Favorite Movie Female Duos

You know the names of some of the iconic duos in film. Abbott and Costello. Hope and Crosby. Ecks and Sever. OK, maybe not that last one. There are some familial relations in here, but we steered clear of mother-and-daughter duos. That felt like a slightly different list.

Thelma and Louise

These two are probably the first you thought of. After all, the movie is called “Thelma & Louise.” Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon are two diehard friends who are (literally) together to the end. The film’s final moments are iconic, and these two are forever intertwined, as well as the first names you think of when it comes to cinematic female duos.

Romy and Michelle

Have you ever been to a high school reunion? If so, you might be able to relate to Romy and Michelle. While they remain good friends, they remember that high school wasn’t great for them, and they decide they need to try and wow their former classmates. The characters aren’t always likable, but they engender enough sympathy for you to care about how their reunion goes.

Enid and Rebecca
United Artists

Speaking of not always being likable, Enid and Rebecca are never likable in “Ghost World.” Based on Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel, Enid and Rebecca figure they are too cool for just about everybody and are not above pranking total strangers for amusement. While the recent high school grads do grow a bit during the movie, neither of them exactly turns it around by the time “Ghost World” ends.

Jess and Jules
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Before starring in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and seemingly every costume drama ever, Keira Knightley was trying to bend it like Beckham alongside Parminder Nagra in the coming-of-age soccer tale. “Bend it Like Beckham” is not just about two girls who are friends trying to support each other. Since Jesminder (Jess) is also Indian and living in England, there is also a racial component to this. The film was a big hit, especially for girls who grew up in the early 2000s.

Sarah and Shannon
20th Century Fox

When you think of female-led Paul Feig films, “Bridesmaids” or “Ghostbusters” might come to mind before “The Heat.” However, those movies are too much of ensemble pieces to zero in on a duo. That’s not a problem with “The Heat,” the first mismatched pair movie on this list. Sandra Bullock plays Sarah, a by-the-books FBI agent. Melissa McCarthy is Shannon, a wildcard cop. Together, they set the stage for a solid action comedy.

Molly and Amy
United Artists

“Booksmart” is an attempt to create a distaff “Superbad.” It didn’t quite work out that way, critically or commercially, but the film has its fans. Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever are both talented young actresses doing their best to raise the level of the film. Funnily enough, Feldstein is the younger sister of “Superbad” star Jonah Hill.

Lily and Amanda
Focus Features

A lot of movies are duos are comedic. “Thoroughbreds” definitely is not. Lily and Amanda are friends, or are they? Lily and everybody else around her seem convinced that Amanda is a sociopath. This gives Lily the idea to get Amanda on board with her desire to kill her stepfather. This is a dark film, but Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke are great.

Edina and Patsy
20th Century Fox

“Absolutely Fabulous” is much better known as a British sitcom. In that realm, Edina and Patsy are iconic characters. The film they made based on the show was not quite as well received, at least in the United States. One of pop culture’s most iconic female duos is at the center of the “Ab Fab” movie, so we are counting on it.

Betsy and Arlene

Everybody knows Mark Felt was Deep Throat, the informant who helped bring down Richard Nixon after Watergate. What “D?ck” presupposes is maybe he wasn’t. In this silly — but fun! — comedy, Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams play Betsy and Arlene, two bubbly teenagers who accidentally stumble upon the Watergate break-in and then become dog walkers for Nixon. Dunst and Williams seem to be having a good time, and that’s contagious.

Paige and Sasha
Magnolia Pictures

In the small but charming 2014 indie comedy Life Partners, Gillian Jacobs and Leighton Meester star as Paige and Sasha, two best friends who are each other’s entire support systems as they hit their late twenties. Looking to break out of their rut, the women go on separate dates, which works out for Paige but not Sasha. Suddenly, Paige has somebody else in her life, and that causes very believable friction in their friendship.

Frances and Sophie
IFC Films

Frances and Sophie have a similar dynamic to Paige and Sasha, but it’s more likely you’ve heard of “Frances Ha.” The movie is about more than friendship, as it’s a story of Greta Gerwig’s Frances trying to get her life on track. However, what makes her spin out is when her friendship with Sophie, the most important thing in her life, starts to draft apart. Gerwig is absolutely fantastic in this film. She co-wrote with director (and future spouse) Noah Baumbach. It was the start of a meteoric rise.

