21 Movies That Have Aged Like Milk

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We all have fond memories of films from our childhood. However, when we revisit them, we can be confronted with themes that don’t match our modern sensibilities. While some tropes are no longer funny, others are downright offensive.

Today, we would like to look at some of the worst movies that have aged poorly. From classic comedies to beloved romance films, some of these entries are shockingly offensive. So strap in, and let’s ruin some nostalgia together.

1. Horrible Bosses (2011)

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

There was a time when the thought of a man being sexually harassed was laughable. So much so that Horrible Bosses decided to use it as one of its running gags in the film. As a dentist assistant, Dale is constantly harassed by his female boss.

She is explicit in her sexual demands, regardless of how much Dale resists her advances. He is laughed at when he tries to discuss them with his friends. His friends go so far as to tell him he should be happy this is happening since his boss is an attractive woman.

2. Wedding Crashers (2005)

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

Taking things a step further, Wedding Crashers depicts Vince Vaughn’s character being raped for laughs. In the middle of the night, he is awoken and tied to a bed by a female character in the film. As he protests, she states that she is here to fulfill his fantasies.

The scene is played up for laughs but depicts a horrible action. Events like these lead to men not speaking out about sexual violence. Seeing people laugh at the terrible abuse that has happened to them can be highly upsetting to victims of sexual violence.

3. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

Photo Credit: Morgan Creek Entertainment.

For a comedy film about a man who solves pet-related crimes, Ace Ventura: Pet Detectives goes far out of its way to make trans people out to be disgusting, unwanted individuals. As the film progresses, we discover that the film’s villain is secretly trans.

When this information is revealed, her sexual partners begin to throw up and mock her. This depiction of LGBTQ people is not only offensive, it is incredibly harmful to a group simply trying to live their lives.

4. American Pie (1999)

Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

A lot of older comedies feature what would now be considered sexual crimes. American Pie features a group of high school students who are trying to lose their virginity. That’s a reasonably standard plot. However, there is a scene in the film where a person is being filmed in the protagonist’s bedroom without her consent.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the tape is being broadcast to the local school. For some reason, the girl is punished by being sent back to Eastern Europe, while nothing happens to the young man. Accidental or not, what he did is still a crime, and he deserves some real punishment for his actions.

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5. The Notebook (2004)

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

Romantic comedies often walk a fine line between genuine romance and a minefield of red flags. Looking back, The Notebook features some very problematic behavior. In the film, Noah Calhoun attempts to court Allie Hamilton, but she rejects his advances.

To show his dedication, he hangs off of a Ferris wheel and threatens to kill himself if she does not go on a date with him. Threatening to kill yourself is not romantic. It is dangerous and creepy.

6. I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Same-sex marriage wasn’t legalized in the United States until 2015. Long before that happened, I Now Pronounce You, Chuck & Larry made a mockery queer efforts for equality by posing a same-sex marriage as a gambit to abuse the system.

The film is both homophobic and misogynistic. I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry presents us with characters who pretend to be gay to look at naked women and abuse the system.

7. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

This film asks a straightforward question. Is it still rape if you pretend to be the girl’s boyfriend? The answer to that question is also simple. Yes, yes, it is. Revenge of the Nerds has a scene where the protagonist, Lewis, tricks his crush into having sex with him by wearing a mask and pretending to be her boyfriend.

After discovering what has happened, Betty isn’t even bothered by it. She thanks the masked intruder for what he has done. This scene tells young people it’s ok to sexually assault people as long as you are good in bed.

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8. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Even modern movies can sometimes be offensive by engaging in racial stereotypes. However, only some films have been as egregious in this area as Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The film casts Mickey Rooney to play a racist caricature of an Asian man. Why they chose to do this is anyone’s guess, but the resulting performance has haunted the movie since its release.

9. Head of State (2003)

Photo Credit: Dreamworks Pictures.

Racism is something else comedy movies sometimes use for laughs. Head of State is a film exploring the implications of a black man winning the Presidency. That’s the whole joke. It is unclear how the people behind this film did not see how offensive the premise is.

10. The Hangover (2009)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Returning to a film we once loved can be disappointing to find it incredibly offensive. The Hangover is a popular comedy franchise from the early 2000s. However, if you go back to enjoy it now, you will be greeted by a queer slur directly after the film starts.

