Elle Woods is more than just a teen rom-com con: she’s also an ambitious, goal-driven boss who stops at nothing to get where she wants to be in life. In essence, she’s the role model (perfectly played by the sensational Reese Witherspoon) we don’t just deserve, she’s the role model we need. It seems like there’s a new Twitter meme each week inspiring people to “be like Elle Woods after Warner told her she couldn’t get into law school.”
If Legally Blonde is your favorite flick, that means you’re probably a fan of movies with a strong female lead, a witty sense of humor, a fantastic group of female sidekicks, and amazing fashion pieces. There are plenty of rom-coms and chick flicks released in the ‘90s and early 2000s that you just have to watch if Legally Blonde is your favorite movie (that is, if you haven’t seen some of these classics yet). So, grab your girlfriends and bend-and-snap your way over to your laptop to watch these classic movies.
16. Legally Blonde 2
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer. If you loved Legally Blonde, then you need to see Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. Elle Woods’s legal career takes a bit of an unexpected turn when she starts planning her wedding to Emmett. She wants to have her beloved chihuahua Bruiser’s mother in attendance on her wedding day, but as she tracks down her location, she learns that her pup’s mom is being used by a cosmetic company for animal testing. An understandably outraged Elle travels to Washington D.C. to work on “Bruiser’s Bill”: a bill that would protect animals from testing by cosmetic companies. Of course, Washington politics aren’t ready for Elle Woods, and while this adorable sequel isn’t quite as perfect as the original, it’s pretty darn good. After all, is there anything Elle Wood can’t do?
Clueless is what 90s dreams are made of. Cher Horowitz seems to have it all: she’s one of the most popular girls at school, she lives in a gorgeous house and has the closet of everyone’ dreams. No one can find anything wrong with her except her stepbrother, Josh, who visits while home on a break. When Josh accuses her of never doing anything good for other people, she sets out to prove him wrong: not only does she set up two lonely teachers, but she and her best friend Dionne also give a makeover to Tai, the new, quirky girl at school. After being seduced by the guy Tai likes and falling for a handsome (but gay) new boy at school, Cher decides to re-evaluate all of her superficial priorities in life. After actually doing good deeds for the community and looking at a particular person in a new light, Cher starts to not feel so “clueless” at all. Cher is vaguely reminiscent of Elle Woods – not only is she endearing, you can’t help but feel touched by her heart of gold.
14. Mean Girls
If you haven’t seen Mean Girls yet, you have to get out from under your rock and watch one of the most beloved movies of all time. When Cady Heron attends high school for the first time after being homeschooled by her parents in Africa, she’s in for a culture shock. She befriends Janis and Damian, two quirky but lovable friends who give Cady the lowdown of the cliques of their school, including the Plastics: Regina George, Gretchen Weiners, and Karen Smith – the girls who everyone hates but secretly wants to be at the same time. When the Plastics extend an invite to Cady to join their group, Janis and Damian encourage her to act as the infiltrator so they can get revenge on the Plastics after all the horrible things they’ve done to the student body. This movie is filled with classic one-liners from start to finish and watching it will remind you of everything you don’t miss about high school. Because, let’s be real, we’ve all been a little victimized by Regina George.
13. Miss Congeniality
In Miss Congeniality, Gracie Hart has always been punished for being a strong woman. When she saved her childhood crush from a bully, he rejected her because he was embarrassed that a girl had to save him. Years later at her job as an FBI agent, she was demoted after she saved a choking mob boss, which caused another agent to be shot in the process. But Gracie finally gets her opportunity to save the day when her agency gets a notice from a domestic terrorist that they plan on bombing the Miss United States beauty pageant. Gracie goes undercover as Miss New Jersey (who had just been disqualified) to partake in the competition but also to try to save the pageant from getting attacked by one of the worst terrorists in the US – truly proving that she is beauty, she is grace, she is Miss Congeniality.
