Dinner is over, the clean-up has been thoroughly procrastinated on, and various relatives have slunk off to watch football or take naps. But there’s only so long you can sleep (my record: 18 hours. My brother’s is 22—I’m gonna beat him one day), and football’s dumb. There are all these people here at your house, and there’s nothing to do unless you want to talk to them, which you probably don’t. What’s a nice, easy way group activity to while away a few hours on? I know! You can boot up Netflix and watch a movie!
But what to pick, what to pick? It should be something that won’t provoke your ultra-conservative uncle or your conspiracy theory-obsessed aunt. Something light-ish, after the heavy meal you just had. Oh, and this might go without saying, but explicit sex scenes are probably a no-go. Here are ten movies you probably shouldn’t watch with your extended family on Thanksgiving, and ten movies that are better, less awkward picks.
Do watch: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Oh! You! Pretty chitty bang bang, chitty chitty bang bang we love you! And! Our! Pretty chitty bang bang, chitty chitty bang bang loves us too! There’s never anything offensive about Dick Van Dyke, unless it’s his Mary Poppins accent.
Don’t watch: Blue is the Warmest Color
There’s some banging of a different variety in this controversial—both for its content and for accusations of exploitation from director Abdellatif Kechiche—drama about lesbian couple Emma (Léa Seydoux) and Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos). Ba-doom-tss.
Do watch: Swiss Family Robinson
Fun (and near death) for the whole family! For a decidedly different movie about a group of people cavorting around nature, there’s…
Don’t watch: Stranger by the Lake
It’s truly nuts (heh) how many man-dongs there are in this movie by French director Alain Guiraudie. You may think, “Oh, it’s about a murder at at a gay cruising spot—I expect some penis.” Stop right there. Take the amount of penis you’re expecting, and multiply it by, like, twelve penis. There is so much nudity in this, not to mention gay sex. That whoever cut this trailer was able to keep it out of red-band territory is frankly impressive:
Do watch: The Adventures of Milo and Otis
Milo and Otis was just a (curious) cat a and (pug-nosed) pup wandering around getting into trouble set to voiceover from a narrator who occasionally pitched his voice differently to represent the different characters, right? I didn’t fever dream that up somehow?
Don’t watch: Y tu mamá también
Or, if you want to stick it to your obnoxious homophobic relative, go right ahead!
Do watch: Mulan
This isn’t related to the subject of this list at all, but I was talking about Frozen with some friends the other day, specifically how much I dislike the way it shoehorns in its romance subplot. It should’ve taken a more Mulan approach, where the romantic interest between the relevant characters is established, and you know they’re probably going to get together at some point, but the movie never gets distracted by romance from exploring its core theme, which in the case of both movies was a variation on familial love. More movies need to be like Mulan.
Don’t watch: Nymphomaniac, parts 1 and 2
Fewer movies need to be like Nymphomaniac.
Do watch: Holes
The holes are of a different sort than the ones in this next movie.
Don’t watch: Enter the Void
Full disclosure: I haven’t seen this movie by out-there director Gaspar Noé. I do know there’s a sex scene where one of the shots is from inside the vagina, so it looks like the penis is coming (not literally, I hope) at your face. So I feel completely comfortable including it on this list. Another Netflixer from Noé, Irreversible, is famous/infamous for its graphic, extended rape sequence. And I’m going to stop writing about it now.
Do watch: The Legend of Frosty the Snowman
Christmas time is here, nerds! Let’s get into the mood!
Don’t watch: Oldboy (original)
Some smartness among you may be considering watching something “controversial” to enliven your dull family gathering a bit. Love the love of God, don’t choose Oldboy. Choose the 3D penis movie before you choose Oldboy.
Do watch: Leave It to Beavers
…it’s a PBS documentary about beavers. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Don’t watch: Oldboy (remake)
As with the original, “all the incest” is a pretty good reason not to show Spike Lee’s version of Oldboy at family gatherings. But my reasoning is more along the lines of “no one should see Spike Lee’s Oldboy at any time, under any circumstances, because it sucks.” He tried to give Oldboy a quasi-hopeful, uplifting ending, for Christ’s sake. OLDBOY.
Do watch: Muppet Treasure Island
This one’s a little on the edge. That chest tat Kermit has of Miss Piggy is pretty risqué.
Don’t watch: Antichrist
You know what really goes over well after all the dishes are done and you’re ready for a nice, relaxing couple of hours? Genital self-multilation. Grandma, you fainted!
Do watch: The Emperor’s New Groove
Why do we even have that lever?!
Don’t watch: The Human Centipede and The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
No explanation needed. Have a cute puppy gif, instead.
Do watch: Chicken Run
For extra poultry schadenfreude!
Don’t watch: Team America: World Police
Let’s end this list with some marionette sex!
Rebecca (@RebeccaPahle apologizes for the Holes joke and swears that she is not a pervert.