Books and Films about single women who are going to make it after all.
January 26, 2009 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Know any good books and films with happy single women living alone? I could use some positive reinforcement.

I love living alone. I also love watching movies that feature other women who love to live alone (or at least are managing it successfully) If anyone remembers the t.v. series "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" or the movie "Ruby in Paradise", these are the sorts of things I'm looking for.

All suggestions are welcome whether in book, film, television or documentary form.
posted by Lorna to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Previously. Also look at Alice Munro's short stories, particularly in "Runaway," and Anne Carson's "Beauty of the Husband."
posted by zoomorphic at 12:14 PM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Depending on your definition of 'single,' there's That Girl. She had a boyfriend, but lived alone.
posted by spamguy at 12:34 PM on January 26, 2009

Living Out Loud is up that alley.
posted by tula at 12:42 PM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed Fanny Herself (1917) by Edna Ferber. An independent woman takes on her mother's business, then moves up in the business world, has a brush with the suffrage movement, and generally figures out what she wants to do and does it. There's a bit of romance but it's basically irrelevant to the main plot. There's a good reading of it on Librivox but the page appears to be down at the moment.
posted by PatoPata at 12:54 PM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed the film Cleo from 5 to 7. It's a bit darker but had the same feeling for me as Ruby in Paradise.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:03 PM on January 26, 2009

Weeds is pretty good on this front--though not my favorite show it does have a strong single female lead.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:04 PM on January 26, 2009

I have to admit to watching Harold & Maude with this in mind sometimes. Maude's shown with a full and colourful life that's had other people pass through it but is ultimately her own*, and it's lovely.

* Yeah, like the rest of us. But it reads as a positive and proactive thing.
posted by carbide at 1:17 PM on January 26, 2009

Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetti novels might do, if you like forensic thrillers.
posted by spasm at 1:20 PM on January 26, 2009

I liked Miss Potter. Does that count?
posted by small_ruminant at 2:03 PM on January 26, 2009

Roman Holiday, sorta.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:09 PM on January 26, 2009

Breakfast at Tiffany's? She was happy most of the time.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 2:14 PM on January 26, 2009

Given the title you chose, I assume you've thought of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Tina Fey in 30 Rock is an interesting contemporary parallel. I usually like 30 Rock, but comparing the two, I'm not sure that TV's depiction of single women has come all that far.
posted by Xalf at 2:16 PM on January 26, 2009

Best answer: Might not be perfect, but I always enjoyed Jaye on Wonderfalls. Her family bags on her for living in a trailer and not going to school, but she seemed comfy with her choices.
posted by faunafrailty at 3:30 PM on January 26, 2009

Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner. Some of the most delicious woman-alone scenes I've ever read.
posted by staboo at 3:40 PM on January 26, 2009

I haven't read her yet, but Barbara Pym gets a lot of praise in similar discussions here.
posted by mediareport at 6:36 PM on January 26, 2009

I haven't seen it yet, but maybe Happy Go Lucky?
posted by ocherdraco at 7:11 PM on January 26, 2009

I just saw Happy Go Lucky and I can vouch for it 100% I LOVED it. Happy single girls. Made me a little jealous. It's a delight.
posted by beccyjoe at 7:32 PM on January 26, 2009

Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner. Highly recommended. Oh, and bonus for some lovely passages about loving and needing the particularities of one's own home, one own's routine.
posted by minervous at 8:15 AM on January 27, 2009

No books or movies, but I enjoyed this previous (related) question.
posted by curie at 11:26 AM on January 27, 2009

Ok she does end up with someone at the end of it, but I totally thought Under the Tuscan Sun was a cool example of living happy single. And in Italy!
posted by like_neon at 12:13 PM on January 27, 2009

Potomac Avenue re: Weeds- Yeah but that show is really starting to bother me, as it seems like the main character always fucks her way out of her problems, either that or someone randomly dies. :P
posted by thejrae at 1:52 PM on January 27, 2009

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