What Indie Film Animals Has Taught Me About Female Friendship

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Not all friendships last forever.

Indie film Animals is based on Emma Jane Unsworth’s novel of the same name and it’s a film I can’t stop thinking about. Female friendship is something that we’ve always seen in films, but it always has the same old trope; they are brought together by a man, only talk about relationships with men, or spend their entire time going out to brunch drinking mimosas and laughing. Sometimes it’s all of those things. And they always come with a hint of ‘we’re going to be friends forever and nothing is going to stand in our way’. It’s very, very rare for female friendships to be depicted accurately, and it’s even more rare that we see a friendship not lasting forever and coming to an end naturally, not because of some huge fight with lots of tears. 

And that’s why I loved Animals so much. 

Tyler and Laura are a perfect example of two best friends who have been friends for so long that they’re held together by their shared love of partying. But as the film goes on, it becomes apparent that they’re growing apart and heading in different directions. And the best part? This isn’t shown as a bad thing!

Films are great at the whole ‘they lived happily ever after’ thing. You’ll leave a film thinking that that relationship, whatever it may be, will last forever and its automatically a failure if it doesn’t. Animals is great at breaking that down, and shows that just because something didn’t last forever, it doesn’t make it a bad thing or mean that the relationship was a failure. Sometimes people just naturally grow apart or are only meant to be a part of your life for a certain amount of life and that’s okay. 

I think the way that films depict friendships can often be quite damaging. They’re scripted and fake of course, but for many young people they look to films and say “I want a friendship like that” or “I want my relationship to me exactly like that” when of course that isn’t going to happen. We need more films like Animals that shows the reality of what life can be like, showing that things coming to an end doesn’t always has to be sad and the end of the story. 

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