Some things are just true; historically, sports movies have been made and designed with a male audience in mind. For decades now, sports movies have been released to inspire the dude in all of us to get out there and get active. From “Bro-mantic films like Miracle and White Men Can’t Jump, sports comedies like Caddyshack and Major League, and even kids movies like The Sandlot and The Benchwarmers, sports movies have been designed for boys of all ages. Girls grow up under the impression that they’re supposed to watch chick flicks and romantic comedies while boys watch sports movies.
Just because this is the way things have always been doesn’t mean it’s how they’re supposed to be! There are plenty of sports movies made for and about women. Even if a sports movie isn’t about women, there are plenty that women will enjoy; it’s all a matter of finding movies with writing that’s geared towards both audiences, not just overwhelming testosterone fests. While your lady might not go for Rocky because it’s a little too much of a fight-fest, and she might not enjoy Radio for it’s insensitivity towards those with mental illness, there are plenty of movies she’ll dig. It’s all about finding the right fit for both of your tastes.
If you’ve been trying to plan a date night with a sports movie to no avail, fret no more- this article will guide you to selecting the perfect film for your date night. Here are fifteen sports movies your lady will love!
If you tend to be a jealous boyfriend or get upset when your lady is turned on by sexy celebrities in film, this one is certainly not for you. If you sit your lady down to watch Warrior with you, prepare for a lot of ogling and heavy sighs. This mixed martial arts film starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton is about a couple of smoking- hot brothers that reunite in the ring after a prolonged estrangement.
While it’s a total badass film, with some really cool fight sequences and some moments where you want to stand up and cheer at your TV screen, it’s also a very dramatic movie. The brothers have a lot of unfinished business they need to confront and it takes a long time for them to meet in the ring. Plus, these actors did a lot of training to get in shape for the film and it truly paid off.
As we stated before, most women grew up on romantic comedies and chick flicks as boys grew up on sports movies. If your lady is tentative about diving into sports movies or is adamant that she won’t enjoy them, ease her into the genre with Wimbledon. This movie about tennis players is a great cross between an inspiring sports flick and a charming romantic comedy. Paul Bettany (who’s better known for his roles in The Avengers series, A Beautiful Mind, and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) stars alongside Kirsten Dunst (better known for her roles in the Spiderman trilogy, Melancholia, and Bring it On) in a love story that inspires both tennis players to step up their game and take on challenges for something more than prizes and fame. For the tentative lady who needs some persuading to give sports films a solid chance, let her first experience in the genre be with something that feels familiar.
13. Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans is a classic for everyone, not just for boys. If your lady has yet to see this classic American film, you’d best warm up some popcorn and sit her butt down on the couch; this is practically a lesson in film history. While it’s definitely a movie about finding brotherhood in unlikely places and supporting your teammates, no matter what, it’s about so much more than that; this movie is about race relations, family, love, fatherhood, and serving a purpose larger than athleticism and sports. This football team became a beacon of hope and a symbol of pride for integrating schools and sports teams across the United States. At a time when racial tensions in the US are so high and conversations surrounding #BlackLivesMatter are constantly populating our social media feeds, a movie like this is sure to not only pique her interest in sports films, but spark an interesting conversation about politics and racial equality.
Another classic sports film, this movie’s hard not to love no matter what gender you are. This beloved sports flick, about a high school basketball team that fights against all odds to win a tournament under the guidance of a drunk and a coach with a shady past, is sure to win over the heart of anyone who loves a good dramatic film, or even anyone that enjoys watching the occasional basketball game. This movie, starring Gene Hackman (also known from his work in The Royal Tenenbaums and Unforgiven) and Barbara Hershey (better known for her work in Black Swan and Insidious), is about basketball and striving for a goal that everyone believes you can’t achieve, but it’s also about holding strong as a team and persevering when the odds stack up against you. It’s sure to not only inspire your woman, but also turn her on to sports movies as well.