12. 13 Going on 30
Teenage years are rough for everyone – don’t you remember wishing with all of your might that one day a 13-year-old you could just magically wake up as an adult who has her life together? Jenna Rink made the same wish, and surprisingly enough, her dream came true! After one awful 13th birthday party, she wakes up as a 30-year-old to her dream job, her dream apartment, and her dream guy all at once. Being a popular fashion editor in Manhattan was always her dream, and she was finally living it! But the catch? She didn’t remember anything over the last 17 years. As a teenage girl stuck in an adult woman’s body, Jenna gets through life with a fresh outlook and realizes that what she thought was her dream may not be all it’s cracked up to be. (She also learned that being an adult is way tougher than she ever could have imagined, which is something that’s all too relatable.)
11. Princess Diaries
We’ve probably all dreamed of being a princess at some point or another. But can you imagine if your long lost grandmother showed up at your house one day and told you that you’re next in line to the throne of Genovia? Sounds like something that would only happen to Meghan Markle or Kate Middleton – but for Mia Thermopolis, an average, awkward high school student from California, her grandmother rolled up one day to tell her that she’s actually Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi, Princess of Genovia. So in addition to learning how to deal with her high school crush and the mean girls at school, she also has to learn how to transition into the role of a future queen. While Princess Diaries might sound like a cheesy Hallmark film, this beloved teen rom-com is movie gold (and it’ll make you want to get in touch with your long lost relatives, you know, just in case there’s any string of royalty in your family).
10. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Best friends Lena, Tibby, Carmen, and Bridget in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants have never been away from each other for too long. The four best friends from Maryland have done everything together for as long as they can remember – so when it comes time for the girls to go their separate ways for a few months, they struggle to figure out how to keep their bond strong. But when they find a pair of jeans that magically fits all of them despite their different body types, they dub them the ‘Traveling Pants.’ Each girl gets a turn with the pants for a few weeks before sending them along to the next person – and you can imagine the drama and excitement that follows these pants. Not only is this heartfelt movie an honest look at what it means to be a teenage girl growing up, it’ll make you want to call up your own BFFs. (You’ll probably want to go jean shopping, too.) Can we join this friendship and get our hands on that magic denim?
9. Freaky Friday
The 2003 remake of Freaky Friday starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan is pretty much our worst nightmare but in the best way possible. Anna, an angsty teenager, is struggling with the death of her father, and her mother’s new fiancé and annoying little brother don’t help. But at the same time, Anna’s mother Tess struggles to get through to her daughter so they can both heal and move on. While the family is out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant one night, the restaurant owner’s mother overhears a nasty fight between Anna and Tess, so she gives them both magical fortune cookies. Later that night, Anna and Tess both feel an earthquake and wake up in each other’s bodies. After literally being placed in each other’s shoes and struggling to adapt to their “new” lives, they begin to see things from the other’s perspective. Also, nothing really beats listening to Chad Michael Murray singing “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” so this movie really has it all.
8. Bring It On
Torrance Shipman pretty much has it all: as she enters her senior year of high school, she not only has a college boyfriend, but she’s also elected captain of her award-winning cheerleading team, the Toros – so she’s kind of a big deal. But when a new member of the squad, Missy, accuses the Toros of stealing routines from the Clovers, another cheerleading squad, the team realizes that their former captain was stealing exact routines from the Clovers to win them their titles. When the Clovers find out, they vow to beat the Toros at the championship (because they could never afford to go in the past). Bring It On proves that competitive cheerleading is really no joke – and it reminds us all that winning isn’t always the most important thing. Plus, it’s basically a lesson in cultural appropriation, which is pretty darn feminist if you ask us.
7. Confessions of a Shopaholic
We’ve all been guilty of using our debit card like a gift card: swiping and hoping that there’s enough money on there for an adorable pair of shoes you don’t need but really, really want. But Rebecca Bloomwood takes her spending a little too far. The shopaholic describes seeing a store as feeling like someone cute just smiled at you: you get all warm and mushy like butter melting on a piece of toast (don’t we all feel like that when we walk into Anthropologie?). But she takes her spending a little too far – when she maxed out her credit card buying a scarf for an interview for her dream job, she offers to purchase all the hot dogs from a cart with a check in order to get her change back in cash. The man behind offers to just give her $20 – and he turns out to be her interviewer for a job at Successful Savings magazine (her dream fashion job had been filled internally). By a twist of fate, Rebecca gets the job at Successful Savings and has to put up a front like she actually knows how to save money instead of spending it all on then newest Gucci collections. Of course, her act can only go so far before she’ll be exposed for the shopaholic she is. But is it really a bad thing to have an entire room devoted just to shoes??
