If there's one thing the whole world can probably agree on, it's that Meryl Streep is an acting queen. She's considered a legend, and she rightfully deserves her title for being able to play any kind of character from any country at any time period with total perfection. She could act her way out of a paper bag, as the saying goes. While Streep is probably most known for her work in films like Sophie's Choice, Kramer vs. Kramer and other hard-hitting, deeply dramatic movies, she's actually pretty freaking amazing when it comes to playing characters in the more light-hearted genres, too. Her most recent film Ricki and the Flash is a dark comedy in which Streep plays an aging rocker who revisits the family she abandoned, and stirs up plenty of fun along the way. Or what about her iconic role as Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada? So it's no wonder that it was so much fun to rank these kinds of Meryl Streep roles by their sassiest lines.
For every Silkwood, there is an Adaptation or Mamma Mia! Streep is one in a million when it comes to versatility, and it's always a joy when I get to watch Streep laughing and really enjoying herself in these more cheeky, lively roles. Streep has been in dozens of films over her long career, so these are just a few of her best roles ranked by sass factor and sass factor alone.
"Trust me, that was *harder* for me than it was for you."
The film itself is a funny, sexy, sassy comedy, but Streep's character — Lisa, the therapist of a woman named Rafi — is less sassy and more frazzled and frustrated by the realization that Rafi is seeing her son David. This one line when Rafi talks to Lisa about David is the one place where Lisa is able to have a little sass about the matter at hand.
14. Ricki And The Flash
"Lots of things are going to change in your life. Someday you're going to wake up and find a gray hair and I don't mean on your head."
Ricki doesn't get to give a lot of motherly advice, but here is one piece of wisdom that comes with a nice sassy quip at the end.
13. Julie & Julia
"These damn things are as hot as a stiff cock!"
Julia Child has always been known for her sweet, funny, and wonderful way of helping people cook around the world. But according to this film, she was a little sassy, as well.
12. Bridges Of Madison County
"I was just going to have some iced tea and split the atom, but that can wait."
It's definitely not her sassiest role, but Streep has quite a few fun moments in this romantic film co-starring Clint Eastwood.
11. It's Complicated
"Yes, I prefer a lot of semen. Always have."
It's a little vulgar, but the film is a bit risque so it works. The movie follows Streep's Jane as she has an affair with her ex-husband, Jake, who is married to a younger woman. This sassy line comes when Jake has some medical problems while he and Jane are together and a doctor asks Jake what meds he's taking. One of them interferes with getting his current wife pregnant, thus the line regarding sperm.
"Yeah but it's easier for plants. I mean they have no memory. They just move on to whatever's next. With a person though, adapting almost shameful. It's like running away."
Everyone is pretty crazy in this film, but Streep is less intensely so than, say, Nicholas Cage. Streep still gets a few sassy, and contemplative lines, though.
"I don't want to do it, honey. Can't we get somebody else to do it?"
Streep's character is right in the middle of giving birth when she utters this amazing line.
"Look at that. You blew out my light."
Streep's nun is hellbent on proving that Father Francis has had an inappropriate relationship with a young boy at school in this film. This line comes from one her confrontations with the Father.
7. The Iron Lady
"With all due respect, sir, I have done battle every single day of my life and many men have underestimated me before. This lot seem bound to do the same, but they will rue the day."
Who knew Margaret Thatcher was so damn sassy?
6. A Prairie Home Companion
"The Carter Family. Like us, only famous."
Streep plays an aging, slightly jaded musician who is still bitter after a bad breakup in this sweet, steady film.
5. Mamma Mia!
"Somebody up there has got it in for me. I bet it's my mother."
Having three men that you were romantic with who could be the father of your child in one place would make anyone utter a few sassy, exasperated lines.
4. August: Osage County
"Is anybody supposed to smoke?"
Streep plays an aging widow in the middle of a dysfunctional family reunion in this film.
3. Postcards From The Edge
"Thank god I got sober now so I can be hyper-conscious for this series of humiliations."
Playing Carrie Fisher = pure sass.
2. The Devil Wears Prada
"By all means move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills me."
Miranda Priestly is the definition of icy sass.
1. Death Becomes Her
Ernest Menville: "She's dead!"
Madeline Ashton: "She is? Oh. These are the moments that make life worth living."
I don't want to give away anything about this film, aside from that it features Streep as Madeline Ashton, an aging actress, plus Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. Streep and Hawn are the purest form of sass ever shown onscreen and the movie is a riotously entertaining time.
Meryl Streep is great in any form, but sassy Meryl Streep? As these movies show, it's the absolute best.