Rhoda!), in the end, they stand up for each other and their awesome personalities, blowing former cool girl Christy Masters and her insincere BFF bitches out of the water.
SEE ALSO: Cher and Dionne (Clueless). These Beverly Hills babes just had to be best friends. They were both named after famous singers of the past who now do infomercials!
1) THE ACCOMPLICES: Thelma and Louise, Thelma and Louise
Everyone knows their name and for rightful reason — these women are the most badass of the badass. I’m speaking both in terms of being loyal friends and kicking butt.
After Thelma (Geena Davis) gets taken advantage of by a ruthless stranger, Louise (Susan Surandon) fights for her honour with the help of a pistol. Instead of abandoning her friend, now wanted for murder, Thelma joins Louise on the run. And what a fun, climatic run that is, filled with everything from BFF-bonding, to young Brad Pitt-doing and scumbag-shooting. No matter how much trouble they are in, as long as these two are together, hand-in-hand, they can do anything they want. And sometimes that means giving the law the finger.
SEE ALSO: Roxy and Velma (Chicago). They can kill a chorus just as well as they can kill a cheatin’ cheapskate.