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Olympia Dukakis Tag

If you are a woman, the relationship you have with your best girlfriends is special. It’s different than any you have with your parents, siblings, romantic partners or even other friends. Your best girlfriend almost always knows you better than anyone else. You trust her with your secrets and you know that she is someone you can turn to no matter what. She’s someone who will listen to your problems and be honest with you, even it if it hurts.

A best girlfriend will be there to console you when you get dumped at 1 A.M. by that asshole you’ve been sleeping with who’s been stringing you along for months. And even though she insisted you could do better and you should stop seeing him a long time ago, but you didn’t listen to her, she’ll take you to an all-night diner and buy you pancakes and coffee and let you cry and bitch and moan without judging you or telling you she told you so.

A true best friend will go shopping with you and tell you when a dress you’ve chosen is totally fug and will help you pick out clothes that hide your fat rolls and make your boobs and ass look amazing. She will talk you out of buying those boots you love that cost almost as much as your rent because she knows you can’t afford them and she doesn’t want you selling any of your other possessions to make ends meet — or asking her for money that she doesn’t have but wouldn’t refuse you.

A BFF will gladly judge horrible skanks that your ex is now sleeping with, but will stop you from making an ass out of yourself when you drunkenly decide to approach the bitch and tell her what you think of her. She won’t judge you when you show up to brunch with greasy bangs and mascara smudged under your eyes, wearing the same clothes you had on the night before.

She will talk to you on the phone for hours about nothing in particular, but won’t be offended if you don’t call her for two weeks. She will organize your wedding and/or baby shower, even if she hates weddings and babies. She will throw you a surprise party when you think everyone has forgotten your birthday. And if something unfortunate happens, like a death in the family or a bout of depression, she will be there with a fresh box of tissues, your favorite ice cream and many, many hugs.

She will tell you when you’re being a bitch and will expect you to do the same for her. And she will always remind you that, no matter what happens,  you’re awesome and fuck anyone who doesn’t think so.

Wow. That all sounded like one of those awful “In honor of women” forwards your crazy aunt who barely knows how to use her Hotmail account sends you every other week, doesn’t it? Well, whatever. I love my friends and I’m lucky to have such fierce ladies in my life.

Inspired by a recent viewing of one of my favorite films, Walking and Talking, and the success of the hit female buddy comedy Bridesmaids (which I still haven’t seen because I’m terrible), I thought I’d revisit some of my favorite female BFFs in film. Whether they’re laughing, crying, talking about sex or plotting murder, these ladies all share a strong bond that (for the most part) can’t be broken. And that’s why I love them.

My list was originally a lot longer than this, but then I noticed that several of the ladies I had listed were BFFs who happened to also be co-workers, so I decided they’d become their own Filminism post later on.

Who are your favorite female friendships in film? Tell me in the comments!

Warning: some of the clips below might be a little spoilery.

BOTTOM LINE: They can’t all be Streetcar. Milk Train isn’t a flawless play, so neither is this production.

Darren Pettie and Olympia Dukakis in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (photo by Joan Marcus)

Staging Tennessee Williams’ 1963 play The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore is an audacious task, and Michael Wilson (whose bio boasts 19 Williams plays) admirably steps up to the challenge for this current production playing off Broadway at the Roundabout. One of Williams’ least produced and least revered works, Milk Train is, well, kind of faulty in both form and narrative. This current production fails to pack the emotional resonance one expects from this great playwright, but it’s hard to tell who’s to blame. This is not to say that the production isn’t enjoyable – led by Olympia Dukakis, the cast is more than competent – but I couldn’t help feel a nagging emptiness by the time the final curtain fell.

Williams’ trademark Southern melodramatic style is in full swing in Milk Train, although the story takes place in Italy and is often rather funny. Flora Goforth (Dukakis) is an American elderly widow on the brink of death herself. In her sweeping ocean-side villa, she dictates her memoirs as her secretary Blackie (Maggie Lacey) records them. Flora is extravagant, eccentric, and filter-less, but she is also terrified of her impending death. As she gets sicker, she also gets deeper into denial. Her mood swings and general disdain for reality make her a challenge to work for, and Blackie, herself recently widowed, is ready to quit…until a chiseled stranger appears at the villa: Christopher Flanders (Darren Pettie) makes himself welcome and the reason for his visit begins to unfold.