Thanks to this site, it’s getting easier to find out whether or not movies pass the Bechdel test. If you’re not familiar with it already, the test simply asks whether a movie has two female characters who talk to each other at least once about something other than a man. Sounds simple, right? You’d be surprised how many of your favorites fail (A Christmas Story, Elf, Home Alone, Rudolph…) But in the Christmas spirit, let’s focus on those that do pass, and hope that each year the ‘nice’ list grows.
It’s a relief this one passes, given how obsessed with it kids have been the past year. Frozen is an animated movie that involves magical powers, inspiring songs, and a journey to save a frozen kingdom. It’s about two sisters trying to help and protect one another, so thankfully there's more than one conversation to keep this movie from failing. It was also co-directed and written by a woman, Jennifer Lee.
Little Women (1994)
Little Women is one holiday film that truly passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. Centered around the lives of four sisters and their mother, this movie brings us gifts we can treasure in the form of quotes:
Marmee March to her daughter: Do you feel your value lies in being merely decorative? I fear that someday you might find yourself believing it’s all that you really are. Time erodes all such beauty. But what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind. Your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage. These are the things I cherish so in you.
Jo March: I find it poor logic to say that because women are good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country.
Happy Christmas (2014)
This movie follows Jenny (Anna Kendrick) post-breakup as she moves in with her brother, his wife, and their new baby right before the holidays. Jenny struggles to get her shit together while encouraging her brother’s wife, Kelly, to get back into her writing career. It involves plenty of slice-of-life conversations between Jenny, her friend from home (Lena Dunham), and Kelly (Melanie Lynskey). Also, it's streaming on Netflix!
Miracle on 34th St. (1947)
This movie involves a lot of male characters, and a lot of talk about Santa. But the mother, Doris Walker, uses discussion of Santa to segway into conversations about the larger concept of faith with her daughter, Susan… so we can find some hope in that. Not to mention Doris is a kick-ass business woman herself.
Last Holiday (2006)
Queen Latifah plays Georgia, a woman who finds out right around the holiday season that she has a rare disease she can’t afford treatment for. Accepting that she only has a short amount of time left, she quits her job and sets out on a dream vacation in Europe. She tries things she’s always wanted to, like snowboarding and testing the entire menu at the Grandhotel Pupp. I’m not saying she doesn’t find heterosexual love, but she does meet some interesting women along the way.
Image via Abby Rosebrock
Marissa is an NYC-based writer who loves feminism, doughnuts, and being outside. She's not a huge fan of writing personal bios, but she does love writing pretty much anything else. Read more of her work at marissadubecky.com.