Tomorrow is my little sister Lucy’s seventeenth birthday. Because we’re only two years apart, and our birthdays only ten days apart, we’ve grown up to be very close. We have about a million and one inside jokes and stupid stories between us, are close friends with each other’s friends, share clothes without too much fighting and really are best friends.
Close relationships between sisters is something I feel films are slightly lacking, though it is something that I feel is starting to make a comeback. Last year gave us Sisters with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey and Trainwreck featuring Amy Schumer and Brie Larson as honest depictions of sisters. Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence have also announced they’ve finished a screenplay for a film in which they play sisters that they’ll be making soon – and I’m writing a screenplay at the moment about a pair of sisters. There’s also Pride and Prejudice and Zombies coming out very soon, though I don’t know how much that will focus on the sisters with the added threat of zombies in it.
So, in honour of Lucy’s birthday, here’s a list of great films about sisters:
Hocus Pocus (1993)
This is a Halloween film but it’s just too good not to watch all year round. It’s about a teenager named Max who’s just moved to Salam, Massachusetts, who along with his little sister and a girl he’s interested in light the town’s infamous Black Flame Candle, unintentionally bringing three witches back from the dead. These witches are the Sanderson sisters, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, who are genius as witches brought into the twentieth century. The relationship between the three sisters is hilarious, everything about the film brilliant and the soundtrack amazing. Seriously, if you haven’t seen this, change that immediately.
Little Women (1994)
This is still the most heartbreaking film for me. It follows the lives of the March sisters, who are growing up during and after the American Civil War. With their beloved father away in the war, the sisters are guided by their strong-willed ‘Marmee’ as they each struggle with their problems. Each sister is so individual; Meg, the eldest, beautiful; Jo (the heroine of the story) tempestuous, Beth, tender, and the youngest, Amy, romantic. It’s such a beautiful story with beautiful moments, and this 1994 retelling is by far the best adaptation of the book.
Lucy isn’t so keen on Frozen now because it’s so overhyped, but she can’t deny that when we saw this film on Christmas Eve of 2013 we left sobbing and holding on to each other. Anna and Elsa are so different to each other yet grow to be best friends, and go to massive lengths to save each other even when they’ve grown apart. When we were in Disneyworld we dressed as the sisters for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and even met them the next day.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Classic nineties teen film. It’s based on Shakespeare’s Taming of a Shrew, and follows the story of a new student who has to find a guy to date the meanest girl in school – the older sister of the girl he has a crush on, who cannot date until her older sister does. Julia Stiles is brilliant as the quick witted and feisty “heinous bitch” eldest sister, Kat, but we all know that one of the biggest reasons for watching the film is for how cute Joseph Gordon Levitt is and how devastatingly gorgeous Heath Ledger is in it.
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Pride & Prejudice is a classic, and I love it. The 1995 miniseries produced by the BBC is perhaps a little preferred by fans of the book, but as this list is of films I’m including the 2005 adaptation starring Keira Knightly. The story is about the Bennett sisters, and their mother’s quest for each of them to find a husband. The protagonist is Elizabeth (Lizzie), the second eldest of the five sisters, who range from elegant and kind, to plain and boring to loud and obnoxious. The relationship I like most is the one between the two eldest, Jane and Lizzie. I can often hear this film playing through the wall as my next door neighbour watches it all. The. Time.
My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
As I’ve said before, I love Studio Ghibli films. My Neighbour Totoro a beautiful story about two sisters who move to the Japanese countryside to be near their unwell mother and wind up having adventures with the forest spirits who live nearby. It’s beautiful animation and a beautiful story to match, and a total cult classic.
The Parent Trap (1998)
Even though I love the ‘Let’s get Together’ song from the 1961 original film, it’s the remake starring Lindsey Lohan that I love. The story follows identical twins, who, separated at birth and raised each by one of their biological parents find each other by chance at a summer camp, and plot to reunite their parents by switching places when they return back home. Despite everything in her personal life, I still stand by the fact that Lindsey Lohan is a talented actress, and her film debut here gained her multiple awards for playing both girls.
My Sister’s Keeper (2009)
This film follows young teenager Anna, who’s older sister, Kate, suffers from leukemia. Anna was born as a “saviour sister”, conceived by the parents specifically so that she could save Kate’s life by being a donor for her various medical needs. When Anna turns thirteen, she petitions for medical emancipation. Though this film is nice, I think the beautiful storyline of it was dumbed down too much for the audience. Then again, that was how I felt about it when I watched it a few years ago so I might need to re-watch it and see what I make of it now. I do know however that the film leaves out the shocking twist featured in the book – which I really think is the most heartbreaking part of the story. Never the less, the relationship between the sisters is so beautiful.
All of these films are ones me and Lucy have enjoyed together, and I hope she has the best birthday ever.