Remember when everyone was trying to make “fetch” happen? Or when “as if” became part of a female teenager’s everyday vernacular? We can thank female-led comedies like Mean Girls and Clueless for adding some very classic jargon to our language that is still being used today. Years back there was a debate on whether girls could be funny. Considering the massive success of comedy writers like Tina Fey and Amy Schumer, that argument seems totally silly in retrospect. Women are funny and comedies that feature females in lead roles are often hilarious. Starring some of the hottest funny women, these best female-led comedy movies might also be streaming on Netflix.
This list also contains a neat spin on the classic mismatched buddy cop movie, a fish out of water comedy, a few revenge comedies, a little competitive cheerleading, gals playing baseball during WII, a couple genre-bending romances, and an independent film about teenage pregnancy.
No matter the plotline or subgenre , one major aspect remains the same: these comedies starring women are funny. The female actresses in these movies play hilarious roles in timeless, smart scripts. Some are charismatic lead actresses, others are part of ensembles, and still others are part of female comedy duos. They'll all make you laugh out loud in these movies, though.
Be sure to upvote your favorite female-led comedy movie. If we missed one that you think should be on this list, let us know if the comments section below. Just remember one very important piece of advice: there is no crying in baseball.
Actors: Rose Byrne, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph
Directed by: Paul FeigWho says that chick comedies can't be raunchy and crude? Bridesmaids, the female answer to The Hangover, is at times so disgusting and over the top that you can't believe you're laughing out loud. But you are. The box office monster grossed nearly $300 million worldwide.
Actors: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, Victor Garber
Directed by: Robert LuketicEveryone knows that Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon can act. But who knew that she had such great comedy chops as well? The blonde actress gives hope and street cred for all the blondes out in the real world who have been put down because of the color of their locks. Legally Blonde was so successful that it spawned a sequel and a musical.
Actors: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler
Directed by: Mark WatersRemember when Lindsay Lohan was quickly becoming America's sweetheart? She reached her peak in the 2004 hit Mean Girls. The Tina Fey-written comedy launched a whole new venacular and new set of fashion rules that had teenage girls wearing pink on Wednedays. But please stop trying to make fetch happen, it's never gonna happen.
Actors: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale
Directed by: Paul FeigImagine James Bond. Now imagine Melissa McCarthy as James Bond, or at least a 007 type. The comedy superstar takes on the role of an undercover CIA analyst in the 2015 comedy hit Spy with hilarious and innovative results, turning
Actors: Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Stacey Dash, Wallace Shawn
Directed by: Amy HeckerlingAmy Heckerling's 1995 retelling of Jane Austen's Emma features the lives of Cher (Alicia Silverstone), a rich but sweet trendsetting teenager, and her group of Beverly Hills friends. All Cher wants to do is find love for her makeover project Tai (Brittany Murphy), but she figures out she has a lot to learn in that department herself. As if!
Actors: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans, Jane Curtin, Taran Killam
Directed by: Paul Feig
You've never seen a buddy cop movie quite like 2013's box office smash The Heat. Sandra Bullock plays an unlikeable by-the-book FBI Agent in search of a promotion who must join forces with a crude stubborn Beantown cop (Melissa McCarthy) in order to catch a drug lord. The film grossed nearly $230 million worldwide.
Actors: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Aly Michalka, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell
Directed by: Will Gluck2010's Easy A marks the exact moment when the film world and the public at large really fell hard for Emma Stone. In this clever riff on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Olive (Stone) tells one little white lie about losing her virginity and a whole new world of attention, popularity, and drama come her way.
Actors: Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith, Harvey Keitel, Kathy Najimy, Bill Nunn
Directed by: Emile ArdolinoWhoopi Goldberg really deserves more credit in the entertainment world as one of the greats. The EGOT winner (yeah, she has an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) hits all the right notes as a singer who enters witness protection after seeing a murder. The cops place Deloris (Goldberg) in a convent and disguise her as a nun. The fish out of water comedy was so successful that it spawned a 1993 sequel.
Actors: Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Alexis Knapp
Directed by: Jason MooreComedy goes a cappella in 2012's ensemble movie Pitch Perfect. Don't think you'll like a female-led musical comedy about dueling college a cappella groups? Pitch Perfect managed to sing its way into the hearts of movie fans from even the most unexpected demos, winning many male fans of all ages. The film grossed over $115 million worldwide and launched a 2015 sequel.
Actors: Madonna, Tom Hanks, Rosie O'Donnell, Geena Davis, Téa Leoni
Directed by: Penny MarshallEveryone now knows that there's no crying in baseball. A League of Their Own starring Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O'Donnell proved that girls really could play baseball and be a popular draw amongst all kinds of movie fans. The 1992 Penny Marshall directed comedy grossed over $100 million at the box office, remaining enormously popular and quotable to this day.
