3 Totally Awesome Slumber Party Movies

With ensemble casts your girls (and boys) of every age will love.

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Age 7 and Up: Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985, Hulu)

The Ensemble: Sarah Jessica Parker as earnest Janey, Helen Hunt as quirky cutup Lynne, and Shannen Doherty as precocious preteen Maggie.

The Premise: With a little help from her new friends, high-school Chicago transplant Janey bucks her military father’s wishes to audition for a spot as a regular on Dance TV. You won’t be surprised to learn that her assigned dance partner is pretty cute, too.

TBP’s Take: I vividly remember the fourth-grade sleepover during which I was first exposed to this short, sweet, Spandex-clad dance movie. Our family has watched it on multiple rainy days, and both the boy kid and the girl kid were as glued to the screen as I was. Thanks to the shiny cast, earworm-filled soundtrack, and decent jokes, even my husband was right there with us.

10 and up: Josie and the Pussycats (2001, Starz)

The Ensemble: Rachael Leigh Cook as singer-shredder Josie, Tara Reid as drummer Melody, and Rosario Dawson as bass player Valerie.

The Premise: A hometown garage band sets out to make their dreams come true—but how much of themselves should they compromise in order to reach the big time?

TBP’s Take: Upon viewing, 10-year-old L.B. for the first time ever showed interest in taking up an instrument, though what lasted longer was her appreciation for the bandmates’ camaraderie and cool outfits. Though I’m a feline partisan, I found that my personal favorite character wasn’t a Pussycat at all, but Alan Cummings’s sinister music manager Wyatt Frame.

12 and up: Mean Girls (2004, Paramount+)

The Ensemble: Lindsay Lohan as fish-out-of-water Cady, Rachel McAdams as alpha meanie Regina, Amanda Seyfried as ditzy meanie Karen, and Lacey Chabert as rich meanie Gretchen.

The Premise: After spending the bulk of her childhood in Africa, nice-girl Katy moves back to Chicago and finds that high-schoolers are more savage than anything in the bush.

TBP’s Take: As one of the many superfans who can quote every line of Tina Fey’s edgy/incisive/hilarious/heartfelt masterpiece, I was nervous to let our then-13-year-old H.B. screen the classic. What if he didn’t get the jokes? What if he did get the jokes? Ultimately, I encouraged him to watch it…and he’d already seen it at a friend’s house. It was great, he said. So real and so funny, he said.