I don’t know about you, but a good inspirational movie can sometimes be all I need to get motivated to take on the world. As a young professional woman, I don’t always want to settle on the typical rom com. I want substance and grit–a movie that leaves me inspired to kick butt and take names. I have compiled a list of my favorite motivational movies for professional women like yourself.
1. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
The Devil Wears Prada is a hilarious comedic drama about the dynamics of women in the workplace–specifically the fashion industry. Andy (Anne Hathaway) is a recent college grad that lands a job that a million girls would kill for at Runway, a fashion magazine, for a devilish boss. The Dragon Lady, Miranda Priestly, is a powerful Editor-in-Chief based on the real Editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour. The movie follows Andy transforming from a smart, fat girl with no sense of style, questioning herself to a confident young woman who knows who she is and owns her skills. She also manages to get down to a size 4.
2. The Intern (2015)
The Intern stars, yet again, Anne Hathaway as Jules Ostin, the founder of an online clothing site that skyrocketed. Jules runs her company with style, but is your typical micro-manager–not allowing her employees to breath. When a senior intern comes in (Robert De Niro), he helps Jules navigate leadership and tackle the question: “Can women really have it all?”
3. Working Girl (1988)
“You can bend the rules plenty once you get to the top, but not while you’re trying to get there. And if you’re someone like me, you can’t get there without bending the rules.”
Shoulder pads won’t keep this one off our list. Working Girl is an old classic featured on Netflix not too long ago. It stars Melanie Griffith as young Tess McGill–a secretary who’s idea is stolen by her boss (Sigourney Weaver). She steals her idea back by seizing the opportunity of pretending she has her boss’s job to secure a future for herself, and claim her man (Harrison Ford).
4. Legally Blonde (2001)
Yes, Legally Blonde is a motivational movie. Doesn’t the scene where she is diligently working on her studies to prove she has what it takes make you want to go to Harvard Law? Maybe not quite, but it sure is motivating! Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon is a classic sorority girl who decides to get into Harvard Law so she can get her boyfriend back. She soon learns that the man of her dreams is is not what she thought–and comes out on top!
Joy shows the true reality of success. Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence), is a self-made millionaire founding a business dynasty. She operates in a dysfunctional family, that sometimes isn’t too far off from our own. She faces betrayal, treachery, all that comes with it in her pursuit of success.
6. The Proposal (2009)
In The Proposal, Sandra Bullock plays Margaret Tate, the successful Canadian book editor who risks getting deported. To keep her job and her citizenship she makes a deal with her male assistant (Ryan Reynolds). High-powered and self-reliant, she learns about love and family.
7. Erin Brockovich (2000)
By far the most quotable movie on this list, Erin Brockovich, played by Julia Roberts, takes action to gain a better life for herself, her children, and the families suffering from environmental issues caused by the energy corporation Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Erin is in a tight spot and begs her attorney to hire her at his law firm. She uncovers a case that is a cover-up involving contaminated water causing illnesses of hundreds of innocent people. Julia Roberts won 2001 Best Actress for her role in the biographical film.
8. Wonder Woman (2017)
There may be some controversy on this movie being motivational for women, however, I came out of the theater ready to kick some butt. Diana, who plays Wonder Woman, displays the perfect example of a biblical womanhood. She is strong, powerful, beautiful, gentle, and shows strengths that only women can have. Instead of trying to be something she is not, Diana is true to herself and plays on her strengths defeating her enemies.
In the words of Miranda Priestly, “That’s all.”