Earlier tonight I was over at my pal Lesley's, to watch one of our weekly double features. This week our theme was "girls on a mission," so we watched All I Wanna Do and Sleepover. Although Sleepover did have lots of cameos from famous people and was pretty girl-positive over all, it is All I Wanna Do that was surprisingly feminist and inspirational (although I can't say exactly why that surprised me, beyond the fact that I just figure most movies will be fairly formulaic). Here is the cover:
The movie takes place at an all-girls' school in the early 1960s (although it was made in 1998 and stars tons of recognizable gals). The main characters are a group of students who call themselves the DAR (Daughters of the American Ravioli) and are dedicated to helping one another achieve their dreams and resisting societal expectations. It was so refreshing to see girls talk about wanting to help one another become scientists and writers instead of just competing for male attention! (Though there are some romances in the movie as well, so don't worry about a lack of that, they are just not front and center to the plot.)
The basic premise is that the students think the school is totally oppressive, until they learn through their rebellious hijinx that boys are going to be allowed in to their school the next year. At that point, the girls start to realize that out in the real world, women are treated as second-class citizens, and that an all-girls' school is a great environment for them to learn in. They become empowered as females and start to work together to affect a change. I won't give away the ending, but it is inspirational, if a bit cheesy. I had feminist goosebumps!
Plus, as an added bonus, all of the music and clothing in the movie is really cool. Everyone wears these adorable dresses and haircuts, and they play awesome 60s pop music at their school dances. And even though the girls are cute, they are also fairly realistic-looking. They also use all of this charming and hilarious slang, like "up your ziggy with a wa-wa brush!" I am not sure what it means, but it is funny. I recommend it to anyone who likes teen movies but doesn't want to have to sacrifice their feminist politics. It is a win-win!