When you’re menstruating, choosing an appropriate film to capture your complex rainbow of emotions is no easy feat. You want something with heart, but nothing so sappy that you get pulled into a bottomless hole of hormonal despair. You want something humorous, but without the bawdy edge of mainstream comedic blockbusters. You want something romantic, but not a film full of un-relatable hot people.
It can be treacherous terrain to navigate, particularly in a delicate emotional state.
The next time you’re on your period and in need of some emotionally-satisfying entertainment, just look to this list. These are just a few pre-approved films which are A.) actually entertaining movies, for the most part, and B.) satisfying for all of your sensitive, cramp-ridden needs.
And no, Carrie isn’t one of them, smart-ass.
Magic Mike XXL
When wading in a raging sea of hormones, we must take solace in the beefy arms of male strippers — either literally or figuratively. Unlike the first Magic Mike iteration, the sequel has no particular stakes or conflicts. All Magic Mike XXL cares about is treating ladies like #Queens and catering (alright, pandering) to what its female audience members want. And if you’re in the throes of menstrual cramping, you may as well feast your eyes on a well-oiled Channing Tatum while you’re at it.
Bridget Jones’ Diary
I have an admitted soft spot for Bridget Jones’ Diary — is there any other movie which would allow its romantic heroine to not only contradict the stereotypical standards of rom-com body types, but also run down the street in her underwear? I doubt it, but if you find one, please mail it to me in an unmarked envelope. This movie is perfect for ~*that time of the month*~ as it allows us all to partake in the TOTALLY OUTLANDISH notion that we can be a normal human being and still find love.
Sense and Sensibility
Periods are the time for period pieces, y’all! (I apologize to everyone everywhere for that remark.) This classic film, starring a very young Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson, is based upon the Jane Austen book of the same name — which means that its female characters are highly developed and independent, and usually have a bone to pick with the haughty men in their lives. There’s heartbreak, there’s love, there are antiquated diseases … pretty much everything needed for a hormonal movie binge-fest.
Out of Africa
This movie, inspired by the life of author Karen Blixen (who wrote under the pen name of Isak Dinesen) possesses all of the “gimmes” required from a menstruation-approved film: wealthy people during wartime (World War I, to be exact), Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, elaborate accents, and sex on a canopy bed. I’m sold, you’re sold, we’re all sold.
Gone With The Wind
Yes, this movie is an estimated 15 hours long (okay, four hours, but that’s basically the same thing), but what else are you going to do with your time? Sit around with a heating pad on your stomach? Watching one of the most iconic love triangles in cinematic history would be a much better use of your time.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
This movie freely gives you permission to both laugh and cry, preferably at the same time. Even if you haven’t experienced a recent breakup, watching someone on the bottom rung slowly work their way to top is a surefire way to satisfy the hormonal rage inside of you. Bonus: puppets, I guess?
Julie & Julia
The best movie to watch while you curb your chocolate cravings. Julie & Julia has a healthy dose of “Meryl Streep With An Accent,” which, as mentioned above, is an absolute must when surfing the crimson wave. Plus, the sunny cinematography and gorgeous food porn is sure to put even the grumpiest of PMS-ers in a better mood.
If you’re feeling emotional about the state of modern relationships and your cynicism is growing more acute with each day of your menstrual cycle, High Fidelity will at least spoon-feed you the (totally absurd) notion that a toxic commitment-phobe can actually have a change of heart. This particular John Cusack installment may also make you slightly more sympathetic to the plights of idiot men — but only slightly. WARNING: this movie will make you want to text your ex. Please resist this urge.
A League Of Their Own
A movie about a tight-knit group talented female baseball players defying gender norms and putting any antiquated notions about the abilities of female athletes to rest? AND Madonna teaches everyone how to unlock their sexuality and maybe also read erotica?? Add a dash of Tom Hanks and sprinkle of smashing the patriarchy, and you’ve got yourself a Menstrual Movie Winner.
Three friends in a small town on the East Coast learn about life and love (and probably other stuff) while working at a local pizzeria. If that summary doesn’t tug at your ovaries’ heartstrings, nothing will. This is also Julia Roberts’ first movie, and it is probably the last time Vince D’Onfrio was handsome onscreen. Do yourself a favor and absorb this piece of cinematic history.