Do you find yourself staring at the netflix/amazon/hulu offerings, glazing over because you've run through the options for what to watch about a hundred times? By this stage in quarantine, I find myself having to actively search out inspiration, but with the weekend fast approaching, I share with you my 5 favorite movies about women entrepreneurs!! Each one is inspirational gold and is bursting with adversity and triumph! I hope you'll love them as much as I do!
Fair warning, most of these movies aren't for the faint of heart. They're all rated PG-13, so they are family-safe, depending on how old any kids in the house are, but not surprisingly the road to entrepreneurial success for women doesn't always run smooth and every one of these female leads faces her own kind of hardship on the journey. I like to think each obstacle makes her ultimate success even sweeter ;D
I watched this for the first time on an airplane... I had no idea that the movie I'd picked to pass a couple hours on my way (back) to Ireland would end up being one of my all time FAVORITE movies!!! The story is loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, inventor of the miracle mop. The title character is the backbone of an extended family that seems to have no regard for her, but she's always had a passion for invention and a phenomenal problem-solving mind. One day, inspiration strikes and sparks the beginning of a journey that takes her higher than she ever could have imagined. This is a MUST WATCH for anyone who's ever doubted their conviction or suffered a crisis of self-worth in the line of business. Joy is truly an inspiration!
Available for rent on Prime Video
2. Self Made
Ok, so this one's not a movie. It's a 4 episode mini-series, which makes it even better for kicking those quarantine blues! The story chronicles the life of Madam C.J. Walker, America's first self-made female millionaire. Honestly, I had no idea and I'm SO glad I watched this series! We first meet Ms. C.J. Walker, or Madam as she would come to be called, as a woman without a stitch of confidence. Trapped in an abusive marriage and having lived a life without any kindness, born just a handful of years after the emancipation of the slaves in America. With so much stacked against her, both personally and culturally, she has to learn to believe in herself. Over the course of 4 episodes, we realize that she is a naturally born dreamer. Someone who sees the world, not as it is, but as it could be. Her conviction and her imagination are something we should all aspire to!!
Available with subscription on Netflix
I first watched Waitress when I was, myself, a waitress in college. It is truly a masterpiece of cinema that is uniquely bittersweet. Lead character, Jenna Hunterson, is an inspired baker. Having learned from her deceased mother how to mix together strange flavor combinations, she puts her place of work, Joes Pie Diner, on the map! But Jenna's life isn't glamorous, by any stretch of the imagination. When her abusive husband gets her pregnant, she finds herself even more trapped than before and comes close to completely losing hope. This movie is witty, charming, and as tragic as it is, ultimately, gratifying. I know I'm being vague, but I promise that it's just because I don't want to give any of the amazing surprises away!
Available for rent on Prime Video
I don't know any young girl of my generation that didn't just love this movie when it first came out and I think this might be the very first female-entrepreneur-centric movie I ever watched. Fraught with tragic romance and small town bigotry, Chocolat is the story of a woman who challenges the world to change its perspective. From her chocolate shop in a small french village, she uses her knowledge of chocolate, passed down through generations of women in her family, and her business prowess as a shield against an antagonistic mayor who would sooner see her run out of town. Slowly, and with great kindness and empathy, she opens the hearts of the villagers and creates a truly beautiful life for herself and her young daughter. If by some miracle you haven't seen this movie, prepare to be charmed!
... and Johnny Depp as an Irish gypsy isn't to bad to watch either ;D
Available on HBO with subscription or for rent on Prime Video
5. The Secret Life of Bees
Entrepreneurship is more of an undercurrent in this movie. The Boatwright sisters' honey business is how the women in the story find each other. It's how they navigate being African American in the jim crow south. It's how they live as independent women in a society that values only men as providers. The story is rich in heart, as we follow young Lilly Owens on her quest to know more about the mother she lost; a quest which leads her to the home and the honey farm of the Boatwright sisters. Not surprisingly she ends up learning as much about herself as she does about her mother and, as a Caucasian young woman, her world view is shattered when she sees the racism of the era through the eyes of her new family. Entrepreneurship may not be right in the spotlight of this movie, but boy is it a powerful context for a heart wrenching and heart warming story.
Available on STARZ with subscription or for rent on Prime Video