If you skimmed through the 2015 Pajiba Ten Post just looking at gifs of hot people (understandable), you might have missed the part where Courtney talks about straight-up hating Stardust, which—though it was never particularly successful or particularly well-known—has an enthusiastic following, especially among fantasy nerds. I enjoyed the film, but I understand the issues she has with it.
And it got me thinking: What are those films that I hate that everyone else loves? What are those films for other people? I’m not talking films that are merely successful; Transformers and Silver Linings Playbook may have made a ton of money and won a ton of Oscars, but they both have a lot of detractors. I’m thinking more along the lines of classics or fan favorites.
Is there someone out there who hates Labyrinth?
To that end, I have polled family, friends, and fellow Pajibans alike. I learned some things about the latter group that I maybe didn’t want to. There will be venting. There will be tears. Friendships will be destroyed. You’ll want to yell at TK, though maybe no more than usual.
IT HAS BEGUN.
“So, a few years back, my best friend sat me down and had me watch a little movie called Stardust. It was worse than hemorrhoids. I’m mad just thinking about it. But the guy in it? The love interest? He was dreamy. But, as I blocked out that horrendous movie and Robert De Niro’s ungodly and offensive performance therein as a gay stereotype that he is hugely lucky preceded Twitter, I forgot about the film’s sole bright spot, [cinnamon roll Charlie Cox.] “—Courtney
The Princess Bride
“I’ve already mentioned that I was underwhelmed by The Princess Bride, and I’d rather not go back over that ground… I didn’t see it until I was 19! It’s cute, but I’ve never understood the devotion other people had for it. It’s fine that they do, I just edge away quietly when they start talking about it.”—Genevieve
Wet Hot American Summer
“What a dumb, predictable, trying-too-hard pile of shit that is… I feel like a comedy should make you laugh. I watched WHAS and didn’t even *smile* … How I knew my wife and I were meant to be: we watched WHAS together in absolute silence and afterwards we just looked at each other, shrugged, and wordlessly walked away. We never even talked about it. That’s how utterly boring it was.”—TK
Robin Hood: Men in Tights
“Boring unfunny Mel Brooks lite.”—TK
“Galaxy Quest is absolutely, completely, unabashedly average.”—TK
(500) Days of Summer
“I hate that movie with a rage that burns like syphilis… [I loved its deconstruction of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope] until the very last minute. Autumn? Effing Autumn? [Tom] couldn’t have just stopped being such a huge douchenozzle about everything? He had to have his entire worldview validated in the last seconds of what was otherwise a perfectly lovely movie? And also Summer had to get married before he’d even move on? Tom wasn’t right about anything in that movie. Why the hell would he be right about what kind of life *she* wanted?… It’s like the whole movie was saying ‘Summer is a real women. Her feelings are valid, and she is not obligated to change how she feels because of your feelings. You need to suck it up and stop obsessing about her. She is not your MPDG. Because this other chick over here is actually your soulmate.’ Blah… The fact that it was a terrifc movie until the punt ending made me hate it that much more.”—Emily
Sneakers — A fairly underwhelming caper with a largely unsatisfying ending featuring clunky performances — despite the presence of Robert Redford and River Phoenix — delivered by actors who clearly don’t understand the technobabble they’re saying. It’s an OK movie, but the plot is thin at it has aged very badly. — Dustin
Dead Poets Society
I was real fucking broken up about the death of Robin Williams, because I am a human with feelings, but every time I saw some piece titled with a variation of “O captain! My captain!” (ahem), my teeth god a’grinding, because I. FUCKING. LOATHE. DEAD POET’S SOCIETY. It’s melodramatic, full-of-itself tripe. “Boo boo, I’m better than everyone else because I love poetry and have feelings.” Everyone in it a self-important, pretentious dickweasel who can fuck right off, especially Keating, who doesn’t even have being a teenage boy as an excuse. The ’60s are about to happen—how very “rebellious” and “counterculture” will your WASP asses with your Blake and your Wordsworth feel then? Was I supposed to feel sad when Robert Sean Leonard committed suicide? Because for fuck’s sake, all that happened is that he was told to go to military school. So he kills himself? HE KILLS HIMSELF?! It’s wall to wall sap, emotional manipulation, and romanticization of suicide, and I hate it.
