Because sometimes we all need a little movie-motivitation to inspire us to say what we need to say.
Whether we’re inspired, motivated, or entertained by our favorite female characters in our beloved movie classics, there’s a part of us that relishes those moving or sometimes even sassy monologues.
These are the ones that make you think twice before you let someone take advantage, or the ones that make you believe in love again, or even the monologues that have you laughing off the edge of your seat, letting you know it’s okay to be yourself and to let your goofy-flag fly!
These are movies we grew up watching, or recent hits we’ve been begging our friends and family to watch. Read on as we discuss our top 20 favorite (and down right empowering) female monologues from movies varying in every genre.
1. The Help
“You is smart, you is kind, you is important.”
While not a long monologue performed by Viola Davis, it’s impactful nonetheless. As a nanny to an uptight and ignorant family, Davis’ character Aibileen grows a deep bond with the young girl she cares for.
Not only does the mother of the house treat Aibileen horribly, she also is a terrible mother to her only child, often times ignoring her or letting her cry alone and sit in dirty diapers for hours. To show the young girl she is loved and special, Aibileen repeats these words to her: “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.”
2. Pretty Woman
“Do you remember me…”
The ultimate f*** you. We love when Julia Roberts shows up to the luxury boutique (that initially denied her and turned her away), with thousands of dollars in clothes, shoes and accessories. And oh, the ultimate gut wrenching moment: “You work off commission, right?”
3. He’s Just Not That Into You
“I’d rather be like that, than be like you.”
When Ginnifer Goodwin as Gigi (can’t help but be the hopeless romantic) begins to imagine herself and co-star Justin Long have begun dating based upon on the time they spend together, she quickly gets shut down. Her epic monologue following her denial speaks to every hopeful girl looking to meet her one-and-only.
She mentions how it’s important to put yourself out there and to have faith, because that’s how you meet someone worthy of falling in love with. If you play it cool and play games, you may have a lot of dates, but you’ll never be in something meaningful.
4. Legally Blonde
“You must always have faith in yourself…”
Talk about drive and perseverance, Elle Woods from Legally Blonde defied all the odds and obstacles placed against her. From starting off at Harvard Law School as one of the bottom students, she managed to become the Valedictorian — and with that came this memorizing speech.
She demonstrated to us that you must always have passion for what you do and believe in who you are. With that, you can conquer the world.
5. Great Gatsby
“Stupid little fool…”
While Daisy is admitting to Tom’s infidelity and expressing the lack of power she has over the situation, she realizes how tough it is to be a smart woman in the 1920s. She talks of her daughter, knowing the life and world she has ahead of her, and hopes that she grows up to be a stupid little fool (clueless about the world around her) so she doesn’t have to experience the same pain she has.
6. Cinderella Story
“Waiting for you is like waiting for rain in this drought…”
Our favorite spin on the iconic Disney-inspired fairytale, Cinderella Story featuring Hillary Diff and Chad Michael Murray is the classic tale of high school stereotypes. When the jock (Murray) falls for the shy nerdy type (Duff), there’s bound to be a little drama.
In this monologue, Duff’s character Sam isn’t afraid to bare it all out, express her disappointments, and be secure in who she is and what she has to offer the world. Ultimately, this moving speech leaves Austin (Murray) to rethink his actions and man-up.
7. Princess Diaries
“My thoughts, and the thoughts of people smarter than me, would be much better heard. And just maybe, those thoughts could be turned into actions.”
When Mia (played by Anne Hathaway) discovers she’s heir to a throne and a newly discovered princess, her main objective is to hide and deny any responsibility — she is sixteen, after all. In the end of the movie acceptance speech to the throne (ATTN: spoiler), she discloses that while she may not have all the answers, she does have those around to help her.
With this new title and responsibility, she now has a platform to really change lives, as well as given the opportunity to have important voices heard.
8. Iron Jawed Angels
“You want some means of self-expression, some way of satisfying your personal ambitions. So do I. Want a voice in the government which you live. So do I. What is there to explain?”
A true feminist film, Iron Jawed Angels starring Hillary Swank tells the story of women’s oppression and their fight for the right to vote. During her hunger strike in prison, Swank’s character is trying to reason with authority.
In this monologue, she simply describes how she wants a say and role in her life, her government, and her body — simplicities that were not granted to women at the time.
9. The Devil Wears Prada
“You think this has nothing to do with you.”
Oh Meryl, how she can take something like a color and turn it into the most insulting burn the fashion industry has ever seen. While working for ‘Runway’ magazine, Andi (Anne Hathaway) is out of touch with the fashion world and thinks it’s quite silly.
When Andi burst out an innocent giggle at a very serious meeting, Miranda (Meryl Streep) does not have it. She implies how, while Andi doesn’t believe she’s a part of the fashion industry, is in fact involved by the top she’s wearing, as the color is a part of a multi-million dollar industry. Way to go, Meryl.
10. Never Been Kissed
“You’ll spend your lives trying to keep people down, because it’ll make you feel more important.”
If you could go back and relive your high school prom, would you? Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed did, and guess what? While she won the title of prom queen and got the ideal do-over, it didn’t change the perception of high school.
