In the past year films with female leads, not solely based on romance, made a splash in the box office. With films like the Hunger Games and Divergent series it is easy to see why. Young girls are finally receiving real role models they can look up to. The female leads in these films are there because they need to be, not because the male lead needs someone to make out with during a scene. The female leads add value to the story and without them there is no story. Yes, they have some romantic connections in the films, but that is not their sole purpose in the film.
Disclaimer: I have not seen Frozen yet and therefore can’t add that to my impression of female lead films, but I have heard great things about it and its value for young girls. It is refreshing to see that girls serve a bigger purpose than to be the arm candy for the superhero in many of these films. These female leads are superheroes themselves and kick ass. They are smart, thoughtful, cunning, and ambitious.
In Hollywood where a ghastly low number of speaking parts in films are female, it is not surprising that Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the first film with a female lead, without a male co-lead, to top the domestic box office that year since The Exorcist in 1973. When I first heard that statistic I thought that had to be wrong, there had to be plenty of great female lead films in last 40 years. And there were, but all of them had a male co-lead. It is arguable that Jennifer Lawrence did have a male co-lead, but nothing compared to other films.
The great thing about these films is that they gave birth to female stars that are wonderful role models as well. Jennifer Lawrence is Today’s It Girl and she is known for her realistic attitude about women’s bodies, style, and ambition. She made the Pixie cut a fad. I am thankful that she and other women are making a splash at the box office and showing not only Hollywood production companies, but the world that female lead films can not only make money, but break the box office while still being great role models for younger female generations. Girls today can look up to Katniss and Tris, which I think is a lot better than looking up to Cinderella, a girl who gets all made up just to find a Prince.