7 Movies Every ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Fan Should Watch
It’s that time of year again, Pretty Little Liars fans: the mid-season hiatus. The months-long period in which we need to keep ourselves going while we wait for a new episode of PLL by distracting ourselves with spoilers, stalking the casts’ social media accounts, and watching TV shows and films that remind us of our beloved teen drama. Today, we’re focusing on that last one.
Here are seven movies every PLL fan should watch.
Now and Then
Did you know that PLL showrunner Marlene King was also the writer of '90s classic Now and Then? If you have never seen the movie, it shares a lot in common with PLL’s major themes. It tells the story of four female friends growing up in 1970 Indiana. The movie chronicles the story of their final, innocent summer before growing up and growing apart. The story utilizes a frame tale, telling the story largely through flashback as the now-adult friends reunite in 1991 and reminisce about their time together that one summer. It is that last note that particularly fascinates us, given that PLL is also embarking on a time jump this winter season. We’ve seen Now and Then about a million times, but a) it’s always worth a rewatch and b) we’re dying to take notes on how Marlene King decided to characterize the friends drifting apart.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a girl friendship staple. The film adaptation of the book series that follows four childhood friends as they make the transition into young adult life and try to stay as close as ever has lots in common with PLL. Though Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants doesn’t have the same mystery-driven drama as PLL or even Now and Then, it keeps the story very compelling with real-world drama like first love, dealing with death and dying, parents remarrying, sibling drama, and — above all else — the power of friendship.
The Veronica Mars Movie
OK, so we’re kind of cheating here by adding a movie that’s based on a television show, but the comparisons here are too good to pass up. Like PLL, Veronica Mars the television show told the story of a fierce teenaged girl just trying to make it through high school, while also solving some life-or-death level mysteries along the way. Also like PLL, Veronica Mars the movie took a time jump to a post-college world, taking the chance to check back in with all of the VM characters we knew and loved (or loved to hate) in the form of a high school reunion and yet another mystery. The ladies of PLL and Veronica Mars are some of our favorite pop culture protagonists anywhere. They are fierce friends, smart allies, and not afraid to take a stand when the situation calls for it.
Really, you could check out any of Hitchcock’s many classics and probably realize that PLL has made a reference or two to that very film, but we’re going to go ahead and recommend Rear Window. Sure, Vertigo and Psycho might be better choices if you’re really into psychological horror, but Rear Window tells a compelling story while also throwing in some romance. It tells the story of a photographer played by Jimmy Stewart with a broken leg who witnesses what appears to be a murder in the window of the apartment building across from him. From there, he and his quasi-girlfriend Grace Kelly set about solving the case. Murder! Mayhem! Intrigue! Romance! And one of the most heart-stopping moments in all of cinema history! What more could you ask from a movie?
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably seen and often quote this movie, but that doesn’t mean you can’t watch it again! On the off chance that you haven’t been blessed with a viewing of Mean Girls — the story of one teenaged girl's foray into public high school and the complex social structure that goes with it — then stop what you are doing and go watch it now. Mean Girls isn’t just a hilarious movie, it is a film that takes its teenaged characters and the very real drama they live in seriously. There are no bad guys here, so much as girls trying to survive in a world that is constantly telling them (often times, through one another) how they must act and look. Extra points for the parallels between Rachel McAdams’ Regina and PLL’s Alison (pre-faked death).
If you’re looking for a story that takes place outside of the high school hallways then look no further than Gone Girl. This adaptation of the bestselling novel has all of the best parts of PLL’s high stakes drama. Without giving too much away, it is the story of a woman trying her best to get out of a dysfunctional marriage and who ends up missing and possibly dead for her trouble. The first half is very much a setup for a killer twist that answers the questions raised in the beginning of the movie in the best possible ways. Trust us, you will not be disappointed with this story of murder and manipulation.
Have you checked out one of the latest additions to the high school teen comedy genre? The Duff reminded us how much we miss the teen comedy craze of the '90s, while completely updating its story of one ordinary teen girl trying to find her place for the social media generation. When Bianca, played by the adorkably wise Mae Whitman, finds out she is a “duff” — a "designated ugly fat friend" — she employs boy-literally-next-door Wesley (Robbie Amell) to help shed the image. This film is seriously charming with some killer chemistry between its two stars. And with an in-film PLL reference to boot, how could we not add it to our list?
We also have some suggestions for shows PLL fans should watch!