'Trainwreck,' 'Tomorrowland,' & 11 More Super Feminist Summer Movies
Being a pop culture-loving feminist has never been easy. The vast majority of TV and film is male-led and male-oriented, and the rare entertainment made by and for women tends to be pushed aside. Lately, though, there's been a noticeable shift in favor of the ladies, with women like Shonda Rhimes, Amy Schumer, and Emilia Clarke taking over screens big and small, winning fans, critics, and box offices along the way.
And it's all been leading up to this summer, one of the first times in recent memory when many — even the majority — of the most highly-anticipated releases are led by women. Right now, feminist films like The Age of Adaline and Clouds of Sils Maria are leading the way, and in the coming months, over a dozen new movies starring and/or made by women are set to hit theaters. It's a great time to be a film-loving feminist, and it's thanks in large part to these 13 must-see summer movies.
'Welcome to Me' (May 1)
What It’s About: A woman (Kristen Wiig) with borderline personality disorder wins the lottery and decides to use her money to fund her own talk show.
Why It’s Feminist: It’s rare to see protagonists with mental illness, and even rarer that they’re female.
'Hot Pursuit' (May 8)
What It’s About: Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon team up as a drug dealer’s widow and a police officer, respectively. Chaos, cursing, and bad haircuts ensue.
Why It’s Feminist: Both stars get meaty, fun roles that break stereotype. Plus, it’s directed by a woman, Anne Fletcher (The Proposal).
Image: Warner Bros.
'Pitch Perfect 2' (May 15)
What It’s About: The return of a cappella champs The Bellas, now entering a prestigious worldwide competition.
Why It’s Feminist: It’s Pitch Perfect! Not only does the sequel share its predecessor’s female-led cast and empowering feminist themes, but it has the addition of Elizabeth Banks as director. Aca-awesome.
'Tomorrowland' (May 22)
What It’s About: No one really knows. All that’s clear is that Britt Robertson plays a teenager who travels to a secret, un-Earth-like land.
Why It’s Feminist: A big-budget, hugely anticipated sci-fi movie made by Disney, starring a woman? That’s a major deal.
Image: Walt Disney
'Aloha' (May 29)
What It’s About: A military contractor (Bradley Cooper) balances falling for an Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) with reconnecting with his ex (Rachel McAdams).
Why It’s Feminist: Yes, it’s a male-led rom-com, but Stone and McAdams both get substantial roles that seem far from cliche.
'Spy' (Jun. 5)
What It’s About: A CIA agent (Melissa McCarthy) who’s assigned to go undercover to infiltrate a major drug dealer’s organization.
Why It’s Feminist: It stars McCarthy and Rose Byrne, is directed by Bridesmaids’ Paul Feig, and is being called the female (and funny) version of James Bond. Spy is super feminist.
Image: 20th Century Fox
'Inside Out' (Jun. 19)
What It’s About: When her parents force her to move towns, a young girl deals with the change by relying on the personified emotions inside her head, voiced by stars like Mindy Kaling and Amy Poehler.
Why It’s Feminist: It’s a Pixar movie with a female lead. Plus, the plot - how often is there a movie that delves that deeply into the mind of a girl?
Image: Walt Disney
'Magic Mike XXL' (Jul. 1)
What It’s About: A stripping convention. Enough said.
Why It’s Feminist: It’s Magic Mike.
Image: Warner Bros.
'Amy' (Jul. 3 - U.K.)
What It’s About: The tragically short life of Grammy winner Amy Winehouse.
Why It’s Feminist: Amy Winehouse is iconic for her talent and candor, and the documentary seems to give proper tribute to the late star.
'The Bronze' (Jul. 10)
What It’s About: When a talented young gymnastics star (Haley Lu Richardson) arrives on the scene, former champion (Melissa Rauch) fights to keep her fame.
'Trainwreck' (Jul. 17)
What It’s About: A single-and-loving-it writer (Amy Schumer) falls for doctor (Bill Hader), much to her surprise.
Why It’s Feminist: Schumer wrote the movie, creating a lead part for herself that’s funny, compelling, and wonderfully complex. The whole movie is about breaking stereotypes and being empowered. What’s not to love?
'Paper Towns' (Jul. 24)
What It’s About: A teenage boy’s (Nat Wolff)’s mission to find his mysteriously missing neighbor (Cara Delevingne), the girl he’d had a crush on since childhood.
Why It’s Feminist: The trailer may not have shown it, but Delevingne’s Margo is not the manic pixie dream girl of Q’s dreams, but a realistically troubled girl who doesn’t want to be “saved.”
'Ricki and the Flash' (Aug. 7)
What It’s About: An aging rock star (Meryl Streep) comes home to reconnect with her estranged family.
Why It’s Feminist: Meryl Streep as a rock star? In a movie about femininity, age, and self-worth? With a script written by Diablo Cody? Already, Ricki and the Flash is as feminist as it gets, and we couldn’t be more excited.