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12 Movies With Disgusting Messages That We Love To Pieces, You Know, Despite Ourselves

By The Modern Womyn of Pajiba | Seriously Random Lists | June 24, 2011 | Comments ()


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Have you ever seen Seven Brides For Seven Brothers? It's a charming MGM musical about some hunky backwoodsmen who decide to settle down and, so, kidnap a bevy of beautiful women from a neighboring town and hold them against their will all winter. You know, like you do. Oh, did I forget to mention the toe tapping musical number about rape? (Okay, it's really about abduction and boy howdy is it catchy!) This was my favorite film growing up. I knew every lyric, every axe-swinging dance move. It wasn't until I got to college and showed it to some close friends that I was alerted to the fact that this is essentially a film about Stockholm Syndrome. Aw man, I'm a modern liberated woman, I'm supposed to reject this kind of stuff. Yeah, you know what? F*ck it, I still love it. Every glorious technicolor moment of it. I asked some Pajiban ladies if they had similar reactions to films. Films that carry a damaging message for womankind womynkind but have somehow still been able to capture our hearts.

Before we get to their answers, a quick word on period films. (I can hear you making that joke in your head, you adorable idiot.) Several of the picks on this list were made many moons ago and several of those films are about an even older time (e.g. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers was made in 1954 but takes place in the 1850s), so concessions can be made for "it's just the way things were then". . .I guess. But when you have a song with the lyrics "thank heaven for little girls, cause little girls get bigger every day," well. . .I'll let the ladies tell you about it. --JR

8.jpegGone With The Wind: I should hate this movie. The "heroine" is spoiled, spiteful, childish, petulant, conniving, and calculating. I should hate this movie because Scarlett only wants what she can't have & doesn't really seem to care how many lives she ruins because of her selfishness. And yet... I am swept away by the grandeur and old Southern manners, and dresses made of velvet curtains. I find myself, despite not wanting to, identifying with Scarlet and her desire for what she can't have and not realizing that what she truly wants, what she NEEDS, is right in front of me her all along. Oh and the slavery part. I DO hate that part.--Lainey

047fatalattraction_468x368.jpegFatal Attraction: This movie basically says that (scarily) childless, single professional women are crazy, murderous predators out to destroy "The Family" because, well, we all just crave a man, amirite? And she'll do *anything* to get hers; she turns clingy, then obsessive, suicidal and KILLS A BUNNY because she couldn't get over that one (apparently sextastic) weekend. Him? The cheater? He's the victim here. I still friggin' love this movie because, I mean, it's a well-made, beautifully acted, taut, smart thriller that actually took me a while to really look at as mysogynistic because I was too busy enjoying it. And Glenn Close still manages to draw you in with her utter awesomeness, so there's that.--Katers

17132__overboard_l.jpegOverboard: Handyman with crummy home life deceives rich bitch who is suffering from amnesia likely due to traumatic brain injury into acting as his housekeeper/nanny because she owes him money. Eventually they fall in love...."Oh, let's take the uppity woman with economic power and teach her a lesson by indenturing her into domestic servitude!" Well, if THAT's not the dream of the patriarchy all wrapped up in a little bow, I don't know what is. Seriously, try to imagine this with the gender roles reversed -- we'd be too busy judging Goldie for being a *terrible* mom and housekeeper to have the energy to root for this budding relationship. But the whole thing floats along on Kurt's rough-hewn appeal and Goldie's effervescent charm. Her portrayal of the transformation from rich bitch to caring woman (through the love of a good man and the redeeming power of being a mother, natch) is nearly impossible to resist.--Seakat

3645216_std.jpegThe Little Mermaid: So, a supposedly intelligent 16 year-old abandons her loving family to marry a dude she's never spoken to because she determined on first sight that this dude was her 'true love' because he looks nice in snug pants, an open blousy shirt and had a dog. Anyone in their right mind would tell you that is a terrible message to send to young women or ANY woman. Unless it comes with some catchy songs about life "Under the Sea" and being "Part of Your World" and Prince Eric absolutely is a babe and at least Ariel took some agency in her life, right? RIGHT?!? Okay, The Little Mermaid is a pretty shit when you think about it but that won't stop me from belting "bright young women, sick of swimming, ready tooo sttaaaaaannnddd" at the slightest provocation. --Intern Rusty

Thumbnail image for How-to-Become-a-Wedding-Planner3.jpegThe Wedding Planner: It's a terrible, awful movie. It stars J.Lo and Matthew "T-Rex Arms" McConaughey. It's an utterly predictable piece of romcom crap. The female lead has a glamorous work life and this oh so sad home life without a man (cue pathetic scene where she eats microwave dinners alone). I should hate every damned thing about this movie. It's 102 minutes of cliches, ridiculousness, and smug T-Rex facial expressions. Try as I might, I can't hate this movie. J.Lo is charming and likable. I have yet to determine what exactly it is that makes The Wedding Planner work, but, somehow, it does.--Melody

bridger.jpegBridget Jones's Diary: I shouldn't love this movie because any film that segregates women into Singletons and Marrieds should be avoided at all costs. Further, Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy are clearly diametric opposites that somehow represent the same (wrong) man. However, I do like it because I can't resist the thought of two (hot) men fighting over me. [Shirtless while "It's Raining Men" plays! It's a fight! A reeeal fight!--JR] And together, Hugh Grant's floppy bangs and Colin Firth's stammer are just the end of any resistance on my part.--Agent Bedhead

