Women’s History Month: Leading Ladies
The leading ladies of Rom Coms have been inspiring us for generations. Their passion, style, wit - we have so much we can learn from them. Sure, there are the unrealistic job goals (Julia Roberts as a successful NYC Restaurant Critic age 27 in My Best Friend’s Wedding) or apartment goals (Katherine Heigl’s giant NYC apartment in 27 Dresses), but these ladies make our hearts swell with happiness and allow us to relax and be absorbed by their feel good charm. They inspire us to be the leading ladies in our own lives. In honor of Women’s History Month we’ve rounded up 5 of our favorite leading ladies.
Katharine had a successful early career and then went on to star in her first two rom coms Sylvia Scarlett and then Bringing Up Baby, both were commercial failures. The roles she played were smart, driven, sophisticated, independent (as she was in real life) and perhaps these films were just too modern at the time. She masterminded her comeback from the film flops by purchasing the rights to The Philadelphia Story, the play she had been acting in, and sold it to MGM with the agreement she could select the director, writer, producer and cast. She wanted to revamp her reputation in the film world, on her terms. After The Philadelphia Story in 1940, Katharine went on to act for 54 more years in 36 more films, receiving a record of 4 Academy Awards for Best Actress. No one puts Katharine Hepburn in a corner!
Before the height of the 90s rom coms, Molly Ringwald owned the 80s starring in three of John Hughes’ iconic films Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. In each of the films Molly portrayed a relatable heroine, who showed her layers and flaws, instantly making us all aspire to be like her. She represented us the woes of high school and how hard it can be to fit in, but the importance of being yourself and eventually that super cute and charming guy will sweep you off your feet with a grand romantic gesture. Molly’s films are the ones we have re-watched so many times and can now recite the songs, iconic moments and epic fashion. Molly hasn’t been in many other rom coms since, but she is still acting (Riverdale, yes!) and we are keeping our fingers crossed she’ll get a rom com come-back soon
Meg Ryan is dubbed the queen of the rom coms and recently announced that is is writing and possibly directing her own! All the classics of the 90s such as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail - all Meg! So many iconic scenes and lines thanks to Meg (and the talented Nora Ephron). We have Meg to thank for associating Katz’s Deli with orgasms, having hope in online romance and many short hairstyle inspirations. We can’t wait to see how she pulls from her years of working in the world of rom coms to develop her own!
There’s debate of the 90s rom com queen as Julia Roberts was also a heavy hitter during the decade starring in the classics Pretty Woman, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Notting Hill. She didn’t stop there, Julia makes us fall in love with her all over again in each film from Eat, Pray Love to Larry Crowne and Mother’s Day. She’s constantly impressing us in her strong roles, now mainly outside the rom com genre. We’ll always remember her iconic line in Notting Hill "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." A classic Julia Roberts move only she could pull off is her character Tess Ocean in Ocean’s Twelve pretending to be the actress Julia Roberts for a heist. Nowadays she’s scaling a mountain in a pink dress on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, posting divine pictures on her Instagram with her celeb friends + just did a reunion with the original cast of My Best Friend’s Wedding! Julia is the goddess of sophisticated glam and we love her for her rom coms and beyond.
Reese first stole our rom com hearts as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde in 2001. Forever ingrained in our memory will be the charming scene of Reese dressed as a bunny on Halloween buying a colored Mac desktop (remember when those were a thing?!). Elle Woods taught us to fight for what we believe in, which we may think is a guy, but will open up new opportunities, friendship and a supportive and smart man. Reese has wowed us in other rom coms classics like Sweet Home Alabama and shown her acting prowess as June Carter singing in Walk The Line and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail alone in Wild. Reese knows how to make us feel something, we cry with her, laugh with her, feel like she’s our friend and we could hang on her front porch with her sipping Dorothea’s Tea Punch (her grandma’s recipe). Beyond the films, Reese is a modern day role model; she is a media mogul, entrepreneur, author and mom. And thanks to Reese and her production company Hello Sunshine we have Legally Blonde 3 to look forward to next year!
More leading ladies we love include Kate Hudson, Constance Wu, Drew Barrymore, Rachel Bloom, Jennifer Lopez, Mindy Kaling, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Garner and the list goes on and on. These are just a few of our faves! Who is your favorite leading lady? Let us know in the comments!