Movie-Inspired Ideas That Help Make Staying At Home Less Maddening

You’re not alone in your self-quarantine doldrums

Movie-Inspired Ideas That Help Make Staying At Home Less Maddening

Design By Jen Algoo

Unless you view Cormac McCarthy or P. D. James as really clairvoyant, a global pandemic is not something that many of us have prepared for. The around-the-clock media coverage of soaring cases of COVID-19, the news of two-ply selling out in record numbers (enough with that, folks), and the mandate to stay sequestered in our homes has been, to say the least, worrisome and unexpected. Still, there are pop-culture references, particularly in romantic movies with strong female leads, that have shown glimpses of self-confinement—albeit with situations that are far less consequential than the spread of a pervasive disease.

These films, in a humorous way, depict scenes that many can relate to now more so than ever. From nights on the couch in pj’s, belting out sad love songs with a bottle of red firmly in hand, to afternoons in bed with a box of chocolates, watching a soap opera marathon, to closet clean-outs and dutifully working at home from dawn till dusk (the outlier, quite frankly), these weird and wonderful scripted snippets have become our reality. And in this distressing time (let’s all collectively breath in … and now breath out), it is a relief to see that our doldrums are not baseless. To wit: Misery loves company.

To that end, we have compiled a list of heroines from our favorite flicks, all of whom have shown that staying—and (to keep up appearances) working—from home is really not a novelty. With certain accoutrements, they all got through their hardships and by the third act, were on their way to happily ever after. Here’s hoping we all get to that destination sooner than later. In the meantime, if want to throw yourself a party of one in a very cinematic way, check our roundup of rom-coms and the devices you need to really enjoy staying at home. (Spoiler: Alcohol and/or sweets are usually involved.)

Related article: 15 Films To Watch For A Hit Of Girl Power

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Photo: ©Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

Who: Bridget Jones

MO: A plucky, lovelorn, British book publicist trying to come to terms with her lack of self-esteem. After being ridiculed by a childhood acquaintance, lawyer Mark Darcy, at her parents’ annual Christmas party, she spends the rest of her holiday cooped up in her modest London flat, wearing printed red pj’s, singing “All by Myself,” and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. A woman after our own hearts.

Stream on Amazon Prime.

Shop the Bridget Jones Diary edit:

The Wedding Planner

The Wedding Planner

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Who: Mary Fiore

MO: A meticulous and highly creative event planner for weddings who lives out her own childhood nuptial fantasies through her clients. Mary is the most successful employee at her firm, prompting her to demand the role of partner. Her intense focus on her career (she constantly eyes her watch, as her day is planned to the minute) doesn’t leave time for anything else, which is why she spends her nights alone, watching Antiques Roadshow while eating her dinner on a TV tray.

Stream on Amazon Prime.

Shop The Wedding Planner edit:

Something’s Gotta Give

Something's Gotta Give

Photo: Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Who: Erica Barry

MO: A divorced playwright of a certain age who lives and works in her house in the Hamptons (which is worthy of an ELLE Decor cover, seriously), where she is trying to drum up inspiration for a new stage show. She wears turtlenecks in the summer, listens to French music throughout the day, makes pancakes at night, and describes herself accurately: “High-strung, over-amped, controlling, know-it-all neurotic who is incredibly cute and lovable.”

Stream on Amazon Prime.

Shop the Something’s Gotta Give edit:

Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde

Photo: Metro-Goldwyn -Mayer

Who: Elle Woods

MO: The president of the Delta Nu sorority house who is graduating from California University Los Angeles with a degree in fashion merchandising (a true BAZAAR gal). The 21-year-old loves pink, is a staple on Rodeo Drive, and can recite story plots from Days of Our Lives at the drop of a hat. She gets dumped by her boyfriend for being “too blonde,” which leads her to wallow in her sorrows with her gay Chihuahua, Bruiser, by watching her favorite soap opera, eating chocolates, and surrounding herself with her favorite color.

Stream on Apple TV.

Shop the Legally Blonde edit:

Practical Magic

Practical Magic

Photo: ©Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

Who: Sally Owens

MO: A kind and, well, practical witch who lives on an island in Massachusetts. She is widowed with two girls after her husband dies from a family curse, which leads her to move in with her wacky aunts (who are big fans of tequila and margaritas) and confine herself to her bed. With the urging of her daughter, she pushes through her sadness and opens a store that sells high-end bath and beauty products that she makes. Sally had abandoned magic to raise a normal family and overturn the stigma of her family in a small town, but takes up the craft again when her rebellious sister gets into supernatural trouble with her boyfriend.

Stream on Amazon Prime.

Shop the Practical Magic edit:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection

Who: Holly Golightly

MO: A bon vivant and supposed call girl (read the original novella) from rural Texas who infiltrates New York’s café society. She wears head-to-toe Givenchy, hangs with a tony crowd, and is “crazy about Tiffany’s,” the jewelry story (more so for its pearls, as she thinks it’s “tacky to wear diamonds” before the age of 40). But she is really a homebody who lives in a sparse apartment with an unnamed cat on the Upper East Side, where she sleeps all morning with a distinct eye mask and plays the guitar with aplomb.

Stream on Netflix.

Shop the Breakfast at Tiffany’s edit:

Related article: 10 Netflix Actresses We’re Currently Obsessed With

Waiting to Exhale

Waiting to Exhale

Photo: 20th Century Fox

Who: Bernadine “Bernie” Harris

MO: A glamorous mother of two from Phoenix, Arizona, who abandons her career to support her husband. While primping for an evening soiree, he informs her that he is leaving her for another woman (her look cuts sharper than knives). The next morning, in a moment of intense rage, she gathers his things, places them in a car, and then sets it ablaze before locking herself in her house, wearing a white robe and black negligée from the night before—because, yes, queen.

Stream on Amazon Prime.

Shop the Waiting To Exhale edit:

You’ve Got Mail

You’ve Got Mail

Photo: ©Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

Who: Kathleen Kelly

MO: A perky owner of a children’s book store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She is a fixture in the neighborhood and hangs with a ragtag crew when she is not perusing through the “over-30s” chatroom on AIM (AOL Instant Messenger, for you kids) or re-reading Jane Austen novels. Kathleen gets stiff competition from a big chain store, Fox Books, which leads her to close her landmark shop that she inherited from her mother and spend her time communicating with a tentative love interest online.

Stream on Netflix.

Shop the You’ve Got Mail edit:

27 Dresses

27 Dresses

Photo: ©20th Century Fox/ Courtesy Everett Collection

Who: Jane Nichols

MO: A selfless, dutiful assistant (she lives by her trusty planner) to a boss that she is in love with. It is an unrequited relationship, as he is going to marry her ne’er-do-well sister, who she essentially raised as a daughter after their mother died when they were younger. This has led her to put others first, which is why she can’t say no to anyone, especially the 27, ahem, friends who have asked her to be a bridesmaid and effectively plan their weddings—hence why she’s accumulated so many dresses. When she finally gets clarity of her behavior, she literally and figuratively unloads her baggage and cleans out her closet of all the excess. But before then, we get to see a classic wardrobe montage of all her zany looks.

Stream on Amazon Prime.

Shop the 27 Dresses edit:

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.

Related article: The Best Romantic Movies Out To Steal Your Heart In 2020

More From

Life