“My grandfather has a whole rant about that movie and how it ‘glorifies idiocy.’ My grandfather is mostly a pretentious, narcissistic blowhard, but he’s also occasionally very correct.”—Genevieve
“Fuck Donnie Darko.”—Brian
“Donnie Darko was ruined for me by its commentary track (though that same track is what made me love Jakey G) and extended cut. It’s how I realized that movie was only good COMPLETELY by accident… What Kelly was going for and what ended up onscreen is totally different and what he was going for is absolute film school bullshit nonsense.”—Courtney
“80s garbage trash. Not classic. Not ironic. Fucking terrible.”—Brian
Non-Pajibans (some names abbreviated to protect the guilty)
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy
“Any Batman movie directed by Christopher Nolan, because he just turned Batman into a whiny emo bastard. I get it, it’s the ‘Dark’ Knight. You don’t have to beat me over the head with it, which is basically what that trilogy did.”—Julie Hegner
The Nightmare Before Christmas
“Nightmare Before Christmas can go eat a bag of dirt. It’s all style and no story or character. It looks great, sure, but that’s where it ends with me. The characters aren’t well-developed enough for me to care about any of them, and the whole movie is just peak Burton being weird for the sake of being weird.
It’s not even that I hate it. I just don’t like it, but it’s more that I don’t understand why the people who love it so much love it as much as they do. I also don’t understand why it makes up 130% of the items at Hot Topic.”—Glen Tickle
“I had a very negative and visceral reaction to the way James Spader treats Maggie Gyllenhaal throughout most of the movie, especially the part where he yells at her for making a typo or some other minor bullshit. Actually, kind of hated everything about James Spader in that movie. Oh, and the connection the movie tries to make between Maggie self-harming/need psychiatric help and her engaging in BDSM.
Basically the whole movie felt creepy as fuck and not in a fun ‘Oh I see what they’re doing’ kind of way, and every time I see someone try to recommend Secretary to someone else who’s complaining about how terrible 50 Shades of Grey is, I shudder involuntarily.”—Victoria McNally
Gone with the Wind
“Gone with the Wind not only sells the racist history that Blacks had it better under ‘dignified’ slavery, but that ‘uppity’ women should be raped in order to be put back in their proper place. Along with Philadelphia Story and Mildred Pierce, it’s one of the most beloved anti-feminist films of the Hollywood Golden Age.”—Drew
The Big Chill
“When it was over, I said ‘That’s it? That’s what I sat through?’ It seems so trite.”—Kevin
“It’s gross. [Hepburn and Bogart] have no chemistry. How young is [Sabrina] supposed to be in this movie? 19? 20? And how old is Humphrey Bogart in this movie? It’s odd, because they’re promoting the idea that her more age-appropriate option is William Holden, but he’s also not age-appropriate. She doesn’t have chemistry with either of them. It’s depressing, because she’s suicidal and they don’t really talk about that. And how she’s not suicidal after she’s not the ‘ugly duckling,’ which is offensive, because Audrey Hepburn has never been an ugly duckling. And worst of all, it’s a romantic comedy that’s not funny!”—Lesley Coffin
“Incredibly irritating from beginning to end.”—Kevin
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
“I was totally down until the mid-point reveal. I have a thing about conspiracy theorists and narratives drawn from them, which the whole Hydra reveal clearly was. And I really liked the first half - it was this thoughtful examination about how someone from a different time had to readjust to a world where the morality of the government’s actions were not so clear cut. It was very post-modern and interesting. I loved it.
Then came the midpoint reveal - secret Nazis. I fucking LOATHED the HYDRA reveal. Are our problems perhaps a result of our own well-intentioned bad decisions as a SHIELD? NOPE! Secret. Fucking. Nazis.
