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The funniest female-fronted comedy films ever (Bette make the list twice!)

The funniest female-fronted comedy films ever
AUGUST 13, 20165:56PM


RELEASED in Australian cinemas this week, Bad Moms is the latest in a long line of female-fronted comedies that put hilarious women front-and-centre.

To mark the film’s release, we thought we’d cast our minds back and look at 10 more of the best female-driven comedy films of all time.

Firstly, a couple of caveats: We’ve focused here on films celebrating female friendships, as rom-coms are dime a dozen. It means worthy contenders like Amy Schumer’s hilarious Trainwreck and Julia Roberts’ brilliant antihero in My Best Friend’s Wedding haven’t been included. We’ve also honed our list to films that feature two or more standout female comedic roles, so, say, Reese Witherspoon’s star turn in black comedy Election is another that didn’t make the list.

Clueless (1995)

This classic coming-of-age comedy launched Alicia Silverstone’s career and introduced a generation to a plethora of Valley girl catchphrases, from ‘Whatever’ to ‘As if!’. And in the three central actresses — Silverstone, Brittany Murphy and Stacey Dash — writer / director Amy Heckeling found a perfect trio of comedic talents.

Funniest scene: Getting on the freeway. Surely this rivals Speed as one of the most dramatic road scenes in 90s cinema. Alicia Silverstone wailing, “Shut up! Shut upppppp!” to nobody in particular is just perfection.

Muriel’s Wedding (1994)

Just about the best Australian movie ever, at its heart this was a love story between Muriel (Toni Collette) and Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths), the friend she’d needed all her life to give her the confidence to be herself. Endlessly quotable, wonderfully Aussie and at times, hopelessly dark, it’s an absolute classic.

Funniest scene: Their entire confrontation with Tanya and the rest of those bitches from Porpoise Spit High on Hibiscus Island. Repeat after us: “I’m not alone. I’M WITH MURIEL.”

Bridesmaids (2011)

Penned by Kristen Wiig with writing partner Annie Mumolo, this 2011 comedy was a runaway smash, spawning a thousand thinkpieces about the reasons behind its success (spoiler: it was REALLY REALLY FUNNY). Perfectly cast, even minor roles from the likes of Ellie Kemper and Rebel Wilson packed in the laughs.

Funniest scene: Take your pick. THAT dress fitting and Wiig’s heavily medicated plane trip are contenders, but for our money, the seething passive-aggression in this exchange between Wiig and Rose Byrne’s characters is one of the film’s best moments.

Mean Girls (2004)

Written by Tina Fey, this high school satire remains Lindsay Lohan’s best role to date, but flies thanks to other winning comedic roles for women including Lacey Chabert, Rachel McAdams, Fey herself and fellow SNL alumni Amy Poehler. A hilarious skewering of schoolyard politics.

Funniest scene: Really anytime Poehler pops up on screen as Regina George’s grotesquely desperate ‘cool mom’.

Ghost World (2001)

Enid (the woefully underrated Thora Bitch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson, in one of her first film roles) are high school outsiders, ready to graduate and not sure what the rest of their lives will bring — or how they’re ever meant to fit into a society they don’t really understand.

Funniest scene: Illeana Douglas’s deranged art teacher showing her short film ‘Mirror, Father, Mirror’ to the class.

Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)

Ten years on from finishing high school, in some ways Romy and Michele have made it: they’ve escaped the small town where they were nobodies and now live in sunny LA. But in other ways, their lives haven’t amounted to much: they don’t have husbands, children or fancy jobs. So when an invite comes for their high school 10-year anniversary, they settle on the only reasonable course of action: lie through their teeth.

Funniest scene: Michele insisting that she invented Post-Its, then panicking and changing her story — with incredible results.

The First Wives’ Club (1996)

Bette Midler, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn are three divorced women who join forces to take revenge on their ex-husbands. Throw in a scene-stealing Dame Maggie Smith, plus Sarah Jessica Parker, Marcia Gay Harden and Elizabeth Berkley and you’ve got yourself an absolute riot.

Funniest scene: The trio escaping a high-rise building the only way they can: via a window washer’s rig. Top marks to Diane Keaton for chewing the scenery with hysterical results.

Big Business (1988)

Essentially just a vehicle for the comedic talents of Bette Midler (yes, her again) and Lily Tomlin, this oh-so-silly caper saw the pair playing two sets of mismatched twins — one pair country hicks, the other wealthy urbanites — who eventually cross paths, with hilarious results.

Funniest scene: The two sets of twins meeting each other for the first time and FREAKING OUT. “They’re clones … what a cheap trick!”
The twins meet

Nine to Five (1980)

Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin (yes, her again) and actual earth angel Dolly Parton are three working women living out their fantasies of getting even with, and their successful overthrow of, the company’s autocratic, “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss. The ultimate girl power revenge flick.

Funniest scene: Jane Fonda’s undeniably satisfying delivery of the following killer line: Jane Fonda’s one-liner

Death Becomes Her (1992)

Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn square off in this comedy-fantasy, which looks at the quest for eternal youth and takes it to unimaginably grotesque heights. Critics hated it, but it’s an ultra-camp romp with a vampy cameo from Isabella Rossellini.

Funniest scene: Meryl and Goldie’s final, ultra-violent showdown.

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