Girls' Night In: Movie Night

Roll out the red carpet for a night of girly movies, gossip and cute pajamas.

Girls' Night In: Movie Night
Photo: Lee Harrelson

Tired of watching manly action flicks with the significant other? Ditch the dude and hit the play button for a movie-and-pajamas night with the girls. There's nothing quite like curling up on the sofa in cozy pj's with some great snacks and a good love story. Make room around the television for your closest friends and turn it into a night to view to the stars.

A weekend night is perfect for this late night girls' gathering. Tell the girls to come over with their pajamas and start with some yummy drinks and gourmet nibbles. Include your movie choice on the invitation to get the "audience" in the spirit of the film. Showing off their favorite sleepwear is a fun bonus.

The Food
Sitting through a movie without something wonderful to munch on can definitely put the night on the B-list. Have bowls filled with grown-up snacks ready to pass around the living room. Check with craft stores for cardboard popcorn containers, or buy some from the neighborhood theater.

Red and white striped napkins and plates (available at party supply stores) are also a perfect way to serve movie food and have very little cleanup. Thanks to an almost completely make-ahead menu, even the hostess can give the night two thumbs up!

The Bar
With everyone sitting around the screen, the bar takes on a new twist. It would be nice for someone to take on the roll of walking around with refills. Then, the pause button is never touched and no one has an empty glass for long. If setting up a bar is a must, have "bar breaks" every 30 minutes or so to refresh and refill.

Drinks that are made in big batches are essential for an easy, do-it-yourself bar. They can also be poured into pitchers if you plan on passing and refilling.

The Extras
If you need movie suggestions, see Editors' Picks: Greatest Chick Flicks Ever.

Also check out Great Tearjerker Films, Scenes and Movie Moments of all Time and the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest Movies.

The Party Plan

2 – 3 Days Before

  • Make Spicy Nuts, Caramel Popcorn, Microwave Snack Mix and store in an airtight container.

The Day Before:

  • Bake a batch of Mocha Double-Fudge Brownies.
  • Make Blood Orange Sangria and chill it until serving.

2 – 4 Hours Before

  • Chill tea and juice concentrate for Sparkling Orange Punch the afternoon of movie night.
  • Stir together Pacific Punch a few hours before show time.

Before the Guests Arrive

  • Pop the corn for Popcorn with Brown Butter and Parmesan about 30 minutes before guests arrive. Add browned butter and Parmesan just before serving. See all Popcorn Recipes.
  • Add sparkling wine to Sparkling Orange Punch.

Rebecca Lang is a well-known cooking instructor, author, and food writer. She teaches Girls' Night In classes around the country and lives in Athens, Georgia.

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