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Lake Bell and other strong female heroines in film

lake bell
May 26, 2015
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New British romantic comedy Man Up sees Lake Bell play Nancy, a woman who is desperately looking for love but definitely not losing her independent streak. With the film's UK release set for Friday and in honour of its heroine Nancy, we take a look back at some of the most iconic women in film – and how strength and independence can be shown in many ways.

Scroll down for an exclusive clip from Man Up

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Lake Bell portrays independent woman Nancy in Man Up

Erin Brockovich from Erin Brockovich 

Erin Brokovich (Julia Roberts) is a single mother who wants better for her family but doesn't have much luck. That is until she becomes a legal assistant at a law firm and while many of her colleagues don't take her seriously to start with due to her trashy clothes and lack of manners, she soon shows them what she's made of when she uncovers a power company is polluting local land and water – therefore poisoning the residents of the area.

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy 

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteered in place of her sister when she was picked for the Hunger Games, a lethal arena where only one comes out alive. Katniss is compassionate and protective of those she cares about but doesn't often show her emotions. She is a survivor and a beacon of hope, which she never wanted to be but steps into the role in order to help people.

Lisabeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 

Whether you watch the original Swedish film starring Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth or David Fincher's 2011 remake where Rooney Mara steps into Lisbeth's boots, you can't help but be impressed with Lisbeth's fierce independence and strength in the face of brutality. Lisbeth is also a lot smarter than she lets on and often uses people's perceptions of her against them.

Mary Poppins from Mary Poppins 

Super-nanny Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) is practically perfect in every way. She's fun but can enforce rules and always helps those who need it. She's there for the Fairbanks children and helps their father see what he's missing but she's not worried about being on her on when she leaves the family once her work is done.

Elle Woods from Legally Blonde 

Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) was considered a joke by many of her classmates when she was accepted to Harvard to study law. Elle soon showed she was a force to be reckoned with as she never stooped to name-calling and was always pleasant to those who weren't nice to her. Her skills at law made her stand out in class and got her the respect of her lecturers. While Elle may have gone to Harvard to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner, she soon learnt that she deserved better than him and left him in the dust.

Mulan from Mulan 

It's no surprise that this Disney animated film is a favourite among a certain generation. To save her father from almost certain death in the army, Mulan goes in his place. Disguising herself as a man, Mulan learns to fight and earns the respect of the men in the army. Not only does she save China but she is also true to herself.

Man Up is released on Friday 29 May.

Who is your favourite film heroine? Leave your comments below.

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