And the juxtaposition of this thoughtful examination of what essentially compared someone from WWII fighting the War on Terror instantly morphed into the dumbest thing ever. Suddenly it just reeked of 9/11 Trutherism and I couldn’t stand it. Everything was an inside job because of the evil secret Nazis. And I haaaaaated the rest of the movie because I couldn’t let that go. It’s a personal niggle, but then, so are all intense aversions. It felt like a Bob Orci joint. It was (some of) the same shit I hated in Into Darkness.
Also, the titular Winter Soldier was so tacked on. That didn’t occur to me as a problem until I read Ed Brubaker’s Winter Soldier arc from the comics (which was EXCELLENT btw).
So anyway, my jets have since cooled on CA2 - I understand what is there that people like about it now. But I can’t unsee the 9/11 Truthiness in it. I just can’t.”—Lindsay Ellis
The Last Unicorn
“I kind of hate The Last Unicorn. I find it so incredibly unacceptable that Lir had to be unhappy - she loved him and I don’t like the ‘you can’t change what you are’ message. Yes, you can! She was born a unicorn but she didn’t have to stay one! People are born genders they aren’t and that’s cool, but everyone always like, ‘She’s a unicorn - she had to stay one!’ BS. Magic had turned her into a human and back into a unicorn. If she had really loved him, she would have turned back into a human for him. Arwen truly loved Aragorn and rather than live eternally in sadness she chose to live a short life in happiness. Dammit. :( That movie upsets me… ‘Welp, sorry I flirted with you and thought about staying human for you… I’m a unicorn. Gotta go.’ Ugh.”—Sara Goodwin
“[It feels] like a Pixar movie that should have been made right after A Bug’s Life. Not to mention, it really should have been framed around Sadness, with Joy being a side character in the background.”—Michael
Star Trek: The Voyage Home
“Requires titans of competence-porn scifi to suddenly become idiots in order to service lame one-joke premise. Features appalling timeline-altering crime by Scotty and possibly the laziest and most hackneyed time travel method ever conceived.”—Dan Wohl
“The notion that it was a scifi movie with the quality/sensibility of an arthouse film is asinine to me. I thought it was just as nonsensical and lacking in character/plot development as some of the worst graphic novel-adapted movies. And on top of that I didn’t even think it looked cool!”—Dan Wohl
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
“Male protagonist abandons his family and it’s presented as minor blip on a heroic inspiring journey, and the ending scene when they communicate with the alien ship using trombone-sounding tones is close to laugh-out-loud humorous.”—Dan Wohl
The Big Lebowski
“It just wasn’t funny? I don’t hate it so much as shrug and sigh and watch things that actually make me laugh.”—@BrookeSaysStuff
The Usual Suspects
“I hate The Usual Suspects! Everyone seems to love that movie. I didn’t like it when I first watched it and I don’t like it now.”—Rudie Obias
“Can’t exactly remember why I walked out of the theater scoffing at wasting time and money. I don’t want to watch it again to remember, either.”—My mother! Who is right about this sloppy, convoluted mess. Time travel or telekinesis. Pick one, Rian Johnson.
“I hate pretty much every second of the embarrassingly cutesy Mary Poppins. It doesn’t surprise me in the least to discover how much P.L. Travers grew to hate the incessant, interminable series of pantomime and cloying wide-eyed quirkiness. Precocious child alert to red.”—Glen Dunks
“I hated Pulp Fiction. It like makes me doubt myself, like… am I a bad person ‘cause I dislike what everyone else thinks is Quentin Tarentino’s breakout masterpiece? Like I’m not really interested in Uma Thurman dancing while high on cocaine? Like why don’t I find the awkward pauses and banal conversation juxtaposed against traumatizingly gratuitous violence appealing? Am I broken? Something is wrong with me, right????”—Ashley
Now it’s your turn. Share your unpopular movie opinion in the comments, and be prepared for some falling out with your compadres.