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Unfaithful: We should be offended by the way Connie (Diane Lane) is portrayed; she seems more controlled by her world (and men) than in charge of it. Though unfulfilled by marriage and motherhood, after giving in to temptation and being treated the fool by her paramour, she simply returns to her husband's side like a dog whose master silently cleaned up her mess on the carpet. She's resigned to her unhappy fate and the message seems to be: What the hell, I made it this long and look how much he loves me! But we love Unfaithful for the thrill of the affair, the flat out, crazy-hot sex scenes; for putting Connie into what is typically the man's role (cheater, with serious consequences) and deftly examining the differences between men and women with Connie's (brilliantly acted by Lane) roller coaster emotions. The leads are all gorgeous, the tension is real and even though we know that ambiguous ending is coming, we can't help but appreciate a woman's point of view that rings true (down to Connie buying new clothes to go see her lover--a man would never do that).--Cindy

Thumbnail image for gigi-leslie-caron.jpegGigi: If a film with a premise like Gigi's were made in 2011, it would be darker, perhaps a little depressing, and it certainly wouldn't be a musical. Singing and dancing in a film about a very young girl who is being raised by her grandmother and aunt in gay Paris to become a rich man's courtesan (mistress, concubine, prostitute - take your pick)? You can bet your bedazzled ass it wouldn't happen, not without some irony attached. But somehow, Gigi manages to be a sweet, funny and HAPPY movie. Leslie Caron absolutely glows as Gigi, and I never get tired of witnessing her transformation from awkward, goofy child to elegant lady. Yes, it's an odd little story, but it's so damn pretty to look at and downright entertaining that it's one of my all-time favorites.--Kolby

natalie_wood_splendor_in_the_grass-1.jpeg Splendor In The Grass: According to Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass, good girls don't have sex. They don't even want to have sex - and the only reason they ever would is to make babies with their husband. The clashing of this belief with Deanie's desire to do the deed with her boyfriend Bud ultimately leads to a mental breakdown. And yet, despite this archaic admonition, Splendor in the Grass is one of my favorite movies. It captures the angst of adolescence perfectly, particularly in the scenes where Deanie and Bud argue with their parents. And Natalie Woods is amazing in her portrayal of a young woman whose is unable to reconcile the longing of her... "heart" with the voices in her head. It's definitely worth a watch, but just remember: sex is good, when it's with the right person at the right time. --MelBivDevoe

Twilight-34-large.jpegThe Twilight Saga: I know. I KNOW. The Twilight Saga is the scapegoat for all that is wrong with everything in the history of mankind. I get it. You all hate the Twilight. That's fine. I hated it too. Then I was bored. Even as I watched, I knew that this movie was stupid. The longing looks, the bitey lipped stares, the HUGE age difference between Edward and Bella. The obsession that only a teenager, or the insane, can muster for someone. I get it. But I also LOVE IT. It is so goopy and perfectly adolescent and then there are fights between vampires and werewolves. VAMPIRES AND WEREWOLVES! Twilight is the epitome of cheesetastic awesome mixed with fighting and hot vampire dudes! It's my guilty pleasure, without the guilt, as I am a MOTHERF*CKING ADULT and I do what I want. I'll see you at the opening midnight screening of Breaking Dawn Part I. BWAHAHAHAHA!--Pinky McLadybits

audrey_hepburn_my_fair_lady.jpegMy Fair Lady: So, this nice lower-class flower girl is minding her own business when this asshole professor comes along and decides he's gonna make her into exactly what he wants her to be, for no other reason than to stroke his own ego. After becoming an entirely different person (and being insulted and humiliated) she gives up the perfectly lovely young man who adores her for who she is and stays with the selfish professor who just...got used to her. And I still love it. The music, the clothes, the charm of Audrey Hepburn just completely win you over until you forget that you should probably hate it.--figgy

prettywoman5.jpegPretty Woman--You could try hating this movie, but it would be a big mistake. . .huge. Oh, sure, it's got the "transformation is the only way forward" motif of My Fair Lady. It's got a condescending "fairy tale" frame narrative and an OMG, LOL, they finally let her shop moment! Disgusting. It's a film about classism and money as a most attractive quality. It treats the sex-trade with kid gloves and is responsible for foisting Julia Roberts on us for the rest of our natural days. But, yeah, I love it. Watching it is like taking a nice warm bubble bath while listening to Prince on your Walkman. Not good for you (electrocution!) but a delight for the senses.--Joanna

Joanna Robinson will slap both creatures great and small who use "womyn" unironically.




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