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The Whitest Movies of All Time

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | May 18, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | May 18, 2009 |

Spiritual whiteness has very little to do with skin color. It’s difficult to define “Whiteness.” It’s like the Supreme Court’s definition of obscenity: You know it when you see it. It’s not restricted to political affiliation, religious preference, or even socioeconomic status. Conservative Mormons in Utah are just as white as the NPR-obsessed crowd in parts of affluent Connecticut. There are people, places, and even things that are just white — hell, there’s an entire site devoted to stuff white people like. White is a state of being. Staplers are white. Lined paper is white. St. Paul, Minnesota: White. Disney World is white. Butterfly tattoos: Very white. Elisabeth Hasselback: White. “Lost” is white. Moleskin journals: So white. Chin dimples: White. Robert Redford: White. Crepes: White. Fondue: White. The Boston Red Sox: White. Alex Rodriguez: Really White.

I think you get the picture. And without further ado (and based, in part, on reader suggestions), here are the five whitest movies of all time.

5. Crash: Boom. An easy one. A race-politics movie written and directed by a Canadian scientologist, Paul Haggis, a guy who cut his teeth on two of the whitest television shows of all time: “The Facts of Life” and “thirtysomething.” It also stars the uber white Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock, Ryan Phillipe, and the sometimes white, Don Cheadle. Even the menacing black guy, Ludacris, was billed in the movie as Chris Bridges, a name almost as white as Don Johnson. Plus: Interweaving storylines: A narrative device created for white people to make them feel smart. Plus, Crash is basically a movie created to make white people feel less awful about the fact that they’re latent racists. Sure, the big message in Crash was that racism is bad, but the real message is that: “Look! Sandra Bullock is racist, so we don’t have to feel so bad about the fact that so are we!”

4. The Da Vinci Code/Angels & Demons: Are you kidding me? The Illuminati? That’s Latin for “White.” It’s a Bavarian secret society that is the clear forerunner for today’s whitest secret society, Skull and Bones. These movies couldn’t have had more whiteness working for it: Catholics. The Mona Lisa. Tom Hanks. Mullets. Plus: They are based on one of the all-time whitest novelist, Dan Brown, and helmed by, Ron Howard, who is the whitest director in Hollywood (notwithstanding his appearance in a Jamie Foxx video). People that watched these movies in the theater actually lost their tans during the course of it.

3. Juno: Obvious. Only a white person would think to give away a baby in The Pennysaver. Only a white movie would glorify teenage pregnancy. And only in a white movie would Jason Bateman ditch his wife for a Nirvana T-shirt? Homey, please. Did you know that Quirk and Whimsy are signature white person characteristics? Totally true. Find me a whimsical black movie. Diablo Cody was clearly attempting to create a white person’s version of ebonics — “Yo Yo Yiggady Yo”; “That ain’t no etch-a-sketch. This is one doodle that can’t be un-did, homeskillet” or even “Paulie Bleeker is totally boss. He is the cheese to my macaroni.” Come on. How white can you get? Plus, Juno features a cast of the whitest of whites: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, J.K. Simmons, and Alison Janney. There’s enough pastiness in Juno to put glue factories out of business. But here’s the kicker: Juno inspired 17 white girls in the white town of Gloucester, Massachusetts to voluntarily get themselves pregnant. Only a bunch of white girls would emulate a movie by sleeping with a homeless guy. I think Tracer Bullet summed it up nicely: “A bullshit cracker fairy tale where everybody looks like an expensively-dressed hobo and talks like an English Lit grad student.”

2. Pretty Woman: Tracer nailed this one, too: “Earnest, hokey nonsense that only honkies would swallow.” Pull a prostitute off the street and turn her into a responsible, upstanding woman? That’s white-male fantasy bullshit propagated, in part, by a lily-white Buddhist whose visage wouldn’t look out of place on an NPR tote bag. The hooker with a heart of gold? White concept. Hell, Gere’s corporate raider met Julia Robert’s when he has trouble driving his Lotus Esprit, which is Italian for rich-white man’s car. And only in a white person’s movie would the real emotional bonding moment come when the woman introduces the man to the customs of “lower class” people, i.e. vegging out in front of the TV with pizza, while he introduces her to the freakin’ opera. Hell, the whole movie revolves around the prince on the white horse myth, and what’s whiter than a white horse? Only Julia Roberts.

1. The Pursuit of Happyness: BarbadoSlim appropriately noted that any movie starring Will Smith is the whitest movie ever, a notion that I agree with (but for Bad Boys). Ask any white person who their favorite black celebrity is and they’ll all Mos Def. Ask them their second favorite black celebrity, and they’ll usually say Will Smith. Call a white person racist, and he’ll retort, “Nu uh, I like Will Smith,” which is like defending your love of hip-hop by citing New Kids on the Block. Will Smith’s whitest movie is, undoubtedly, The Pursuit of Happyness, a movie about a black medical supply salesman trying to fit into a white world as a Wall Street advisor in what was once the whitest financial advising firm in the world until it was bought out by an even whiter firm, Morgan Stanley. It’s one of those feel-good Republican, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps flicks that depicts a Disneyfied brand of racism and warms the heart of white people whose fondest hope is that all races will one day assimilate into a white culture, regardless of the color of their skin.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.