11 Female-Led Comedies That Will Make You A Little Less Depressed

By Harold Ramis Film School | Feb 26, 2018

We might not have a woman in the White House yet and the economic gender gap may not be closed for another 217 years, but what we *do* have in 2018 is an army of strong, savage and marvelously funny female characters to cheer for, laugh with, and laugh at.

From 1990s classics to the very best of what’s hot right now, here are 11 female-led favorites to binge during Women’s History Month (and every month) from Harold Ramis Film School students

Fried Green Tomatoes – 1991

Fried Green Tomatoes was one of my mom’s favorite movies, and I used to watch it on TV with her when I was younger. It’s just a great story of friendship, love, loss, sexuality and revenge. It’s funny at times, sad at others, and there is a small town magnetism to the characters that makes you want to see them succeed. Jessica Tandy, Mary Louise-Parker and Kathy Bates are amazing (as always), and the film is worth watching if for no other reason than to see what happens to Ruth’s abusive husband Frank. It’s pretty great. -Adam Simers

A League of Their Own – 1992

With spring on the way, A League of Their Own is a guaranteed good time. It’s a perfect movie and knocks my socks off every single time I watch it. -Mari Kempes

Spice World – 1997

Spice World was my favorite movie as a kid. It’s campy, fun, full of dumb cameos and that “Leader of the Pack” song that’s not on any of their albums, even though they get interrupted halfway through it. If you haven’t seen it, it’s got sketch comedy, miniatures, aliens, and the Spice Girls (pre-Forever). Recommended for anyone who knows all the words to “Say You’ll Be There.” -Dustin Chilton (Twitter @craigdonuts)

Mean Girls – 2004

I am here for Regina George and all of her shenanigans because, let’s face it, a good bully has been the catalyst for 71.3% of the things we did to embarrass ourselves, which ultimately became our own personal comedic gold mines. Penned by Second City alum Tina Fey, the story follows new student Cady (Lindsay Lohan) as she gains and loses her seat at the popular table after she crushes on Regina’s ex. The shade. The rampant sabotaging. The mandatory female solidarity session that shames you out of girl-on-girl crime is all the laughs and feels you need to refuel your hope for humanity. -Tavia Woodie (Insta @taviaveli)

Parks and Recreation – 2009

It’s hard to put into words how much Parks and Recreation means to me. I legitimately cry every time I watch the finale. Simply put, it’s the reason I wanted to write comedy. That doesn’t happen without the magnificence that is Amy Poehler in the lead role as Leslie Knope. An astounding role model of honesty, hard work, friendship, passion, and happiness, Leslie Knope is the hero we all need. And she loves her government job?!?! This show, and Leslie in particular, reveal just how much impact one person can have. -Ian Mullen (Twitter/Insta @yahhn_)

In a World… –  2013

In a world where it’s hard enough to successfully write, direct or act in a film, Lake Bell wonderfully does all three. The film follows Carol Soloman (Bell) as she attempts to break into a subgenre of a subgenre of a subgenre: movie trailer voiceovers. She is forced to covertly compete against her father, Sam (Fred Melamed) and his protegé Gustav (Ken Marino) for the opportunity to revive the late Don LaFontaine’s famous “in a world…” set-up. -Tony Lazzeroni (Twitter/Insta @filmstudentpod)

Jane the Virgin – 2014

Created by Jennie Snyder Urman, Jane the Virgin is a telenovela about a Catholic Latina virgin who is accidentally artificially inseminated at a routine check-up. There is so much to love about this show: snarky narrator, hot love triangle, magical realism, and the incredible ensemble led by Gina Rodriguez as Jane. -Bria Schultz (Insta @vaudvel)

Trainwreck – 2015

I love this original, funny film written by Amy Schumer and based on her life. It breaks down the female comedy heroine in such a unique, realistic, and empowered way that I can’t help but rewatch it again and again. It makes me laugh, cry, cringe, and laugh again. Will fight to the death for this “trainwreck.” -Claire Noone

Fleabag – 2016

If Phoebe Waller-Bridge giving a laugh-inducing, fourth-wall breaking, real-time monologue about anal sex doesn’t pull you out of a depression, I don’t know what will. Fleabag is about a woman dealing with modern London life while trying to cope with…well, I can’t really say. Going into more detail would spoil it, and I really don’t want to do that. Just look it up, okay? I promise it won’t disappoint.  -Bethany Berg (Twitter @bethanymberg)

I’m Sorry – 2017

Andrea Savage’s character is relatably quirky and a little immature. She’s a wife, mother and comedy writer, but she lets her inner 12-year-old out all the time. She’s constantly saying awkward things to other parents at school or in attempts at connecting with others. One minute, she’s killing the adulting game: confident, funny, and put-together. The next, she’s back-tracking on an inadvertently offensive joke and digging a deeper hole while trying to save face. I basically AM the main character (minus motherhood), and as a comedy film student, I want to make something as fun and relatable as the actual Andrea Savage has done with TruTV’s I’m Sorry. -Sarah Ammar (Twitter @SarahMarie516)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – 2017

Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls, anyone?), Amazon original series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the perfect combination of humor, feminism, and vintage NYC eye candy. Rachel Brosnahan stars as Midge, a housewife who turns stand-up comedienne when her marriage falls apart. If being a female in stand-up comedy is hard today, imagine being one in the 1950s. (If only The Second City Training Center’s stand-up classes were around back then!) -Bria Schultz

The Harold Ramis Film School is the only film school in the world focused entirely on comedy. To find out more, check out ramisfilmschool.com.

Want to create your own strong female characters? Register for Writing Strong Women, an online class that will help you create female forces that drive your work. 

Hilarious Right? Follow the Second City For More