In this monologue, Drew’s character Josie explains how being cool in high school isn’t everything and life will move on. The only problem? The mean and judgmental kids of high school will continue to put others down to make themselves feel better — and it will turn out to bring them nowhere.
11. Easy A
“Because I’m being judged by a jury of my peers, I will attempt to insert ‘like’ and ‘totally’ as much as possible.”
Rumors were spread about Olive (Emma Stone), and in her online v-log monologue she makes sure to set the record straight to her classmates. She explains how bashing and shaming her without the facts was hurtful, and while she fed into it, it doesn’t mean it didn’t matter. Claiming she’s free to be herself without external judgments.
12. Hidden Figures
“I work like a dog, day and night. Living off coffee from a pot that none of you want to touch. So excuse me…”
Taraji P. Henson’s character Katherine get’s yelled at by her boss for not being at her desk as they’re working on an important project. It is at that point she had two options: to apologize or stand up for herself.
Thank goodness she chose the latter, because in her monologue, she explains how she has to walk for over an hour to get to the bathroom made for colored women and how her discrimination is impacting her job — not only because she feels less than human with unfair treatment, but being one of the most intelligent people in her office she isn’t able to spend ample time doing her work.
13. Me Before You
“I’m just trying to do my job as best as I can, so it’d be really nice if you didn’t try to make my life as miserable as everybody else’s.”
The Mother of Dragons takes on a romantic role in Me Before You. While we do love Emilia Clark as a bada** queen in Game of Thrones, we also love her as the quirky character of Clark.
In this monologue, her happy-go-lucky demeanor is turned around the moment her co-star Will (Sam Claflin) belittles her. She goes on to demand he stop making her job difficult and she’s going to continue to stay until she’s fired by his mother. Ultimately meaning there’s nothing he can do or say, because she’s not there for him, she’s there for the money.
14. Erin Brockovich
“Think long and hard about what your spine is worth.”
Winning Julia Roberts an Oscar, her role in Erin Brockovich turned us all into wanna be investigators. During her meeting with the officials at PG&E, she stands up for her clients in the best way possible.
When PG&E belittles them and continues to tell the lawyers it’s more money than these people have ever seen, she harshly interrupts with how these people also didn’t expect to have or see their organs failings and massive health problems. She concludes the meeting by pointing out the water they have been drinking throughout the meeting has come from the contaminated town.
15. Up In The Air
“What does that make me… someone who falls for the prick.”
Sometimes we all want to talk about how the simplicities of life, such as a breakup and heartbreak, can actually be quite intricate. When Anna Kendrick’s character Natalie gets broken up with via text, she goes on to explain her process of dating and it’s just so gosh-darn-relatable.
We just need to make sure we’re not being superficial and looking for the right qualities in someone when it comes to love.
16. La La Land
“Maybe I’m not good enough…”
We’ve all been through our fair share of struggles, and for Mia (Emma Stone), she lives through hers everyday. Desperately trying to be an actress in LA, she goes through the ups and downs of what it’s like to make it in show business.
In her monologue, she has the relatable breakdown — the one where we tell ourselves we’re not good enough. The one where we’re convinced the world is out to get us.
17. Perks of Being a Wallflower
“Why do I, and everyone I love, pick people who treat us like we’re nothing?”
It’s easy to fall for the troubled ones, or the ones who maybe don’t like us back. Is it the chase? Or is it the possibility that we subconsciously don’t want to be with someone with potential?
Whatever the reason, Emma Watson’s character describes our pain so well. Why is it that we subject ourselves to people who don’t deserve us?
18. The Blind Side
“This team is your family, Michael. You have to protect them.”
Taking home another Oscar on this list, Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side plays a wealthy middle-aged mother who takes in homeless teen Michael Oher. Her character Leigh Anne is ultimate mom goals and keeps both a sassy and nurturing demeanor.
In this monologue, when the coach is trying to teach Michael how to play, Leigh Anne steps up and instructs him perfectly. Claiming it’s all about knowing who you’re talking to.
19. Mean Girls
“I don’t know why people dream of this thing… it’s just plastic.”
A staple film from the mid-2000s, Mean Girls (while giving both Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan their big breaks) also gave a reflection to teenagers to think long and hard about why the act the way they do. Whether from external pressure, the desire to fit in, or teen angst, it’s up to us to look at our predicament and change it.
In this monologue by Lohan’s character Caty, she explains how silly it is to want to be prom queen (or popular) as it’s a fake (plastic) placement and underlying subjective. The real lesson: just be who you are, and that’s good enough!
20. Notting Hill
“I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”
Julia Roberts is killing it on this list, either because we have a soft spot for the iconic 90s actress, or she just crushes it when it comes to bomb monologues. We think the latter.
In this speech from Notting Hill, Roberts’ character, who is a famous actress, is asking a boy (Hugh Grant) to just love her back as a normal person, not as a famous actress. Not to mention, this phrase has been used in many memes and GIFs to try and give us all the feels. So #relatable.
Elizabeth Blasi is a New Yorker. A lifestyle and travel writer, who is often seen with a suitcase in hand jetsetting to her next location. But as a true Digital Nomad, her love of writing and romance novels means her laptop is always beside her.