Jennifer Aniston's Most Feminist Films

by Emily Lackey

There aren’t many Jennifer Aniston movies that I don’t love. Ever since 1996, when she exploded into Hollywood on Friends and in her first feature film, Picture Perfect, I’ve been watching Aniston and every single acting move she makes. And since that time, her career has been full of great projects, successful films, and even stronger female characters. In fact, some Aniston’s best work has also been some of her most feminist. The times when she plays women who are strong and nuanced and independent are really some of Jennifer Aniston’s best roles.

Just take a look at her filmography, and you’ll see a long list of movies that are about women who are more complicated and complex than most of the other films being made in Hollywood. Even in the films that hide behind the label of romantic comedy, Aniston chooses roles that show women at their strongest. Well, either that or she turns two-dimensional women on their heads, breathing new life into flat characters just by being the awesome actress that she is. Whichever one it is, it is undeniable that Jennifer Aniston is a feminist force to be reckoned with.

Don’t believe me? Check out this list of Aniston’s most feminist films, ranked by just how much justice they do to the women characters in them.

10. The Object Of My Affection

A single mother determined to raise her unborn child on her own? Love that. The fact that she falls in love with her gay best friend? Maybe not so much.

9. He’s Just Not That Into You

A classic rom-com for all of your girls’ nights in, this film stars Jennifer Aniston as the woman unsure of whether she’s in the right relationship when her boyfriend doesn’t propose. Instead of waiting around for him to make up his mind, she takes the initiative and starts a life without him.

8. Horrible Bosses

As Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S., Aniston plays one badass boss lady who gets what she wants, even if it’s by intimidation. Or, um, sexual harassment in the work place.

7. We’re The Millers

Aniston plays a stripper who is faking domestic bliss with a set of strangers in order to make a little money. The best part about Aniston’s role? She doesn’t play her part as a stereotypical stripper. Nope. No damaged and broken victims here. She plays her as a woman who owns her career choice and isn’t ashamed of it.

6. Office Space

A nice girl trying to make it work at a crappy job without killing her obnoxious boss? Sounds like a few awesome girls I know. The fact that this character isn’t over-the-top feminine or objectified makes this one of Aniston’s most feminist roles to date.

5. The Switch

Aniston plays a woman sick of waiting for a man to start her life. She decides to get pregnant on her own. Little does she know, her best friend, played by Jason Bateman, switches out the donated sperm for his own. Whoopsies!

4. The Good Girl

Battling depression and a whole lot of self-evaluation, Aniston’s character in The Good Girl asks herself the questions all good feminists should: What is it that I want out of life?

3. Along Came Polly

Aniston plays Polly Prince, a hard-to-pin-down woman with a ton of spunk and a wonderful sense of daring. Definitely a girl you’d want to be friends with. And a girl who represents us ladies well.

2. Friends With Money

Playing Olivia, a woman who quits her job and struggles to find a place with her wealthy female friends, Aniston tackles a lot of important feminist topics in this one. Like finding a career that fulfills you and the power of supportive women.

1. Cake

Through the support of a whole cast of women, Claire finds a way to break free of a past trauma and the chronic pain she has suffered ever since. Cake is a beautiful movie that rightfully earned Aniston the acting praise she really deserves.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go spend the rest of my night with a bowl of popcorn in my lap and an Aniston movie marathon on my TV.

Image: Giphy (10)