Actors: Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, Dabney Coleman, Sterling Hayden
Directed by: Colin HigginsA film can't really go wrong when it stars Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin. The 1980 comedy gave audiences a strong dose of girl power and showed us what happens when a sexist boss finally gets his comeuppance.
Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Gabrielle Union, Bianca Kajlich, Tsianina Joelson
Directed by: Peyton ReedWho knew that a teen cheerleading movie would be so popular? Bring It On spawned four direct to DVD sequels and continues to endure in pop culture. The choreographed cheers, especially the hip hop ones, are more than worth the price of admission. Now the only question is, "Are you going to bring it?"
Actors: Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo, Mira Sorvino, Alan Cumming, Justin Theroux
Directed by: David MirkinRomy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) feel the need to impress the people from high school at their ten-year reunion. So what do the slightly dimwitted best friends do? They make up an elaborate ruse of a rich and successful life all based on the lie that they invented Post-Its. Back in 1997, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion was described as "Dumb & Dumber for girls," but the years have proven it's so much more than that.
Actors: Sarah Jessica Parker, Goldie Hawn, Heather Locklear, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton
Directed by: Hugh WilsonDiane Keaton, Bette Midler, and Goldie Hawn play ex-wives looking for revenge in the 1996 film First Wives Club. Watching the comedy veterans get even instead of staying mad makes for a delightful romp and a showcase for all three actresses. The film was a monster box office success, grossing over $180 million worldwide.
Actors: Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Thora Birch, Penny Marshall, Kathy Najimy
Directed by: Kenny OrtegaHocus Pocus is a 1993 American comedy fantasy film directed by Kenny Ortega and starring Bette... more on Wikipedia
Actors: Jennifer Garner, Ellen Page, Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, J.K. Simmons
Directed by: Jason ReitmanA sarcastic 16-year-old girl named Juno (Ellen Page) gets knocked up after a brief escapade with her friend Bleeker (Micheal Cera). What she does next is totally grown up and bold. Juno hits many unexpectedly sweet and funny notes thanks to Diablo Cody's screenplay, but it wouldn't work without Page as the strong, smart center.
Actors: Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater, Glenn Shadix, Patrick Labyorteaux
Directed by: Michael LehmannHeathers may be one of the darkest black comedies ever written. Stripped down, it's a high school movie about jealousy and killing off the popular kids. But we laugh while we watch the murders take place because it speaks to the social brutality of adolescence. Winona Ryder and Christian Slater shine as vengeful teenagers.
Actors: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth
Directed by: Paul FeigGhostbusters (alternatively known as Ghostbusters: Answer the Call and marketed as such on... more on Wikipedia
Actors: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, James Corden, Anne Hathaway
Directed by: Gary RossOcean's Eight is a 2018 American heist comedy film directed by Gary Ross. Danny Ocean's... more on Wikipedia
Actors: Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cher, Susan Sarandon, Richard Jenkins
Directed by: George MillerThe Witches of Eastwick is a 1987 American comedy-fantasy film based on John Updike's novel of... more on Wikipedia
Actors: Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Harry Carey, Jr., Charles Coburn
Directed by: Howard HawksA beautiful blonde bombshell (Marilyn Monroe) and a gorgeous savvy brunette (Jane Russell) are best friends in Howard Hawks's 1953 comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The script is filled with witty banter between the pals. Monroe is obviously known for a lot more than her comedy chops, but her role as a showgirl who believes that diamonds are a girl's best friend shows her expert comedic timing.
Actors: Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher, Archie Panjabi, Parminder Nagra
Directed by: Gurinder ChadhaJess (Parminder Nagra) and Jules (Keira Knightley) are best friends with dreams of playing professional soccer in England. The problem for Jess is that her strict orthodox parents have other plans. Bend It Like Beckham is simply a sweet movie about breaking the rules in order to achieve your dreams. It's also really, really funny.
Actors: Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell
Directed by: Amy Poehler
Rachel Dratch is turning 50, and her 5 best friends from her 20, including Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler, join her for a girls' weekend in Napa. Tina Fey is their landlord, and Jason Schwartzman is a chef, driver, and housekeeper available at their beck and call.
Actors: Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick, Chris Klein, Colleen Camp, Nicholas D'Agosto
Directed by: Alexander PayneTracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) is that seemingly perfect goody-two-shoes, know-it-all in high school that is obsessed with being class president. Things get interesting when a popular jock (Chris Klein) joins the political race at the behest of a teacher (Matthew Broderick) who thinks Flick needs to be taken down a peg. Alexander Payne's hilarious black comedy was nominated for a Best Screenplay Oscar in 1999.
Actors: Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi, Teri Garr, David Cross, Thora Birch
Directed by: Terry ZwigoffGhost World may be the quintessential female buddy movie. Or at the least the quintessential indie version. Two misfits, Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson), graduate from high school and have no idea what to do with the rest of their lives. Enid forms a friendship with an older man (Steve Buscemi), who is also an outcast, and realizes that she may just want to become a grown up after all. Ghost World is a comedic coming of age story for the independent film world.