Friday night is pretty much the BEST part of the week, and what better way to kick off the weekend than with pizza and a movie?
In our house, Fridays are sacred. They’re one night when we have no commitments, no activities and generally no social engagements – so it’s the perfect time to relax with pizza, and a movie.
Now Flea’s 11, she doesn’t always want to watch “kids” movies, but she’s not quite old enough for some of the new releases. So today, I’m sharing 20 great movies to watch with your pre-teen daughters (or sons, come to think of it).
While I’m at it, I’ll also recommend the perfect pizza for your Friday night movie-fest.
This week, we were asked to try the new Pizza Express delivery via Deliveroo. Ordering via the Deliveroo app is ridiculously quick and simple. Choose a local restaurant, click on the food you want, pay using ApplePay (no more hunting for your wallet or bank card) and you’re done.
We tried the Etna pizza – a spicy combination of sausage and chilli, that pairs perfectly with a bottle of Diet Coke (who says we’re not sophisticated?). The Etna was discontinued in store last year but is back by popular demand – exclusively for customers ordering for delivery! We recommend adding dough balls for maximum effect, obviously.
Delivery took just 20 minutes and it was the perfect lazy Friday dinner: maximum taste, minimum effort. And now your pizza’s sorted, here are our movie recommendations!
Sixteen of the Best Movies for Tween Girls
1. Mean Girls
The high school movie that spawned a thousand catchphrases used in our house, from, “On Wednesdays, we wear pink,” to “I’m not a regular Mom, I’m a cool Mom.” Written by Tina Fey, it’s a sharp insight into high school, crushes and how you can be cool AND good at maths.
Movie night is no time to worry about being “cool”. So we love to watch this, one of best movies in the Twilight saga, and possibly the only one not to completely suck. You’ll know you made the right choice when this vampire-werewolf-vanilla girl love triangle gets going. My highlight? The scene where the brooding vampire with too much make-up says, “You’re like my own personal brand of heroin.”
“Hello? As IF!” Cher speaks for an entire gender in this movie when she questions low-slung jeans. For tweens, it’s a gentle rom-com with the great message that being a loyal friend and helping your community is just as cool as having the right ensemble for school.
4. Freaky Friday
For my money, the Jamie Lee Curtis and Linsday Lohan (I know, I know) version is smarter than the original with Jodie Foster. Perhaps because Jamie Lee Curtis just makes such a wonderful Mom trapped in a teen body. Also – Chad Michael Murray.
5. Pretty in Pink
You should watch ALL the John Hughes movies with your kids, but this one is a one of the best movies to start with. Although Flea’s response to her first viewing of this film was: “Is that how gay people dressed in the 80s?” “No, darling, that’s how we all dressed in the 80s.”
6. 13 Going on 30
If you don’t agree that Matty (played by Mark Ruffalo) in this movie is basically the Most. Perfect. Boyfriend. EVER, then I’m not sure we can be friends. When you’re 11, being a grown-up seems like all you’ll ever want – and this movie offers a glimpse into what happens when you grow up overnight and all your dreams come true. A really fun watch.
7. Dirty Dancing
My daughter was entranced by the idea of a summer resort, and although some of the dancing now looks a bit tame in the age of Ariana Grande, there’s still something magic about the story of Baby and Johnny. Great soundtrack, great storyline, it never gets old, does it?
8. Never Been Kissed
If you can get past the slightly questionable idea of an adult pretending to be a teenager, then making out with their teacher, then this movie is a winner. Actually, it’s a lovely film – and full of lots of positive messages about popularity and high school. Also Flea loves to laugh at the idea of an old (over 21) person thinking they could be cool.
9. Easy A
I fully adore this movie and it’s great for prompting conversations about reputations, slut shaming and the like. But it’s also wickedly funny with lines like, “I thought pretending to lose my virginity would be a little better. Judy Blume should have prepared me for this.”
10. Bend it like Beckham
If you’re like me and want your daughter to understand that sport is ABSOLUTELY something girls should get passionate about, this is the perfect movie. It’s a warm, funny story about becoming independent, being a part of a team, and also why it’s a really bad idea to snog your football coach.
11. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
This is one of the best movies to show girls who are about to have their first crush. It’s all about how boys can change friendships and turn sensible girls into crazy, borderline stalkers who practice snogging on the back of our hands and make idiots of ourselves at public occasions.
12. Legally Blonde
Much like Elle, the lead character in this movie, Legally Blonde is often dismissed as fluffy and light. Actually, it’s got a great point to make to younger girls – don’t let guys distract you from fulfilling your potential, and don’t let anyone judge you based on how you look (but don’t let them stop you caring about that, either).
Because everyone should sit down with their daughter and watch a movie with a woman who is kicking alien ass and taking names. Simple as that.
14. The Princess Bride
I’m adding this to the list because I’m not sure I could fully consider my work done as a Mum if my daughter didn’t understand how hilarious it is to ask if someone is “mostly dead” or to tell someone you hope they “have fun storming the castle!” It’s a comedy classic and a must-watch.
15. 17 Again
We love a good body-swap movie in this house (Vice Versa is an under-appreciated classic in his genre) and 17 Again is our favourite on a girls’ night. It’s the tale of a disappointed, divorced middle-aged guy who realised that if he was a teen again, he’d make all the wrong choices – because it turns out they’re the right ones. Lots of fun Star Wars jokes, Zac Afron looking beautiful, and great high school scenes galore.
16. Bring it On
This movie has got cheerleading, it’s got high schools at war, it’s got Kirsten Dunst. It’s pretty much an essential Friday night movie for tweens. And it’s a light watch that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but has enough good one-lines to have made it a cult classic.
So there you have it – 16 of the best movies for tween girls, perfect for your movie night or sleepover. Do let me know in the comments if I missed one of your favourites! (Also, we were sent free pizza by Pizza Express, to help with our movie night. But that doesn’t change the fact that you have a moral obligation to let your children see The Princess Bride).