I have lost count of how many films I have watched over the years; the majority I have seen just once. It isn’t until you rewatch a movie in the modern era that it may look, sound, or appear dated. We know that aging gracefully isn’t something Hollywood stars enjoy, but how do their movies fare?
An online forum has been talking about films that tick all the wrong boxes when viewed in the modern day. Whether it is tired, racist tropes, immoral themes or imagery, or just poor CGI, some films don’t age well. Here are ten big-time movies they voted as seriously aging poorly — in chronological order.
1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is an iconic classic every middle-aged woman loves — if they can get past the insulting caricature (complete with buck teeth) of Holly Golightly’s upstairs Japanese neighbor, Mr. Yunioshi. Casting screen darling and lifelong Caucasian Micky Rooney to play a rude, racist trope goes down as one of Hollywood’s low points.
2. The Blue Lagoon (1980)
Worryingly, this movie was a huge success, making the top ten highest-grossing movies of 1980, depicting unadulterated teenage love. The Blue Lagoon was, at best, a brave story; at worst, it bordered on illegal. In the media, Brooke Shields’ subsequent youthful objectification (14) was perhaps even worse than the film itself.
3. Gremlins (1984)
There is nothing awry with the themes presented in Gremlins, and this one remains a firm Christmas favorite with my ten-year-old son. However, the animatronic design of the creatures themselves looks highly dated. I have no doubt Gremlins will receive its CGI makeover one day — though I am unsure if that is good.
4. Overboard (1987)
The premise of Overboard would be considered problematic in our current humorless climate around gender equality. So, the idea of a wealthy heiress losing her memory, only for a vengeful male to convince her she is his housewife, now looks ropey. Nevertheless, it still earned a remake in 2018!
5. Rambo III (1988)
With such a tragic end to the American control of Afghanistan, a film that praises the spirit of the Mujihadeen doesn’t look great in a post-911 world. But, of course, this movie is set in a different era: one where the U.S. is fighting a proxy war against the Soviets — sound familiar?
6. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
A moviegoer summarizes this Robin Williams comedy vehicle in one frank sentence when discussing how it looks nowadays. “The whole thing is sad, not funny.” I agree that, in retrospect, seeing a man lose his marriage and fight for access to his kids is all too realistic in America today.
7. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
Kevin Spacey would always make this list for obvious reasons. In this American classic novel adaptation, he plays a wealthy socialite who murders his much younger gay lover with impunity. Of course, this is far from the accusations of sexual harassment, but sadly, the great actor’s presence is too close to home on this one.
8. American Pie (1999)
I hate putting this in here, as I enjoyed this teen comedy classic. However, if American Pie were true, we would see arrests. One film forum commenter summarises the crime: “Using a secret camera to broadcast naked high school students on the internet.” Yes, this is a no-no.
9. American Beauty (1999)
“American Beauty is so creepy if watched knowing who Kevin Spacey really is,” says a critic of this movie. I don’t think this one is really about Spacey’s allegations, but the premise of an unfulfilled Dad lusting after his daughter’s best friend is a little creepy — I will admit, I still love the film.
10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
In what became a cult classic due to its unintended comedy moments, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button hasn’t aged well in some eyes. “That movie was weird and kind of gross when the baby looked about 80,” says one unimpressed viewer. On the other hand, I just found it hilarious.
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