Top Ten Female Movie Characters :: Top Ten Tuesday
1. Clementine Kruczynski
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Without a doubt my number one favorite cinematic female character, one who I deeply relate to and understand, and feel most like, in both good, and not so good ways. The way she loves, her insecurities, her issues, her heart, her flaws, and the persistence she possesses, is beautiful to me. Even when I recognize that she’s messing up, I still root for her – every time – and envy her hair!
“Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours.” ~ Clementine
2. Lelaina Pierce
Reality Bites (1994)
I felt so much like Lelaina at 23, except for the fact that I also had a baby daughter. Beyond that, though, I felt both inspired and lost, I was trying desperately to “find myself” (as if one ever does), I fell for the artist who may have been the wrong one to fall for (jury’s still out/my heart still falls for the Troy’s of this world), my friends were my family, and music and pop culture was an intrinsic part of my language, and I even had her hair. I still love her, even when she makes bad decisions, and I love her relationship with Vickie, and yes, with Troy, too.
“I just don’t understand why things just can’t go back to normal at the end of the half hour like on the Brady Bunch or something.” ~ Lelaina
3. Penny Lane
Almost Famous (2000)
Oh Penny Lane, I love you even though it breaks my heart watching you sometimes. The way she loves – music and people and life – and how both strong and vulnerable she is, how she inspires and makes people feel, how she creates magic and family, and yes, the way she breaks, her character feels a part of me, and I am always very drawn to her. Second to Clementine, she is one of the characters I most relate to in film.
“I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriosuly, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.” ~ Penny Lane
4. Princess Leia Organa
Star Wars series
In a world of princess in peril and waiting around for their prince to come, along came a princess that changed the story, and gave me a role model who would shape the way I saw myself, and the world around me. She was strong, she kicked ass, she fought and ruled and was wise, and she was also emotional, and passionate and loved deeply, and she had moments of both being rescued, and rescuing, and she was (is) a survivor. Complex and amazing, Princess Leia MATTERED to me as a young girl (and still does).
“I don’t know who you are or where you came from, but from now on you’ll do as I tell you, okay?” ~ Princess Leia Organa
5. Holly Golightly
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
A chameleon, in some ways like Clementine (a trait I relate to in both), strong but very vulnerable, complex and flawed, but loves big, even if she doesn’t trust love very much, Holly is complicated in ways that make her real to me. I know the book is different in many ways to the film (I’ve yet to read the book – someday), so I can only comment on her cinematic version, which I immensely feel for. Sometimes I watch the film, and her, and she makes me cry and hurt, and other times the movie, and Holly, make me feel inspired to write, and/or hopeful and happy – I suppose all art is like that to me, different depending on where and how I am when I take it, and retake it, in.
“I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.” ~ Holly
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Me and Molly, as an adolescent she played some of my favorite characters, but none of them connected with me as much as Andie did. I was the poor girl with the single parent (mom for me) who went to the rich school that I had a scholarship for, though I didn’t make my own clothes I shared a lot of her style sensibilities, worked in a record store (two actually) and dealt with some of the stereotypical rich kids, too. I’m a much bigger fan of Andie (and Iona) than I am of either of the “boy choices” in the film, especially as I’ve gotten older and re-watched the movie so much – I really want her to choose neither (and/or maybe have a fling with Steff).
“I just want them to know that they didn’t break me.” ~ Andie
6. Alyssa Jones
Chasing Amy (1997)
Oh how I love Alyssa, her spirit, her fluidity, her sense of self, her persona, her humor, and her heart. When I saw “Chasing Amy” in the 90’s I remember wishing I could be like her, seeing her as brave and bold in ways, and about things, that I was shy and insecure about. I feel closer to her now, and was once in a relationship much like the one she is in with Holden, and have had to defend my past before, too – I think she’s such an important female character (is she the first bisexual female film character?) – cheers to Kevin Smith for writing her, and for Joey Lauren Adams portrayal of her.
“I love you, I always will. Know that. But I’m not your fucking whore.” ~ Alyssa
Sometimes the Mom’s story in “Boyhood” feels so familiar, and hit on such painful memories, that it is hard to watch, but then again, it also makes me feel less alone in my story, and also proud of where I’ve come from, and gotten to. Patricia Arquette’s portrayal of the Mom (I wish she was given a name) was phenomenal, and just barely edged out my previous favorite role of hers (see #9). In many ways I feel that this is more the Mom’s story, than the boys, but maybe that’s because of my perspective, as a Mom, who has shared some of the story she has within the film.
“I’ve spent the first half of my life acquiring all this stuff and now I’ll spend the second half getting rid of it!” ~ Mom
9. Alabama Whitman-Worley
True Romance (1993)
Alabama is a hero to me, the ways she LOVES in big, bold capital letters, and her extraordinary strength, persistence and fight. She has this optimism to her that is juxtaposed with a very rough life, but despite the rough go’s, she has this naivete and heart that makes her so amazing to me. I believe in Alabama.
“I had to come all the way from the highway and byways of Tallahassee, Florida to MotorCity, Detroit to find my true love. If you gave me a million years to ponder, I would never have guessed that true romance and Detroit would ever go together. And til this day, the events that followed all still seems like a distant dream. But the dream was real and was to change our lives forever. I kept asking Clarence why our world seemed to be collapsing and things seemed to be getting so shitty. And he’d say, “that’s the way it goes, but don’t forget, it goes the other way too.” That’s the way romance is… Usually, that’s the way it goes, but every once in awhile, it goes the other way too.” ~ Alabama
Modern Girls (1986)
Smart, literate, sarcastic, red lipstick/black clothing (yes!) style, and a big, big heart make up Margo, and make up many of the reasons I love her so much. She takes care of her friends, even if they don’t see it, and is much more complex than her cool and distant demeanor suggests. I love when she let’s some of her surface walls down, and we start to see the other sides of her, the wilder sides and her inner vulnerability.
“And we never buy our own drinks.” ~ Margo