The Bechdel test has only three rules so it’s pretty straight forward.
- The movie must have two named female characters
- The female characters must speak to each other
- They must talk about something besides a man.
Seems easy right? Well as easy as it seems many, many movies don’t pass it.
Like Gravity, The Avengers, all of Lord of the Rings, Ratatouille, Avatar, 21 JumpStreet,
The Grand Budapest Hotel and loads more of your favourite films.
But to save you time and effort trawling through netflix or flipping through channels I’ve compiled a list of my fav movies which do pass the Bechdel test.
Dykes to watch out for by Bechdel, Alison, 1960-
1 Howl’s Moving Castle
Howl’s Moving Castle is a beautiful movie that brings me straight back to my childhood but still holds its weight as I watch it in bed with my chinese and dog.
It’s a Studio Ghibili movie about a young woman who gets cursed by a witch and the only way to break it is through a cocky, dramatic young wizard who lives is a huge walking castle.
Most if not all Studio Ghibli movies pass the bechdel test, more than half have female leads and feature strong women with complex characters throughout. The animation style is beautiful and reminiscent of a past time.
2 To All the Boys I’ve loved before
A teenage girls love letters get revealed to everyone she wrote them to including her sisters boyfriend, and the most popular guy in school and havoc ensues.
It’s an easy watch and the perfect thing to watch after a long day or at a sleepover.
Despite the movie being centred around romance it still has two names female characters who do speak to each other and have names. The women in the movie are interesting and its on netflix!
3 Bend it like Beckham
Jesse’s traditional Sikh family wants her to give up football and to seek out a university education and man. She meets a new friend Jules who is also enthralled with football and together they pursue the sport.
This movie speaks to gender roles as well as having so many brilliant characters without being heavy. The movie is inspiring, witty and has an underlying social commentary about gender roles throughout.
4 Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2
Despite the bride having a code name and her real name not being revealed till late in the second movie she refers to herself by the bride up until that point.
The movie is based around The Bride killing various assassins, till she gets to her former boss and lover the synonymous Bill.
The movie is jam packed with action and brilliant visuals, it’s one of Tarantino’s most famous films and a cult classic.
It’s a movie I never get bored of and I’ve watched a billion and one times with my brother.
5 10 Things I Hate About You
Kat is an abrasive, witty, frustrated teenage feminist. Her father has a house rule with means her younger sister cannot date until she does. Strings are pulled and not before long Kat out of the blue begins to be pursued by Patrick.
The film is an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespere.
‘10 Things I Hate About You’ was my favorite movie growing up along with ‘The Princess Diaries’ another film which undoubtedly passes the bechdel test.
6 The Parent Trap
The Parent Trap is the perfect example of well rounded female characters. The Twins, Hallie and Allie both played by Linsey Lohan are both amazing, cool and imperfect.
This gives them depth and they’re not the only ones, the housekeeper Chessy, Entrepreneur Elizabeth and the gold-digging villain Merideth, all play different roles which don’t feel like footnotes in a story wrapped around the importance of men.
The bechdel test is not the be all and end all of feminist movies, but it is a wonderful way of getting a conversation going about the imbalance of female screentime.