6. She’s the Man
What’s not to love about She’s the Man? From its stellar cast (featuring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum) and its hysterical plot, it’s not a surprise that this movie is still beloved today. Viola’s brother Sebastian leaves his boarding school to travel Europe with his band and Viola agrees to cover for him, deciding to take his place so she can keep playing soccer competitively. Thanks to a little help from her stylist friend, Viola becomes Sebastian and moves into boarding school – and you can imagine that antics that ensue. If anything, this movie just proves that anything guys can do, girls can do better.
5. Home Again
If you loved Legally Blonde because you love Reese Witherspoon, you’ll probably love her 2017 flick Home Again. As a divorced mother of two, Alice has to find a new normal in her life. When three young, aspiring filmmakers meet Alice while out in LA, they spark up an unconventional friendship and take up residency in Alice’s guesthouse – and before long, they become a new, unconventional family. Of course, Alice also develops feelings for one of her new pals, because of course she does! But as she truly starts to fall in love with her new routine, her ex-husband shows up sending everything into a halt – proving that starting over is never easy no matter how old you are.
4. Easy A
Inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s The Scarlet Letter, Easy A is a 2010 comedy about Olive – a girl whose little white lie turns into a school-wide catastrophe. She tells her best friend, Rhiannon, that she can’t go camping with her and her hippie parents because she has a date (all she did was lay around her house all weekend). But when Rhiannon pushes for details the following week, Olive lies and tells her that she lost her virginity to a college boy. She’s overheard by the leader of the school’s church group, and her lie spreads like wildfire. Before she knew it, the whole school knew about Olive’s new reputation. She pretends to sleep with her gay best friend and embraces her new role as the school tramp, complete with a red “A” stitched on her clothing. But keeping up with her lie becomes tiresome, and she realizes that acting like a tramp isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But the most important message from this movie is that’s it’s never anyone’s business what you chose to do with your body.
3. 10 Things I Hate About You
In 10 Things I Hate About You, this 90s classic film gives a modern adaption to William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Set in modern-day Seattle, Cameron is a new kid at school who quickly sparks an interest in a fellow student, Bianca. But Cameron’s new friend, Michael, tells him that because of her father’s strict dating rules, Bianca can’t date anyone until her moody, antisocial older sister Kat gets a boyfriend, too (their overly controlling father knew full well that Kat would never find a boyfriend in high school). But this strict dating rule was no match for Cameron. He sets his sights on the school bad-boy, Patrick. It sounds like a perfect plan, but in typical rom-com fashion, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.
2. The House Bunny
Though Shelley was raised in an orphanage, she found her happiness when she was able to move into the Playboy Mansion and work toward her dream of being a Playboy Bunny in The House Bunny. But after her 27th birthday, she receives a letter from Hugh Hefner asking her to leave because she’s now too old to continue living in the mansion. Disheartened, Shelley leaves and stumbles across a sorority reminiscent of her follow playmates – but they won’t allow her to join. She desperately joins another sorority, Zeta Alpha Zeta: though the group of misfits didn’t immediately like her, they knew they needed her to help them attract boys and other girls to their sorority in order to save their organization. Shelley makes it her mission to make the Zetas more attractive and fun to keep them from getting kicked off campus. Meanwhile, she learns her dismissal from the Playboy Mansion was forged – but in her journey to make the Zetas outwardly attractive, she begins to learn that being internally attractive is more important.
1. Never Been Kissed
Drew Barrymore stars as Josie, a 25-year-old undercover reporter sent back to high school in Never Been Kissed. As she investigates the high school culture for her piece, she (of course) starts to develop feelings for one of her bachelor teachers – but of course, she can’t blow her cover or make a move as a “student.” Though Josie’s original high school experience was embarrassing and anything but fun, her second time around proves to be a lot better – partly because of her newfound friendship with her teacher/crush. But as her deadline comes closer, she has to decide what’s more important: her career or herself.