20 Best Movies for a Mother-Daughter Movie Night

pizza express etna

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.

pizza express etna

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.

mean girls

2. Twilight

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.” 

twlight movie

3. Clueless

“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.

clueless tween movies

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.

best tween movies

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.” 

best tween movies

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.

best tween movies

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?

best tween movies

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.

best movies for tween girls

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.” 

best movies for tween girls

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.

best movies for 12 year olds

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.

best movies for tween girls

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).

best movies for 12 year olds

13. Aliens

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.

best movies for 12 year olds

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.

best movies for 12 year olds

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.

best movies for 12 year olds

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.

best movies for 12 year olds


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). 


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 29th September 2016 / 11:54 am

    Totally agree with you about it being a moral obligation to share The Princess Bride with our kids. It’s on my list for sure.

    I have recently enjoyed watching the Back to the Future trilogy with my almost-9-year-old daughter. And if you can get past Pierce Brosnan’s singing, Mamma Mia is fun too 🙂
    Ruth (geekmummy) recently posted..On Flexible Working and Working FlexiblyMy Profile

    • Sally
      30th September 2016 / 10:45 am

      Flea loved 1 and 2 but the disappointment of 3 was almost more than she could bear…

  2. 29th September 2016 / 1:19 pm

    Oh you have introduced your daughter to Dirty Dancing, you legend. Patrick Swayze was such a hearthrob when I was about 10. When he became all shrivelled and old looking – and then dead – I felt SO old. I’m gutted we don’t have Deliveroo around here, such a fab idea!
    Plutonium Sox recently posted..Inspirational parents #20 – Papa TontMy Profile

    • Sally
      30th September 2016 / 10:45 am

      You can’t NOT, surely? And Deliveroo rocks, although rather dangerously we’ve found they also deliver to the office…

    • Sally
      30th September 2016 / 10:42 am

      haha! Frozen gets old very fast. Fridays are much easier when they’re excited about Footloose 🙂

  3. 29th September 2016 / 10:16 pm

    Hahaha love the Pretty in Pink comment. This is a FAB list and just what I need right now, so thanks!
    Steph Curtis recently posted..MAD Blog Awards 2016My Profile

    • Sally
      30th September 2016 / 10:45 am

      Hope it improves your weekend 🙂

  4. 30th September 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Fantastic list. I will being having a Mama/son movie night with all these in a few years. Plus fact for you to enjoy, I know the script to Bring it on almost word for word.

  5. 30th September 2016 / 12:18 pm

    Legally Blonde is the film which inspired me to do a-levels and eventually go to university. That might sound lame, but I found it so inspiring! I still watch it any time I feel low.

    Bring it on is also an absolute favourite and makes me laugh all the way through!

    Will have to check out some of the others and bring out the teenager in me!
    HelpfulMum recently posted..Top 5 Legoland Windsor TipsMy Profile

  6. 30th September 2016 / 1:30 pm

    YES! BRING IT ON! Sausage and I have been making our way through a lot of these classics latey, but Bring it On is one that I hadn’t thought of, so thanks for the reminder! May I also recommend Pitch Perfect (1 AND 2), The Princess Diaries, What a Girl Wants and Ten Things I Hate About You 🙂
    Jayne Mum’s the Word recently posted..Win Four Tickets to Rave-a-Roo at Ministry of Sound!My Profile

  7. 30th September 2016 / 3:27 pm

    OK, I have sons, but sons that love pizza! But, can you believe it, we don’t have Deliveroo where we live?! We actually have to go out and get it – bit annoying, but always worth it! Thanks for the reminder of Princess Bride too, a film I never get bored of watching.
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  8. 1st October 2016 / 7:11 pm

    If you add Pitch Perfect, The Princess Diaries and The Prince and Me to that then you’ve basically got our favourite films to watch together although I’ve never seen the Princess Bride x