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Sally Field 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.

Bros and SissesBrothers and Sisters: The Complete Third Season (2009, ABC/Buena Vista)
purchase from Amazon: DVD

ABC’s durable drama Brothers and Sisters hit some road bumps in its third season. After a standout second year in which the characters shaped into interesting people I wanted to follow each week, season three saw most of them become narcissistic navel gazers that were no fun to be around. Adding to the series’ woes were the supposed behind the scenes issues with star Balthazar Getty, leading to his character’s departure from the show. Still, the ship seemed to right itself by the season finale, leaving hope for the fourth season, premiering this fall.

Brothers and Sisters follows the many exploits of the Walker family, a large, wealthy California unit whose patriarch, William (played in flashbacks by Tom Skerritt) not only ran his food distribution company nearly into bankruptcy, but cheated on his wife with more than one woman. Williams’ wife is Nora, played with great energy and emotion by Sally Field. Her ability to make you cry and laugh with one look is one of the reasons Field is a Hollywood legend. Unfortunately, she can also become histrionic at times, which happens a little too much in season three. Nora’s character arc here includes opening a center for families dealing with cancer (which leads to romance with the center’s architect) and trying to draw William’s illegitimate son, Ryan (Luke Grimes), into her large brood. Ryan’s story is integral to the entire third season, as his character weaves into the lives of everyone. Despite Ryan’s unfortunate circumstances, including discovering that his mother has lied to him for 21 years and that the man raising him was not his biological father, the guy is a difficult character to like. It doesn’t help that Grimes portrays him as kind of creepy and sinister. Perhaps that was the intent, so that you don’t really trust him. And perhaps there was some subtext on the part of the writers that Ryan, despite his protests that he’ll never be anything like William Walker, is actually very much like the man he never knew.