Although these slurs were fairly common at the time, it can still be alarming to hear them so freely expressed in a film. It also serves as a reminder of the contempt that LGBTQ people continue to rally against.

11. Grease (1978)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Grease is a product of its time and has many problematic areas. However, none of them are quite as bad as the inferred rape comments during one of the musical numbers. During the song “Summer Lovin,” our protagonist is asked if the girl he dated over the summer put up a fight.

This line raises questions about the nature of romantic relationships in the film. Consent is essential. If someone is putting up a fight, you should take that as a no and leave the person alone.

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12. Peter Pan (1953)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

The American media isn’t known for treating the Indigenous people with much respect. This can be seen in the film Peter Pan. The film uses racist slurs to describe Indigenous and features an entire musical number dedicated to mocking the oppressed group.

13. Shallow Hal (2001)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

This is a rare example of a film trying to present a progressive message but completely missing the point. Shallow Hal is a film in which a man is hypnotized to see people as a reflection of their inner beauty. He learns a valuable lesson about being shallow, and everyone feels better about themselves.

However, the point of this film is hindered by a constant barrage of fat jokes. The film portrays Hal as some kind of hero for loving a woman he later learns is overweight. The film also depicts most attractive people as being hideous monsters on the inside.

14. The Blind Side (2009)

Photo Credit: Alcon Entertainment.

Although the film is based on Michael Oher’s life, instead of focusing on his difficulties growing up in the foster home and eventual rise to fame, The Blind Side focuses much of its time on the white family that adopts him.

Instead of a heartfelt message about overcoming adversity, audiences are given a white savior story. Not only that, but Oher also states that he never received compensation for the film. He has claimed that the Tuohy family took advantage of him as a child to profit from his athletic abilities.  

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15. Birth of a Nation (1915)

Photo Credit: David W. Griffith Corp.

While this film has always been incredibly racist, it was praised upon release for its technical innovations and storytelling techniques. Birth of a Nation manages to put the KKK in a good light while also birthing several stereotypes about black people that are still used today. The film helps study propaganda tactics but little else.

16. Soul Man (1986)

Photo Credit: Balcor Film Investors.

A slew of films depict white men pretending to be stereotypes to game the system. One such film is Soul Man. The plot centers around a white man who takes bills to appear black and obtain a scholarship to Harvard.

Outside of the Black Face and racial stereotypes, films like these continue the message that minorities somehow have it easier than white people. This harmful messaging has been used on most marginalized groups and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

17. 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)

Photo Credit: Miramax.

This is another film that furthers the idea that women cannot sexually assault men. 40 Days and 40 Nights is a film about an attractive young man attempting to remain celibate for forty days.

However, his celibacy ended when his ex-girlfriend sneaks into his room and rapes him as he sleeps. The film doesn’t acknowledge how terrible this action is and furthers the notion that it isn’t possible to rape a man.

18. Gone With the Wind (1939)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

This classic film is criticized for glorifying the Southern way of life before the Civil War. While it may be true that the South lived in a particular manner that may be romantic to some, the film glosses over how they achieved this lifestyle.

A product of its time, Gone with the Wind is filled with negative gender and racial stereotypes. As such, many modern viewers have a hard time stomaching its content.

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19. Heathers (1989)

Photo Credit: New World Pictures.

This horror classic follows two high schoolers who attempt to overthrow their high school hierarchy by killing those at the top. While Heathers is still a cult classic to some, others have a hard time dealing with this subject matter now that school shootings happen regularly.

Heathers was rebooted as a TV show in 2018, but the subject matter didn’t resonate in a world filled with bulletproof backpacks.

20. The Toy (1982)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory serves as a warning about spoiling children. The Toy takes this further by having a white child purchase Richard Pryor. It is hard to miss the racist overtones and slavery symbology used in the film.

Richard Pryor was aware of this and hated the film. In 1992, he spoke out against the film, stating that he only appeared in it for the paycheck.

21. Tropic Thunder (2008)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

This film has received backlash for a variety of reasons. Tropic Thunder tried to be satirical in its offensive imagery but missed the mark on many occasions. Outside of Robert Downey Jr’s black face, the film is rife with offensive slurs. 

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

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