11. The Blind Side
This movie sparked a decent bit of controversy after it was released; while producers were excited to release it because they believed it showed that black and white people can live together happily and inspire each other, regardless of their race, many found it to be offensive and portrayed that a black man couldn’t thrive without the care of a white family. Since the movie is based on the true story of Michael Oher and the Tuohy family, it’s not really meant to offend anyone. Actually, with Sandra Bullock playing the part of the idealistic, charitable, and giving Mrs. Leigh Anne Tuohy, it’s hard not to love the family that Michael Oher is taken in to. Plus, with Tim McGraw, Ray McKinnon, and Quinton Aaron in the cast, this movie is impossible to not get hooked on. For the woman in your life that’s more interested in a family drama than a sports movie, this movie is the perfect pick.
10. Field of Dreams
Here’s another classic sports film that anyone with a heart or soul would love. This 1989 classic sports movie, starring Kevin Costner (also known for his work in Dances With Wolves and The Untouchables), Ray Liotta (known for his roles in Goodfellas and Hannibal), and James Earl Jones (you’ll at least recognize his voice from the original Star Wars trilogy and The Lion King) is all about family, patriotism, and faith in both higher beings and in yourself. If your lovely lady hasn’t seen this classic about the greatest baseball field ever imagined, make it your mission to get her to see this one. If she doesn’t fall in love with Kevin Costner’s killer smile or Ray Liotta’s sweet and innocent demeanor, she’ll at the very least be bound to fall in love with young Gaby Hoffman (who plays the young daughter, Karin Kinsella). This makes for a great date night movie, filled with snuggling and sweet moments.
If you’re looking for a little less snuggling in your date night and just want your girlfriend to fall in love with the sports movie genre, you’ll have to raise the stakes a bit more. Take this totally bad-ass sports flick about a young Michelle Rodriguez (better known for her work in the Fast and Furious series, Lost, and Avatar) who discovers boxing as an outlet for her rage at society, her family, and her generation. Under the training of an experienced coach, she becomes one of the toughest boxers around. In her breakout role, Michelle Rodriguez kicks some serious butt in the name of feminine independence and youthful rebellion. This award winning, empowering, boxing movie is sure to get any woman excited about sports movies and eager to hit the gym. Your biggest problem will soon become getting her to disassociate competitive boxing with quirky flirting, as Diana does in the film!
8. Bend It Like Beckham
Bend it Like Beckham is practically iconic for it’s empowering message and inspirational themes. Released at a time when very few sports movies were released that were made and written for women (back in 2002), this movie transformed the way we think about sports movies; no longer could they only be about men’s football teams or basketball teams overcoming the odds, but they could be about women overcoming stereotypes and prejudices to achieve the same lofty and ambitious goals. Bend it Like Beckham is about a young woman, played by Parminder Nagra (also known for her roles in ER and Ella Enchanted), who is born into an orthodox Sikh family and wishes only to be able to play football (or, if you prefer, soccer). With the help of her friend, played by Keira Knightley (known for her roles in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Pride and Prejudice), she takes on the sport and becomes so talented and skilled that she earns collegiate scholarships. It’s a great film for any young ladies interested in exploring the sports movie genre!
7. Million Dollar Baby
Another boxing film about women overcoming stereotypes, many people liked to gossip that Girlfight was a cheap imitation of Million Dollar Baby; however, if one movie copied the other, it would’ve had to be the opposite way around. Million Dollar Baby came out four years after Girlfight and, though the themes and tone were similar, this movie was all about white athletes while the other centered on Latin American athletes. If your lady hasn’t seen Million Dollar Baby, she must have at least heard about it: it won a bunch of awards for the acting talent, including Clint Eastwood (also known for all of his western movies and Gran Torino) and Hilary Swank (known for her roles in P.S. I Love You and Boys Don’t Cry), director (also Clint Eastwood), and writing team. If you’re looking for a sexy, empowering, badass movie for both men and women, look no further.
