Must List

Greta Gerwig movies to watch in preparation for Barbie

Let's be real: We've been counting down the days until the new Barbie movie drops this July—especially after our exclusive one-on-one with Ariana Greenblatt, who's featured in the film *and* on the front cover of our April/May issue! Not to mention the star-studded trailer that just dropped this morning (peep your first look at Barbie Land below).

With Barbie, there's sooo much to be excited about: the amaze scenery, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as everyone's favorite dreamhouse couple and, of course, the retro neon pink fits.

What's more, the film was made by Greta Gerwig, star screenwriter, director and actor. Gerwig started out in the indie film world, but began gaining mainstream success in recent years by working on more big-budget projects. To date, Gerwig has been nominated for countless prestigious awards (hello, Oscars!) and is widely recognized as an influential figure in filmmaking.


It's no secret that we love our female filmmakers, and Greta Gerwig is def a trailblazer in the business of creating movies about women's issues, girlhood and growing up. If you just *can't* wait until you can go see Barbie on the big screen, here are our picks for a few other flicks to tide you over until this summer! 

Lady Bird (2017)

Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Beanie Feldstein and Timothée Chalamet, is a coming-of-age movie that is almost *too* relatable. The main character Christine—who gives herself the name "Lady Bird"—is a senior at a Catholic high school in California. She prepares for the prom, obsesses over boys, worries about where she'll go to college and, most of all, bickers with her mom (you know, typical teenage girl stuff). Although it's got some hilarious jokes, this one is a tearjerker, so be prepared for a complicated-but-ultimately-touching depiction of mother/daughter relationships. 

Content warning: Language, brief sexual content, some underage drinking and smoking

Little Women (2019)

If you grew up reading Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, you're going to love Greta Gerwig's adaptation for the screen. This heartwarming—and sometimes heartbreaking—story about sisterhood reminds us to stick by the people we love (even if it means dealing with some family drama now and again!). Plus, whether you're more of a Meg, Jo, Beth or Amy (find out here!), you've got to appreciate the period-piece fashion. Capes and corsets never looked so cute.

Frances Ha (2012)

Aspiring dancer and quirky New Yorker Frances has no idea what she's doing with her life—but she's still got to navigate all the highs and lows of dating, making art and finding her place in the big city. This black-and-white dramedy, Frances Ha, is the perf watch for anyone who's a sucker for onscreen female friendships. The unbreakable bond between Frances and her BFF Sophie is absolute bestie goals. 

Content warning: Language, sexual references

20th Century Women (2016)

Set in 1970s Santa Barbara, 20th Century Women follows tween boy Jamie, who spends all his time with three strong-willed women. Greta Gerwig plays the artistic, eccentric Abbie, a punk-rock photographer that lives with Jamie and his single mother. Although this is the only film on our list that doesn't credit Gerwig as a writer or director, her memorable performance in front of the camera shows off her impressive acting chops. If you're a fan of dialogue-driven, slow-burn films, screening 20th Century Women is the move.

Content warning: Language, brief drug use, sexual content

Which one of these Greta Gerwig films is your fave? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

Top image: @barbiethemovie
Slider image: @littlewomenmovie
All GIFs via Giphy


by Madelon Basil | 4/4/2023