30 Movies Every Woman Should Watch in Her 30s
Real talk: Your 20s were fun and all, but they were also a kind of confusing (and, um, broke) time. Now that you’re in your 30s, you finally feel like you have it all figured out. (Or at least you know what a Roth IRA is and how to don wide leg pants.) Here, 30 films that are perfect viewing for the sophisticated, grown-ass woman that you are.
Based on the best-selling book, Reese Witherspoon garnered an Oscar nom for her portrayal of Cheryl, a grief-stricken woman who sets out to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone. An emotional tale about overcoming obstacles and redemption.
2. 'Love and Basketball'
Meet Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps), two childhood friends who share the same competitive dream: to become a professional basketball player. The movie follows their years-long journey as they’re forced to choose between their relationship and their budding careers.
3. 'Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight'
This beautiful trilogy follows American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and French Céline (Julie Delpy) in their 20s, 30s and 40s as their hopes, dreams and romance shifts throughout the years. Set aside an entire weekend and watch all three films…with a box of tissues handy.
4. 'How Stella Got Her Groove Back'
Angela Bassett escapes reality for a vacation in Jamaica and meets the one and only Taye Diggs. Need we say more?
5. '9 to 5'
Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda tackle sexism in the workplace in this must-see comedy for any woman who’s ever set foot inside an office.
6. 'Frances Ha'
Greta Gerwig co-wrote and stars in this charming, highly-relatable flick about a 20-something woman trying to figure out her finances, friendships and dreams in New York City. (Aren’t you glad those days are over?)
7. 'The Lovebirds'
Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae) are on the verge of breaking up. When they find themselves in the middle of a homicide investigation, they’re forced to mend their relationship while trying to clear their names from murder.
8. 'Joy Luck Club'
Family relationships can be complicated, but the older you get, then the more understanding you have for your own parents. This moving tale spanning across generations and continents explores cultural differences, the mother-daughter bond and how the past inevitably affects the future.
Written by Nora Ephron, this ’80’s comedy-drama about a marriage on the rocks (brilliantly portrayed by Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson) is perfect for your next girls’ night in.
Based on the original 1998 movie, Mulan tells the story of a fearless young woman (Yifei Liu) who pretends to be a man, so she can join the army.
11. 'A Fantastic Woman'
When Marina’s partner Orlando dies, instead of being able to mourn the man she loved, she is treated with suspicion by his doctors and family. A sensitive film (that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2018) about a trans woman’s grief, loss and becoming a, yes, fantastic woman.
12. 'Rachel Getting Married'
Long-simmering tensions and resentment abound when Kym (Anne Hathaway) comes home from rehab to attend her sister’s wedding. You’ll laugh, cry and cringe in this painfully honest portrayal of a complex family.
13. 'The Secret Life of Bees'
Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning) is determined to learn more about her late mother. So, she travels to a small South Carolina town and meets the Boatwright sisters (Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo), who take her in and teach her about beekeeping.
A hauntingly beautiful film about two women (Cate Blanchett and Mara Rooney) falling in love in 1950s New York.
15. 'Working Girl'
This one’s worth watching for the iconic ’80s fashion alone, but we also love Melanie Griffith’s transformation from secretary to CEO after learning that her boss stole her idea.
16. 'A Separation'
This Iranian drama is unsettling, but a must-see thanks to powerful performances, a gripping storyline and thought-provoking insight.
Jordan (Issa Rae) is a nightmare boss to her employees. Her life is turned upside-down when she mysteriously transforms into her 13-year-old self right before a big presentation.
18. 'Just Wright'
Leslie Wright (Queen Latifah) scores her dream job and possibly a new love interest (Common). The problem? The basketball star couldn’t be more oblivious to her advances. (Of course.)
19. 'Girls Trip'
This insanely funny film about four friends in the Big Easy will have you (literally) laughing out loud. (And possibly planning your own girls’ trip, stat.)
20. 'Eighth Grade'
This funny yet sensitive coming-of-age tale that follows 13-year-old Kayla through the last week of middle school will remind you of exactly how far you’ve come since those awkward teenage years.
21. 'Someone Great'
Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) is a wreck after ending her nine-year relationship with her boyfriend (Lakeith Stanfield). So, she turns to her two best friends, Blair (Brittany Snow) and Erin (DeWanda Wise), who join her for a night out in New York City.
22. Bridget Jones's Diary'
We love cursing, drinking and laugh-out-loud funny Bridget Jones just as she is in this irresistible comedy that spawned two sequels.
23. 'Last Holiday'
When Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) learns that she has a terminal illness, she decides to make the most out of the time she has left. Everything changes when she strikes up a romance with her co-worker and longtime crush, Sean Williams (LL Cool J).
Salma Hayek dazzles in this visually stunning biopic about the world-renowned artist.
25. 'Thelma & Louise'
Hey, it’s a classic for a reason.
26. 'Waiting to Exhale'
Four friends search for true love in this touching film based on Terry McMillan's best-selling novel.
27. 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants'
As a group of best friends prepares to spend their first summer apart, they create a custody schedule for a pair of jeans in an attempt to stay connected.
28. 'When Harry Met Sally'
A pair of quirky New Yorkers (Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal) tackle the age-old conundrum—can men and women ever be “just friends?” Another Nora Ephron classic.
Between all the bills, responsibilities and never-ending to-do lists in your 30-something life, sometimes you need to watch something that will remind you to lighten up and have some fun.
30. 'Eat Pray Love'
Guaranteed to make you want to pack up your bag and embark on a solo adventure around the world. (And also, eat pasta and finally learn how to meditate.)