Dorothy and Lorelei
20th Century Fox

They were just two little girls from Little Rock. So goes one of the songs in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” Not the most famous song, though. That would be “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” as performed by Marilyn Monroe, aka Lorelei. Let’s not overlook Jane Russell, who provides a nice counterpoint to the more cynical Dorothy.

C.C. and Hillary

“Beaches” is a classic melodrama about female friends, a true “weepie” if there was one. Like “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” it also features a signature song from one of its stars. This time it’s Bette Midler, who belted out “Wind Beneath My Wings” for this film. The song hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and won Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1980.

Laura and Amelia

Nicole Holofcener makes sharply-realized, slice-of-life films that are often funny and dramatic in equal measures. Her feature-length directorial debut came with 1996’s “Walking and Talking.” The film stars frequent Holofcener collaborator Catherine Keener, who plays Amelia, the best friend of Laura (Anne Heche) since childhood. You can see the skills of Holofcener on display already in this movie.

Lillian and Julia
20th Century Fox

“Julia” was an Oscars darling in 1977, winning three Academy Awards. One of them went to Vanessa Redgrave, who plays the titular Julia. Interestingly enough, she won for Best Supporting Actress. Yes, Julia isn’t even the main character in “Julia!” That would be Lillian, played by Jane Fonda. After all, the movie is based off of a book written by Lillian Hellman.

Juliet and Pauline

Sometimes a friendship can be a little too close. “Heavenly Creatures” is based on a true story, and it stars Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet as Juliet and Pauline, two teenage girls in New Zealand whose dedication to one another becomes dangerous. Peter Jackson directed the film, an odd choice given that it is neither a fantasy epic or a gross-out fantasy film.

Blanche and Baby Jane
Warner Bros.

Though the movie is not a traditional “classic,” the film “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” definitely has its place in cinema history etched in stone. They made a miniseries on FX about the making of this film. Blanche and Baby Jane Hudson are sisters who seemingly loathe each other, and Bette Davis and Joan Crawford also seemed to loathe each other in real life, with a notorious, decades-long feud between them being the stuff of Hollywood legend. The movie is so over the top, but it definitely sticks with you.

Betty and Wilma

Betty Rubble and Wilma Flintstone. You know this duo. You also know their husbands, Barney and Fred. “The Flintstones” was a massively successful cartoon, and naturally they eventually made a couple live-action films. They aren’t as popular as the cartoon, and different actors played Wilma and Betty (and Fred and Barney) in the films, but when you are talking female duos, you have to include these two.

Anna and Elsa

Speaking of animated duos, “Frozen” was a massive hit, and at the center you find the sisters Anna and Elsa. The movie was stuffed to the brim with hit songs, mainly the smash hit “Let It Go.” Even the fact Josh Gad is in “Frozen” couldn’t keep it from being a hit. A lot of Disney’s female characters fly solo, but not Anna and Elsa.

Jane and Roxy
Warner Bros.

Look, “New York Minute” is not a good movie. Andy Richter probably wishes it didn’t exist. Eugene Levy… well, he probably doesn’t care. He’s been in so many bad, direct-to-video “American Pie” sequels but he’s always the best thing in them. However, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen made so many movies together. They were twin child stars. If we are talking female duos in film, we had to recognize the Olsen twins. So consider Jane and Roxy from “New York Minute” the stand-in for them.

Lady Bird and Julie

Speaking of Greta Gerwig, she wrote and directed “Lady Bird,” which took her career to an ever-greater level. Saoirse Ronan, who somehow feels like she should already have an Oscar even though she’s still in her twenties, is fantastic as Lady Bird. Then, Beanie Feldstein is back as her best friend Julie. The real interesting dynamic is between Lady Bird and her mom (played by Laurie Metcalf), but like we said, that’s a list for another day. And those two will definitely be on it.

Barb and Star

Lost in the COVID-19 pandemic (and the death of the big-screen comedy) was a gem of an absurdist film called “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.” Imagine if the duo who wrote “Bridesmaids” wrote a new movie for them to star in. Also, they made it as weird as they wanted. That’s exactly what Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo did. If you missed this one, spend some time with Barb and Star as soon as you can.

Barbie and Gloria
Warner Bros.

“Barbie” is teeming with, well, Barbies. Also, one Midge and one “Growing Up” Skipper, but we don’t talk about them. However, the duo we recognize here from the biggest movie sensation of 2023 is Barbie (aka Stereotypical Barbie), played by Margot Robbie, and Gloria, played by America Ferrera. When Gloria’s existential dread starts seeping into Barbie’s psyche, it begins a misadventure that leads to them growing as human beings, even the ones who are living dolls.

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