6. We Are Marshall
A commonly underrated sports film, this 2006 docudrama about the tragic and inspiring events surrounding Marshall University’s 1970’s plane crash will hook any fans of sports films. While the movie is essentially about the university’s and football team’s attempts to recover from losing their entire team and coaching staff in one horrible accident, the movie is also about much more than that; it’s about the college and about the community that suffered the loss of students they cared about so much. While your girlfriend may not care as much about the sequence when the coaches, played by Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox, are trying to recruit new players, she’ll fall in love with Kate Mara’s character who is struggling to move on from the loss of her beloved fiance, and with Matthew Fox’s traumatic fight to help the team despite his own emotional instability. It’s a film about perseverance, resolve, and solidarity, and it’s the perfect option for any date night!
5. She’s the Man
Okay, so it’s not totally a sports movie. She’s the Man was actually written to be a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. Starring a young Amanda Bynes, (also known for her roles in Easy A and Hairspray), Channing Tatum (better known for his roles in 21 Jump Street and White House Down), and David Cross (also known for his ridiculous roles in Arrested Development and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), this movie is about a high school lady with ambitions to play collegiate soccer. When her high school drops its woman’s soccer team, she disguises herself as a her own twin brother to fight for the scholarship she so deserves. This quirky and silly romantic comedy is all about soccer and training for soccer, and it’s as funny as it is empowering. If you’re in a young relationship and need some lighthearted entertainment just as much as a sports-flick, She’s the Man is your solution.
Who doesn’t love Rudy?! What’s not to love? It’s about a young underdog, played by the always adorable and lovable Sean Astin (also known for his roles in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Goonies), overcoming the insistence that he doesn’t fit the mold of a football player and that he’ll never be able to play football because he’s too small. His only dream was to play for Notre Dame’s football team, and he feverishly pursues his dream. The movie, based on a true story, is as inspirational as they come and preaches more than a love for football; it’s about pursuing your dreams, following your heart, and refusing to give up even when things look bleak. Also starring an adorable and young Jon Favreau (better known for his roles in the Iron Man trilogy and Chef), this movie about a dreamer who just won’t quit will inspire anyone to fall in love with sports films.
3. Bring it On
Before you go around nay-saying this suggestion, hear us out! Bring It On was certainly written and made for a female crowd; it’s about a cheer-leading squad that discovers its previous leader had been stealing routines from a rival school, and how they struggle to continue to be the best when playing by the rules. Maybe it’s not the testosterone fest you were hoping for on your date night, but this is a sports movie. If you want your girl to get in to sports films, you’ve got to meet her halfway! Begin with Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union (from Bad Boys 2 and 10 Things I Hate About You), and Eliza Dushku (from True Lies and Wrong Turn) bouncing around in mini skirts and crop tops; it’s not a bad place to start! Once you’ve gotten her into the sweet and girly sports films, you may be able to convince her to try something with a bit more grit.
2. A League of Their Own
This sports movie may be the one exception to the generalization that women didn’t grow up watching sports films. Most young ladies had a chance to see A League of Their Own growing up, especially those who were young girls and teens around the time of its release (in 1992). Why is that, you ask? Madonna (who has also starred in films like Desperately Seeking Susan and Evita) was one of the leading ladies. Also starring Rosie O’Donnell (who, for all the negative press she gets, is a great actress who’s also starred in The Flintstones movies and Now and Then), Geena Davis (the stunning actress from Beetlejuice and Thelma & Louise), and Tom Hanks (from The Da Vinci Code and Forrest Gump), this film is about a professional baseball league started during World War Two and filled with women players while the men were gone fighting. The revolutionary film is about sisterhood, bonding, and serving something greater than the game, and your lady is bound to love it.
1. Whip It
Finally, this movie is bound to pull you in, no matter what your gender, age, or interest in sports is. This movie about women’s roller derby, directed by Drew Barrymore and starring Ellen Page (better known for her roles in Juno, Inception, and the X-Men series), Juliette Lewis (best known for her roles in Natural Born Killers, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and Due Date), and Drew Barrymore herself (from popular movies like Scream, Charlie’s Angels, and He’s Just Not That Into You), is all about badass chicks taking a beating in the rink to prove that they are the very best and not to be trifled with. It’s about supporting your team, having your friends’ backs, and not backing down from a challenge. This movie proves how seemingly innocent and sweet young ladies, like Ellen Page, can be just as badass as the rest with enough practice and work- one is not born hot, one achieves that status.